Monday, 9 June 2008

Every Cloud

I know, I thought, I'll squeeze a trip to the garden centre in now. I don't know why I don't normally go at this time. I can just pop in quickly with the little one and buy my bits. Perfect!

Fast forward half-an-hour and the reason why I don't hit any shops at four o'clock in the afternoon, much less my favourite ones, becomes all too apparent as I slam my goods on the counter and sprint after the disappearing back of my running two-year-old.

This was the fourth, or was it fifth, time I'd had to stop what I was doing to rescue my errant toddler. From the floor. From upending a watering can to make a puddle. From pulling the flower off a clematis. From running down a ramp again and again. From underneath a flower display.

As he writhed and screamed in my arms an old lady, the place was full of them, told me my son, who I was feeling a bit cheesed off with, was tired. She could tell. It was his eyes. Actually, he wasn't, he was just bored.

Shush, shush, shush, whispered another old dear as she walked past us. Oh thanks, that's sure to help. Why didn't I think of that, I managed not to say. Out loud anyway.

Still every cloud and all that. My silver linings included getting a lovely young man to carry my box to the car and buying two bags of pixi lilies, one bag of shallots , a Canna Cleopatra bulb and a bag of dahlia bulbs all for ten pence each! I'm hoping they'll keep for next year's gardening club. If I haven't pulled my hair out, lost my marbles, or lost the bulbs by then.


  1. This reminded me of when my two were little - I hated those 'helpful' comments from older ladies. Mine are now both taller than me and quite pleasant teenagers - so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They also have excellent horticultural knowledge from their many trips to garden centres, plant sales etc!!

  2. I had to smile when I read about the "shushing ladies" -- the malls around here are full of them, too. Must be Seniors' Day all week. :)

  3. I remember my kids at that age. When my husband would come home, I would hand my kids to him and go shopping. Going shopping with them was sometimes such a chore. And I loved the peaceful time shopping at the garden center, so always wanted to do it without the kids.

  4. I never took my kids out until they were over 21.
    No, not really but on occasions like you have just described, I felt like not taking them out with me, until they were 21.

  5. I used to chat away to my daughter when she was a baby and I pushed her around the supermarket in the trolley (cart). One day I'd got quite a long way round the store, doing this, before I remembered that I'd left her at home with her dad...

  6. My favorite garden center (Uncanoonuc Mt. Perennials in Goffstown NH) has sandboxes in various corners for the little ones. It makes shopping with the kids a joy. I wish they all set up play spaces like that. Instead of getting "Maaaa, when are we leaving?" I get "Mom, do we have to go now?" BTW, I LOVE Amanda's little story! lol!

  7. I can soooo sympathise while reading your post. I hate it when people try to "help" during a stressful parenting situation. It makes me feel even more self-conscious and embarrassed. I make a point of never staring, giving pointed looks, making whispered comments, and definitely never commenting out loud!

    I hope that when I'm an old lady I'll still remember what is was like to be in those "parenting a toddler" shoes!

  8. Your story rings true with me, too. I don't bring the 2 year old with me anymore (and if I do he's firmly plants in a seatbelted cart). I have started taking my 3 year old with me, and he does okay though. Secretly, I hope I can expose them to enough plants to make them horticulturists or botanists when they age. :) Great story, and congrats on your finds! Is it too late to grow them this year?