Its busy. There are people! Which in these viral times can make things a little hairy! But I am winging it, I have a plan, which most probably will fizzle into a complete disaster within seconds – but it is always good to try.
“Rhys, shopping list” I say, handing him the laminated card which contains five pictures of items we need to get (although there is always going to be more, especially when you hit the miscellaneous isle of Lidl).
All is going well.
Rhys has decided to forgo his standard exercise routine of shuttle runs up and down the isles, and has resorted to the integrated trolley buggy-board option. With his feet secure on the little step, he holds onto the handle of the trolley, with the shopping list placed in front of him.
“Rhys apples” I say, coming to the first item on the list. I hand the bag to him and he lobs it into the trolley, letting them bruise themselves on landing.
I sigh and make a mental note to do the eggs myself in a few minutes!
Taking Rhys’ hand I help him move the apple picture to the right, off the list. He is not happy about it, and screams at me. It is that high pitch scream that penetrates your bones and lingers in the air. People turn expecting a decapitated body or horror scene. But everything is in its place, just a little boy being asked to move a picture!
We move on, people stop staring and turn back to their business.
“Rhys, pizza next” I say pointing to the little picture of a pizza. I lift four boxes from the fridge and hand them to him.
He throws them into the trolley, each box landing on top of the bruised apples, on some sort of scattered ensemble. I try to contain my urge to rearrange the trolley items, directing myself back to the task.
Once again I take Rhys’ hand and we move the pizza piece across.
We move on.
As we walk I rearrange the trolley, and throw in a few extra items which Rhys’ pictures don’t include. I have kept Rhys’ list simple to ensure I keep his attention. Too many pictures would become overwhelming, especially as this is the first time doing this.
As we round the next isle, Rhys shouts, in a volume for everyone’s enjoyment, “ALL DONE!” I look at the list, he has removed the remaining three items across to the right had side.
“Car” he says.
“No Rhys, we need jam, grapes and ham” I say, placing the three pictures back to left of the card. He is reluctant but lets me compete my task.
As the jam is thrown onto the grapes and topped with a few packs of ham, we walk towards the checkout.
“How are you today?” Asks the cashier.
“Bloody fantastic” I answer.
And I am.
As I push my battered shopping out of the store, I am happy that we have shopped together using a list and a new form of engagement. The other shoppers may have seen things differently, but for me, this was progress.
Maybe next time the screams will be a little less audible, and the apples a little less bruised.
But for now, we will survive.
What are your shopping trips like?