If you don't yet have kids and are thinking of joining the ranks let me just warn you of one thing:
You will never again shop in Marks and Spencers food hall!
There is a hierarchy in supermarkets which subliminally dictates who they welcome. M&S with kids? Forget it. Waitrose? Possibly if you have a nanny and have called your child Tarquin or Jamesina.
I tried Waitrose once. Whoever came up with the idea of mini trolleys for kids obviously didn't have them. Tarquin and Jamesina will enjoy the trolleys. They will walk next to their adult, reading words like 'Kumquat' from the shopping list whilst mentally totting up the nutritional value of each food item.
My kids pretended the trolleys were bumper cars. I spent 10 minutes trying to be a Waitrose mum before cracking with, "Darlings, please come here. You are making me SCREAM LIKE A FISHWIFE!!!!!" I went scuttling back to Asda where I belong.
When Peter was smaller I took him with me to Asda and took my eyes off him for a second. BIG MISTAKE! Children, like Doctor Who's Weeping Angels, should always be watched. Don't even blink. In that second, Peter had legged it round the corner straight into a display of cut price wine. Much of what happened next is blanked from my traumatised mind, except for the part where I'm holding a screaming Peter whilst hysterically repeating, "I'll pay! I'll pay! I'll pay" as if on a loop system. The manager was very calm. "It's fine madam, we'll sort it. You can go..." Oh the shame!
I've now found my comfort zone with Lidl. However I am very aware that I am one tantrum away from having to rummage through skips for food whilst my kids graffiti misspelled swear words on the wall. I wonder if the same hierarchy exists for supermarket skips? I might end up a Waitrose mum after all!
My tips for how to survive the supermarket shop? Leave them at home. Or bribe them to behave with sweets and comics. Not the best parenting technique, but let's face it, it works.
Today: Manners make all the difference...
Overheard in a supermarket (I'll leave you to guess which one):
Kids (about 1000 of them it seemed...): Giz it 'ere! Giz it 'ere! It's mine! Giz it 'ere!!!
Fraught mum: 'ow many times do I 'ave to tell yiz?? It ain't "Giz it 'ere!" It's "Giz it 'ere...ta!"