Dotty tries shopping

Jun 11, 2020

So we made it into week 3 of isolating and week 2 of creative schooling – let it go …let it go… still being my mantra as I juggle maths and English with a 2 and 4 year old’s demands for snacks, constant questions and just generally wanting to be entertained. I’m a single Mum of 4 wonderful children all aged 10 and under.  

We didn’t bulk buy as we were home self-isolating with temperatures when everyone else was… we have a tight weekly budget so couldn’t have anyway. But the day comes … we have eaten everything in the cupboards and the freezer. In fact, the last few days I haven’t eaten breakfast to eek out the cereal, milk and bread before we have to go shopping (thinking to myself bonus I might lose a few pounds!) I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to get an online shop but there are never any slots… and quite rightly they are reserving slots for those deemed vulnerable. We don’t classify as a single parent for this list. Believe me the last thing I want to do in normal circumstances is a supermarket shop with 4 under 10’s, and all I want to do right now is keep them at home … safe. We have no choice… we are going to have to visit our local store if we want to eat dinner tonight.  

I know its chaos out there… queues to get in and social distancing meaning stores are limiting the numbers going in. I spend the first part of the morning prepping the kids… we stay together my 2 year old in a sling and my 4 year old has to hold the edge of my coat at all times. My older children and I have conversed about it to the max.  

We then get ready to go… leaving me completely baffled as to how I did this daily to get them to school, as my 4 year old is now incapable of putting his own shoes on – it appears 2 weeks and he’s unlearnt this skill… my 8 and 10 year old have both lost one of each pair of their shoes in the shoe cupboard that I have given up trying to organise.

We make it to our local store mid morning… the older boys are well aware the bread and milk have now run out, and as for dinner they are desperate for more than just soup, or the last of the fishfingers dug out from the back of the freezer. We park and survey the store… there’s a socially distancing queue and it goes a long way around the car park… I get my 2 year old in the sling … remind them of the rules now and we head to the back of the queue. How can the world change this much in just 2 weeks I think to myself… we join the queue and I quickly realise entertainment is needed and we adapt 10 green bottles to 10 people queuing (even though its not accurate). I am relieved the queue is moving fairly constantly… should be almost there by the time I finish the song.  

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a man approaching us. He comes to within his 2m and politely says to me … 1 adult only. I look around and see other people with 1 child with them and say but I am one adult. I’m a single mum of 4 children and have no one to look after them. He shrugs and says he is thinking of the safety of the children as well as others. I ask him if its safe not to feed the children, as we have no food left at home. He shrugs and repeats the one adult mantra. Meanwhile my 8 year old (who is always hungry) bursts into tears and says but Mum we haven’t got lunch or dinner today. I realise this man’s badge says manager… and the assembled socially distanced queue are all staring at us now. I decide not to take it further and upset my children and we walk back to the car with my 8 year old crying and the queue still staring at us.  

We went home, where I managed to find some yo-yo’s and a couple of ginger biscuits to give the kids for lunch… whilst frantically trying to find out if any supermarket will let us in… thanks to a facebook group someone tells me a local store that did let 3 children in yesterday… we rush out and thank goodness they let me shop. I could have hugged them when they let us in – but what with social distancing don’t and on the way out thank them as do the kids … all 4 shouting (because 2 m is a long way right and they might not hear them lol

I’m not sure if next week the measure might be stricter…and we wont be allowed in but that’s week problem. Right now we have food in our bellies and our health. We are as rich as millionaires as far as I can see…