You may recall that there’s already an All Things Spliced post with a very similar name to this one. You may also be wondering, therefore, why I put myself through this, time and again. Well aside, from creating great blog material (obviously), shopping’s just one of those things, isn’t it? Just one of those necessities, that needs to be done. And this time, instead of Christmas shopping (even Christmas obsessed Mrs Lighty doesn’t start this early!), it was to buy Baby Lighty his first proper pair of shoes.
So…outlet shopping with a toddler…here goes:
1. Take toddler to have their feet measured at a well-known High Street shoe shop.
2. Balk at the price of two tiny shoes that are likely to last 6 – 8 weeks before he outgrows them, and be secretly quite pleased when the sales assistant informs you that they have nothing in Baby Lighty’s size.
3. Decide to take a trip to the local outlet centre branch the next day.
4. When the next day rolls round, forget that a major festival is taking place at a location between you and the outlet centre until you’re en route, and therefore have to take the longer route that involves lots of roundabouts.
5. Said roundabouts seem to cause Baby Lighty to be travel sick. And what do the parenting laws of sod mean?! Yep, you haven’t packed any spare clothes.
6. Pull into a supermarket en route. Leave Mr Lighty wet wiping Baby Lighty down in the boot of the car while you dash in to see if you can buy the spare set of clothes you should’ve brought with you.
7. Supermarket doesn’t sell clothes. Wipe Baby Lighty down as best you can and set off.
8. Arrive at Outlet Centre, first port of call is to buy those spare clothes, trying to ignore any glances that could be interpreted as judgemental from fellow parents en route.
9. Once Baby Lighty is changed, go to get the shoes you came for in the first place. Mr Lighty nearly has a heart attack at the sight of the queue outside until he realises that this is for feet measuring, and we’ve already had Baby Lighty’s feet measured (see step 1). On entering the shop, wonder if you’ve gone slightly mad, as it’s crazy-busy with parents trying to buy back-to-school shoes. You do, however, manage to locate Baby Lighty’s size and buy a suitable pair.
10. By this point, Baby Lighty is hungry, so you decide to stop for coffee and a bite to eat. The first coffee shop you enter, however, has a queue almost as long as the queue for the feet measuring at the shoe shop, so you decide to go elsewhere. The only problem with this is that Mr Lighty and Baby Lighty have already made themselves comfortable outside, and Baby Lighty objects to being removed from his snack.
11. After carrying a crying Baby Lighty because, out of protest of being removed from his food, he either a) won’t walk the short distance to the nearest coffee shop or b) sit in the buggy, purchase tea. Have a slight tiff with Mr Lighty as you’re apparently supposed to be psychic and / or not have left your phone with him in the change bag and instinctively know that he would’ve rather’ve had a milkshake than a cuppa. Feel slightly miffed that you’ve treated him to a sausage roll if that’s the way he feels.
12. It starts to rain as you’re enjoying your tea (not milkshake), and you’re sitting outside. Of course you bloody are. Quickly put Baby Lighty in the pushchair. Mr Lighty proudly tells you that he’s worked out how to put the rain cover on the buggy. That’s good, but by the time you’ve done it as a team effort, it’s pretty much stopped raining.
13. Start shopping properly. Get all excited when you see your favourite pair of Baby Lighty’s shorts, as they were hand-me-downs, and seeing them here at the outlet you realise that they must’ve been last season’s. But this is good news, as perhaps now you can buy them in a size up ready for next summer?! Realise as you walk over, however, that the little ‘Hawaiian’ shorts that you love so much on him are actually girls’ shorts!! Whoops!!
14. Don’t really see anything else that takes your fancy. It’s a bit hit and miss this outlet shopping malarkey, isn’t it?
15. Realise that after all that, the £7.00 you saved by outlet-shopping the shoes has probably been negated by the 45 minutes’ petrol each way, the coffee break and the spare clothes you had to buy…and you therefore force Mr Lighty to buy himself a polo shirt, just to make the trip worthwhile.
And so I’ve just realised exactly why we put ourselves through this. The footnote of Mrs Lighty’s Christmas shopping post, of course, which is: repeat steps 1 – 15.
Oh well, maybe I’ll be able to enjoy shopping again when Baby Lighty is 18, perhaps?! At least the spare clothes gave me an excuse to buy yet another cute outfit for him…
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