Shopping, at least according to one chap here at Gazette Towers, is our national pastime these days – bad news for those of us who find it a little, well, tedious.
It’s certainly not as entertaining as, say, going for a nice meal or the cinema or, to be honest, the walk to the stores.
But, for many, it’s the ideal day out, whether it is here, in the shadow of The Tower, or at one of those gaudy out of town places with a car park the side of Luxembourg and all the atmosphere of an airport departure lounge.
To me though, it’s all rather stressful, especially with a four-year-old in tow.
I’m sure we all think, if we’re honest, we sometimes get talked into buying something we don’t want because of a glitzy display or a TV advert.
But, I’ll bet none of us hold a candle to the impulse buying power of a pre-schooler.
What’s more, they’re willing to employ some downright underhand tactics in order to get their own way.
“My mummy says I can have it,”is, of course, the mainstay of their arsenal, along with the puppy dog eyes and crocodile tears.
Not that they work against a well trained and experienced parent.
Through careful use of time-tested phrases such as “we don’t need one of those,” and”put it back” I find most difficult circumstances can he handled without a tantrum – even if it means I do have to put up with the occasional case of the incredible sulks.
The same cannot be said for The Old Folks who, it seems, are far more easily taken in by the demands of The Munchkin.
That is what the evidence leads me to believe at any rate.
Not a week goes by without our little one coming home from her weekly trip to see Nana and Pop with far more than she left with in the morning.
Some things are quite welcome – the lovely homemade cakes for one.
Others, well, I’m not so sure.
For a start, we’ve got children’s television magazines coming out of our ears along with drawers full of the free toys which always come sticky taped to the front.
What I find confusing is these are the same people who, when I was much younger, were so good at putting their foot down and saying “no”
Of course, it’s a grandparent’s prerogative to spoil the little ones. They, after all, don’t have to do the discipline any more.
And it’s very nice the Munchkin, every week, buys her mummy a bunch of flowers or comes home with a new book to read.
It does, however, make it much harder for me to deny hera treat.
Which is why, I’ve decided the only thing to do is stay away from the shops all together.
There is far less temptation in going for a stroll.
Just don’t ask me to stop for an ice cream – you know what the answer is going to be.