Harmonie loves shopping for food - and eating it!
Poor Harmonie has been home sick this week, with a nasty bout of asthma.
Challenged with the onerous task of keeping her quiet, and running dangerously low on luxuries like eggs, milk and bread (these days, you almost need to take out a second mortgage to pay for them), I took her out for a spot of shopping.
We’d be dry and warm, I reasoned, and she loves nothing better than being pushed about in a shopping trolley as though she was still a baby, not a strapping 5-year-old.
Regular readers would know I would rather gouge my own eye out than go shopping with my kids … unless it’s with just one of them.
Shopping with one child is mostly a pleasant experience, with said child enjoying the attention, eagerly grabbing products off shelves, and generally charming the socks off fellow shoppers. And me! But together, they are Search and Destroy, running in different directions, irritating each other, fighting over who gets to choose the oranges/apples/bananas or whatever, and demanding expensive lollies and soft drink.
Anyway, today it was just the Princess, and an interesting experience it was.
It started as we drove to our local shops, after school drop off for Chase. Traffic was horrendous, it was pouring rain, and I was muttering naughty words under my breath at the traffically-challenged.
Suddenly, I realised my usual Chatterbox was quiet. “Are you okay honey?” I asked, fearing another bout of vomiting or breathlessness was about to strike.
“Yeah,” she said happily. “I’m being quiet so you can concentrate on the traffic.”
When we got to the shops, she climbed into the trolley.
“I kissed a girl, and I liked it …” she sang along to the music playing in the store. Hmm. Think I should be more careful which music I listen to…
When we reached the lolly aisle, she suddenly decided she wanted out.
“Can I have a lolly, ‘cause I’m being good?” she asked.
“Okay,” I said. “Just one.”
She came back with two.
“Just one I said,” I began.
“It’s okay, these are for Daddy,” she said, holding up a packet of fruity jubes. “They’re his favourite.”
Sweets for the sweet.
As we browsed the aisle, I was pestered constantly to buy. Not sweets. Not junk food. Not even fizzy.
But good, healthy food.
“Oh can we please buy this Mumma?” she asked plaintively, handing me a container of fresh ravioli. “It is so yummy and nice.”
And out-of-season cherries. “Oh please Mumma,” she begged. “I love cherries.”
You know what? I think it’s good occasionally to give into pester-power when it comes to kids choosing foods that are healthy and tasty. And when you take into account the outrageous cost of junk food – I could have spent $2 on a packet of chips, but spent it on cherries instead – it’s not scary at all.
On the way home, she sang along to the radio. This time it was the Pussycat Dolls, When I Grow Up. Thankfully, she doesn’t know all the lyrics yet, but unfortunately, she’s seen the video.
“The girls are standing up on a car when they sing this,” she says. “They’re naughty, hey?”
And as we pass a golf course, she says sternly: “Those people are naughty too, aren’t they Mumma? Going into the rain like that. I think they just want to catch a cold. Don’t you?”
Unable to argue with the logic of a child, I turn up the radio.