I don’t go to shops very much these days, and by shops I don’t mean supermarkets – I go to them far too often. But a proper shop with clothes or books or music is a rarity. At Christmas, when I had to do some last minute shopping, I remembered why I usually shop online. The aisles are far too narrow for a double pram and the shops put really handy displays of items at floor level. Handy if you want to play a game of Jenga with a load of DVDs, that is. Anyway it’s just not fun and keeping two toddlers trapped in the pushchair for too long just seems cruel.

How much can we knock over today?

So the chance to visit a proper shop, with only the four year old in tow is just too good to miss. Last weekend, I decided to take the eldest swimming while her sisters had their afternoon nap. They were in bed at one and the pool opened for children at two. Plenty of time to fit in a shopping trip on the way, especially as we passed Hobbycraft, one of my favourite places to spend fifteen minutes. Of course I should have mentioned it when I first told my daughter about the swimming. Swimming is her absolute favourite and her best so any plan that is not go straight to the pool is going to be a problem.

“I don’t want to go to Hobbycraft,” she cried, when I told her. When I say cried I mean full on crying. She isn’t a regular tantrum thrower but I think she saves it all up for special occasions.
“The pool doesn’t open for an hour, we’ll go on the way,” I reasoned.

Eventually I got her in the car with the promise that if she calms down she could go on a ride, and with 50p in her pocket she was almost happy again. Happy except that every ten seconds she was still going on about how much she hates Hobbycraft. “I don’t want to go to Hobbycraft,” she said as we pull up outside. Suddenly she stopped crying and looked out the window. “Hang on, what is Hobbycraft?”

“You know, the one with all the crafts and things.”

“Ohhhhhh.” she said, suddenly jumping about. “I love Hobbycraft. Why didn’t you say that’s where we were going?” Fifteen minutes later we were back in the car, laden down with brightly coloured felt and googly eyes, feeling much happier.

Good thing I didn’t tell her we were going to ToysRus next.

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