I have made an observation which I suspect may not be popular with a certain of my readers – fathers are better at shopping with kids than mothers.
Doubt me? Ask your kid.
Not better at the actual shopping, mind.
Today I went to the shopping centre to buy some baskets to help me get a handle on sorting the kids’ clothes…and then I went back to the shopping centre because I needed more…and then I went back to the shopping centre because I needed even more. Our kids, I’ve decided, have too many clothes.
Not better at supervising the kids while shopping, either.
I noticed a big black mark on Miss3’s dress just as we arrived at the chemist where Tracey’s sister works. I was baffled where it had come from, but then realised as we were leaving via the escalator that it had come from the only bit of the escalator which doesn’t move with you, which she’d just sat on and made all shiny. Unfortunately, this realisation only came after she replicated the black mark on the new outfit I’d just bought and changed her into, because we live in this town and know a lot of people and there was no way I was having a negative report reaching Tracey.
I won’t even go so far as to say dads are better at the simple task of running kids to the toilet when they announce in an aisle when your trolley is three quarters full that they’re busting.
Miss3 and I beat another father and his daughter to the parents room by a whisker (yes!) only to find another family was in there. Finally they came out and we went in. Then when we emerged, he ducked in.
A moment later he stuck his head out.
“Come on,” he said to his daughter. This young four or five year old, who like Miss3 had been jumping up and down as we raced for the parents room door, was quietly sitting on one of the stools watching the telly.
Her eyes didn’t even leave the screen as she told him she didn’t need to go anymore. Then he told her she did, and she repeated no, she didn’t.
“Well how about you sit on the toilet to make sure?” he asked reasonably.
His voice was very calm and reasonable. This is another thing I’ve noticed at shopping centres: we all tend to use our soft, inside voices instead of the ones we’d approach a similar problem with at home, and then hope like hell the kids do what we say. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do it.
“No!” she snapped.
“You do not get to say no to Daddy,” he said, bringing out his at home Daddy voice. It didn’t last long because she still didn’t move, so he pulled out the even bigger guns. “Get in here,” he told her, before looking a little sheepish and saying meekly, “or I’ll tell your mother.”
So I’m giving that one to the mums as well.
Where us dads excel, and I think you’re going to agree here, is in trolley driving.
You see, of the three hours or so I spent wandering the centre I must have passed a hundred kids being pushed around in trolleys and I can tell you there were only five kids laughing and enjoying themselves and none of them were being pushed by mums.
Mums drive trolleys like they retell their husband’s fishing stories – with very little enthusiasm and no attempt to make it fun.
Whereas me and those other four dads, we were spinning them trolleys like they were roulette wheels and our kids were giddy with excitement and, probably, nausea.
Which is why I have no doubt if you ask your kid who they think is the best person to go shopping with, they’ll vote for their dad.
Most fantastic news from the Royal Brisbane Womens Hospital today – Tracey is now able to get out of bed by herself and go to the bathroom unassisted, so she’s now on par with our three year old.
Tracey also put up the following message on her Facebook wall today:
Thank you everyone for all your support and well wishes. The last few months have been a huge surprise journey for me and not one I would recommend. I’m so grateful that I got my second chance, I feel very lucky. Don’t take anything for granted as things can change suddenly. I never thought I would be sitting in a hospital for months. You have all been so generous and kind to our family and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate it. I don’t even think that my words cover how thankful we are. So many of you have done wonders for us. I look forward to catching up with everyone once I’m home. xxx
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”