I never take more than one child but I'm always quick to offer a sympathetic smile to the poor frazzled women I see with multiple children hanging off the trolley (with at least one wonky wheel) like a collection of banana-lust driven monkeys.
I realise having a completely neurotic system like this doesn't work for everyone, but for me it makes a generally tedious chore, well, not quite so tedious.
Then comes Christmas and my perfect little system which has served me so well through-out the year, goes flying out the window, just like a couple of turtle-doves and a partridge escaping a pear tree.
Have you noticed what happens in the supermarket just prior to Christmas ? People start to go into a stock-piling frenzy and it's not just because Aunt Mabel, Uncle Ron and their twelve children have come to stay, it's because.....shock horror....the supermarket will be closing it's magical glass doors for a WHOLE DAY.
I know, right, a whole 24 hours without access to the wondrous aisle upon aisle of cans and boxes. I mean, sure, there are small convenience stores which we can rely upon to NEVER, EVER close under ANY circumstances, but what if we need a can of Argentian Gumb fish for the salad or twice pickled South American Hoho berries for the dessert ? Will we find those at the convenient store ? I think not.
So en masse we get a touch of the crazies. We stand in the baking aisle with a packet of long-life milk in each hand, wondering if ten packets will possibly be enough, we are talking twenty-four hours after-all. We load up on products on the off-chance that there is a massive post-Christmas glitch which leaves the supermarket doors closed for ever.
My warning to you all is get in early, grab your seventy packs of toilet tissue and your cans of Argentian Gumb fish whilst you still can. Because next weekend you will need full body armour and finely honed trolley maneuvering skills to outwit, outlast and outshop. Good luck.