#24: Shopping On Empty

#24: Shopping On Empty
6 minutes to read

I woke up on Monday…actually, let me pause there. To ‘wake up’ means that at some stage you have entered into that elusive bliss delivered straight from heaven, sleep. I reckon that Sunday night was spent at worst, awake and crazy, and at best, in a very light fluttery doze for microscopic bursts. 

We think Moo has reflux. Either that or a dairy intolerance. Whichever it is, she’s probably had it all her life, and yet it’s taken us five months to marry together the relentless sick, frequent constipation, slow weight gain and general arsehole temperament into something worthy of seeing the GP. It’s not always been bad, you understand, but a slightly alarming trip to the weigh clinic last week put the wind in my sails slightly. Anyway, we’re tackling it as could-be reflux to start with, and she’s on some dissolvable tablets which we have to mix with weak squash and aim into her mouth, water pistol fashion, every day.

They seem to be working, in that the sick is substantially less, but the trade off is a pretty fucking savage nosedive in wondrous nocturnal restfulness. We had it almost sewn up – bed at 8pm, feed at 4am, up at 7am. Bingo bango. Bit of a wobble at 4 months, but nothing insurmountable. This week though, Christ. Bed at 8pm, whimper at 10pm, scream at midnight, up between midnight and 2am, up at 4am. By the time the 4am feed is done I can hear the world waking up and if I happen to nod off, I come to feeling sluggish and drunk and on the verge of tears before I’m even out of bed.

So, on such a Monday morning, what better activity is there to engage oneself in than a spot of dress shopping? There are a MILLION better activities than this, trust me. Dress shopping is probably the most ill-conceived outing there is when you’re sleep-deprived, except perhaps for taking your driving test or operating some heavy plant. No groups were on due to holiday breaks, and in my deranged head I managed to convert “a peaceful, chilled day with a stroll in the sunshine” into “Shit, need to get husband’s birthday presents. Fuck, nothing to wear, need a dress. Bollocks, potentially going for dinner AND afternoon tea in August, need two dresses.”

I HATE clothes shopping. I get zero enjoyment out of selecting items primarily based on price (refer to previous moans about lowly SMP), and stripping off in a badly lit changing room with a curtain that doesn’t shut and no room for a pram. I’m also perilously adrift in the nomansland of age-appropriate togs because my choices seem to be slut or frump and I’m not really sure which camp is preferable. So, with all these wonderful building blocks in place for a rip-roarer of a day, off we trotted into town. I opted to start off in a department store because at least they have about 80 brands over 1000 square feet and I could hit the mission hard.

On entering, I had to take a moment to acclimatise my eyes to all the fashion. I have no concept of what’s IN in, what’s in but on the way out, what’s out but having a quick encore, and so on. I was alarmed to arrive at one concession and be met with swathes and swathes of bodycon lycra, which made me forlornly lament my squishy torso. I quickly ducked to the next block and found myself squarely in “Mother of the Bride – 50 Shades of Salmon”. Then crop tops and hot pants. Then crochet. Then Aztec maxi dresses. Then admittedly gorgeous frocks but with a sale price of £60. What fresh hell was all this?

I eventually amassed four dresses, two of which I immediately disregarded on entering the changing room, therefore making it a complete waste of time having carried them around for the five hours we seemed to have been in the shop. The remaining two were miraculously alright – one is very afternoon tea appropriate, and the other one is a sort of bright orange tent that can be cinched in with an almighty great belt to actually look halfway trendy. Even better, the orange one went through the till at £7.24 rather than £20 (down from £45, alledgedly). In these instances I try to feign a very casual demeanour, in case the shop assistant notices my covert glee at winning the game of underdog vs conglomerate and checks the prices.

We emerged into the sunlight, which was enough to rouse Moo from her power nap, having no doubt accrued enough sleep to facilitate all the night time wakings. Realising we still hadn’t got a single present for my husband, I weaved into a sports shop and headed for the running shoes, to busy myself among all the open boxes and detritus. Just then, I heard the low, unmistakable rumble of a nappy being filled, and judging by the smell, to max capacity. Moo’s beetroot face and clenched fists were enough to tell me who the culprit was. I abandoned ship and thought it wise to make a beeline for a toilet, perhaps attached to a merchant of coffee. I chose badly – the toilets had those ridiculous key code entry systems, and the bored-looking barista seemed unwilling to reveal the code until I’d parted with cold, hard cash. “I will buy something in a sec, I just need to sort my child’s disgusting output.” Reluctantly, he jotted the code on a post-it and said he’d see me when I’d finished, the presumptuous oik.

By this stage, Moo was rather vocal and squirming around like a champion muck spreader. I ham-fistedly jabbed in the code and the door to the toilets refused to budge. I tried again, reading the code aloud just in case that helped my hand-eye coordination. No entrada. Abandoning the pram, I sought out another member of staff, who stomped over with a teetering pile of empty cups on his arm. Sighing, he deftly pressed in the code and opened the door the teensiest crack before flouncing off towards the counter. As I closed the door, I noticed several hand written guidance notes taped to the back giving instructions as to the release of “the tricky lock”. Excellent.

One perilously wriggly, smelly and leaky nappy change later, and of course I couldn’t work out how to open the sodding door. The staff had helpfully peppered each note with a smiley face, as if this might act as encouragement for customers to try that bit harder to escape. They may as well have written “don’t worry, our shitty coffee will make ALL of this worthwhile.” Eventually, after a moderate degree of panic, the locks aligned and the door gave way. Obviously, during this interlude an entire wave of summer holiday teenagers had come in and were jostling about in the queue, ripe with freedom, crushes, Converse and BO. The barista caught my eye as if to say “You go nowhere, lady. We had a deal.”

One grande Americano with hot soy milk later, we began the trudge home. I contemplated my purchases. Afternoon tea dress: need complimenting jewellery. Orange tent: need belt. Probably need shoes. Husband’s birthday presents: need in entirety. Sleep: need in astronomic amounts. Online shop? Oh yes.

– SJW July 2016

Mouse Moo and Me Too
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
3 Little Buttons
My Random Musings


  1. July 29, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Oh no! What a nightmare… I hate clothes shopping. All it does is point out that I need to lose weight and dont have the body shape for anything fashionable! I am impressed you managed to find 2 dresses in 1 outing, it normally takes me weeks -well done! 🙂 #triballove

    • July 29, 2016 / 7:25 am

      Thank you for reading – I’ve yet to even show them to anyone so they may well have been poor quality purchases based on me rushing and getting cross…! Horrible experience, haha. #triballove

  2. July 29, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Oh holy crap Hun!! I’m sorry I giggled as I read this because I was totally there with you!!! Been there on many an occasion (granted, not stuck in a toilet) but I felt your pain!
    Wonderful writing ????????????
    Glad you had a win on the dress front (sounds lovely too!) but what a git the barista was!! Maybe he’d like to change a poop covered baby?! Little oik as you say.
    Loved reading.x

    • July 29, 2016 / 10:39 am

      Haha thank you, an experience I won’t be repeating any time soon, I’ve spent all my money anyway ???? Glad you enjoyed it xx

  3. July 29, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Oh lord! You’re braver than me. I don’t think I was ever courageous enough to take O shopping with me. Oh no tell a lie there was a day I had to spend in Reading when he was about 6 months old. But they had the most helpful John Lewis I have ever come across! Thank god! Online shopping is the way ahead. Always! #effitfriday

    • July 29, 2016 / 10:42 am

      Aaaaah yes John Lewis is an absolute Mecca when you’re attached to small ones, can’t fault them. If they sold cheap dresses I’d have been alright, I reckon ???? Thank you for reading for #effitfriday xx

  4. July 29, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Thank you, glad you enjoyed it and agree that it’s a bloody nightmare! Even pre-kids I found shopping draining and I enjoyable so I don’t know why I expected this week to be any different, haha. #triballove

  5. July 29, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    My wife only just recently started taking ours shopping with her again…and she just turned five. #effitfriday

    • July 29, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      Somehow I feel that would also be traumatic in its own right. I admire your wife!

  6. July 29, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Haha as always Moose I felt like I was alongside you during this journey. I’ve been in a few dodgy toilets before where I’ve feared I am trapped forever, it was always when I was alone though. Scary times. I don’t really take TM shopping unless it’s to pop into paper chase for a card. You’re so brave! I certainly wouldn’t attempt clothes shopping as I hate that enough as it is – I have bought the same style dress for approximately 5 years now and it’s definitely a casual style but I pretend it’s dressy enough when I need it to be. Why is fashion so fucking hideous?!
    Anyway I hope your sleep improves soon!! #effitfriday

    • July 29, 2016 / 3:11 pm

      You buy cards from Paperchase, what a boss ???? Ah from the photos I’ve seen you always look beautiful and you definitely suit the style – other people’s perceptions are funny things. I never quite ‘get’ fashion where others make it look effortless. Before Christmas I was waddling around New Look and I saw an actual bodysuit leotard thing with poppers LIKE A BABY VEST – what hope do we have Ed? Also similarly worse than getting stuck in a loo post dress shopping is getting stuck in a dress in the changing room, full stop. Shudder. Thank you for losing your #effitfriday L plates on my watch xx

      • Ellen
        July 29, 2016 / 7:37 pm

        Oh you are too kind to me Moose! Ha I love Paperchase even though it’s a rip off but crucially it’s big enough to get the buggy round – unlike our Clintons which is basically waiting for me to knock a Yankee candle off a display. Oh god those body suits!! Madness. I’ve always narrowly avoided getting stuck in clothes but there’s been a few close calls ????

        • July 29, 2016 / 7:54 pm

          Hahahaha always a precarious stand of Yankees alongside some overly expensive weird piggy bank things! Clintons is a mega rip off for less-decent cards than ‘Chase. They do a 4 for 3 offer but you’re still talking £8-£9, no chance. And there goes my future collaborative career with Clintons…

  7. July 29, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    We generally only shop on nursery day or when in a pair, so I can wrestle the little one whilst Sarah is trying things on. Just about works, but little one gets bored very quickly! Good work with your double frock purchase! #effitfriday

    • July 29, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      I have no such luck here as when in a pair we generally have two little ones to wrestle and my husband is a weary soul. I would like to applaud you for leaving a very respectable comment on a post that is essentially about a girl going clothes shopping, lesser men would write “great post” and slope off ????

  8. July 29, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    Ohhhhh dear. I did giggle but only because I’ve been there…and its funny in hindsight. At the time, its a living hell 😀 Physical actual shops are now a thing of my past – along with sleep and matching underwear – if I cant buy it online, I cant buy it! #effitfriday x

    • July 29, 2016 / 11:52 pm

      Lol at physical actual shops, in this day and age there’s no need! Thanks for reading and commenting for #effitfriday xx

  9. July 29, 2016 / 11:59 pm

    Oh no! I love clothes shopping, but even I, as a formerly die-hard fashionista who swore that the presence of a child would not dim my trendiness, am now admitting defeat, and have worn the same pairs of leggings and the same three T-shirts pretty much since Piglet’s birth two years ago. I feel sad that I am no longer au fait with the latest trends. #effitfriday #tribe

    • July 30, 2016 / 4:08 am

      This is the problem with leggings – once you pop, you can’t stop. We did a baby yoga course recently and I pretty much ended up wearing PJ bottoms every week (a pair of those uber comfy harem pants with a tapered ankle). They now seem to have migrated out of my PJ drawer and into the “everyday wear” shelf so really, i don’t do myself any favours and I’ve got no bloody hope! Thanks for linking with me for #effitfriday ???? xx

  10. August 1, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    You should have jist changed Moo on the counter – the snarky bastards.
    Also beware Internet shopping – I bought a dress online and it was a little big round the boobs. No probs I’ll just get it altered. Trot along to the seamstress for her to say “I don’t really know how to say this nicely but you’re boobs are much too small for that dress and I’m not a miracle worker.” Humph.

    • August 2, 2016 / 1:23 am

      Oooh. That meany seamstress. I hope her pin cushion wasn’t close to hand. She was probably jealous of all your svelte, don’t worry. Small boobs for the WIN.

  11. August 2, 2016 / 7:47 am

    I can honestly say that I haven’t even remotely attempted to shop in an actual clothes shop with the small people for many years now. All clothes are clicked and delivered, then don’t fit, then fester in my wardrobe for all eternity as even the idea of me entering a shop to return them makes me shudder. You are a very brave lady and I salute you with very much virtual cake. As for the hubby’s present… when he asks just show him your dress and say “This. The fact that your wife is not dressed in an Asda carrier bag. This is your gift.” 😉 Hope you’ve managed to catch up on some sleep lovely xx

    • August 2, 2016 / 2:14 pm

      An Asda carrier bag is a bit skimpy! Or maybe that’s the point? I could fashion a skirt from a hessian bag for life and an opaque boob tube from a plain carrier…thank you for reading for #DreamTeam! X

  12. August 3, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Oh no! having had 3 babies with reflux caused by cows milk protein allergies I feel your pain – it sucks big time! The only advice i can give you is keep a record of all the symptoms that might point to an allergy… Apart from the obvious sickness, slow weigh gain & reflux – stomach pain, weird vinegar smelling nappies, snotty nappies, runny eyes, snotty noses, ear infections and weird spotty rashes and just keep going back until you are happy that little one is ok! If you need any help there are plenty of us around who have been there too!!

    As for clothes shopping – not my favourite activity, Ill be honest I tend to just order stuff online, try it on and then send it back!


    • August 3, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      That’s really really good advice, thank you – definitely going to start keeping a diary especially as we approach weaning as there could be a multitude of triggers. I think we’ve had everything you mention at one point or another ???? xx

  13. August 4, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Oh I am with you here all the way…pre-baby I already hated online clothes shopping with the passion and was an ASOS convert. But with child?? Every time I pop in to get something, she arches her back like there is a bomb underneath her waiting to go off…big hugs for the reflux too, it’s so tough and hope Moo feels better with it soon xx #bloggerclubuk #tribe

    • August 4, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Oh I do love ASOS – need to get back on that wagon for the next shopping endeavour I think! Thank you, ‘soon’ can’t come quickly enough after the night I’ve just had ???? xxx

  14. August 4, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    This why I only go shopping after work on days my husband is picking up our little bear. It doesn’t happen often so I have to make good use of my time. Sorry you had such a rough time of it!#FartGlitter

    • August 4, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      Making good use of time and maxing out every second, I know that! X

  15. August 4, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Thank you for the advice – she’s almost 5.5 months now so with every day I feel a bit less icky about early weaning. Some days are fab and some are just horrendous! Can’t even summon the enthusiasm for online shopping on the bad days ???? xx

  16. August 5, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    Oh goodness! For a second I thought you were going to say that you got stuck in the toilet completely. Isn’t that a health and safety issue having a toilet door that you can’t open. Anyway. Thank goodness you both got out. I mainly shop online, going out to the shops is never all it cracks up to be. Especially with a little one in tow 🙂 Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam

    • August 5, 2016 / 12:58 pm

      I probably would have had a panic attack but I bet they’d give me a free coffee for the inconvenience ???? thank you for reading and commenting, and hosting #dreamteam xx

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