Daughter and I enjoyed a bit of retail therapy this weekend. Well, when I say enjoyed, perhaps I should say 'participated in with only minor levels of discomfort' . First stop, Primark. I'd forgotten our sunglasses and it was a glorious day in Liverpool today, so in we went to splurge a couple of quid on some sunnies. Despite having promised myself I wouldn't buy any clothes until I've lost some weight and saved some money, I don't get into Liverpool very often and the lure of city centre shopping was too much for me, and I had the clearly ludicrous idea of having a quick look. And quick it was, because Daughter was keen for me to know she didn't really want to be there. I'm used to her moaning, so I could have put up with that, but she tried to wander, and there's nothing to send my stress levels rocket higher than Daughter being more than about 10cm away from me. My fear isn't that she'll fall over or get lost, it's that she'll be stolen. She's so beautiful, you see. I know the statistics suggest it's highly unlikely, but I can't concentrate unless she's right in front of me. So, browsing for me was abandoned and we schlepped up to children's wear. She tried four styles of sunglasses on, picked a bag and some jewellery and then was a pain when I was looking for things for her, so all she got was a pair of neon pink jeans. Her loss.
It's understandable that she was fed up, but the real reason was that there was 30 quid burning a hole in my purse that she had from Other Grandad (so called to distinguish him from Nanny's Grandad!) and Aunty T, who had come to visit, and a promise of another tenner from me, all to spend in Build A Bear.
We'd managed to get her to five and a half without ever building a bear. I'd let her spend birthday money on an outfit for a rabbit she'd got as a christening gift, but we'd never chosen one of the slightly alarming empty bodies and joined the queue. There was no choosing, she knew what she wanted (Treasure, an eye-wateringly orange cat, who is Princess Ariel's pet, presumably obtained after her move to dry land) and we encountered the attempt to get us to include a scent and sound (no thanks!) and then joined the filling queue. Our helper, Alice, was so good and I hope she's enjoying a well deserved vodka (or whatever youngsters drink these days!) tonight. Watching Daughter work the foot pump with such conviction that she was filling Treasure was so lovely, but the heart ceremony choked me up. I appreciate that sentence alone could cost me readers, because it might sound like I'm overly sentimental and have bought into the saccharine ploys of cutesy emporiums designed to hike up pester power to the max (surely I'm not the only one that cringes at being called a Guest in another well known place high up on the pester power list? And, on that note, do they really need a character name? The middle aged grump that attended to us in another (not local) outlet was so far removed from her character ( can't remember who, but one of the Big Five Princesses) that I nearly sniggered). Anyway, I digress. The heart ceremony. Daughter selected her heart, and then performed a series of actions with it, the last one being to kiss it and make a wish. Her eyes were screwed up so tight with thinking and wishing so hard, and she didn't move that heart from her kiss until she was all wished out. And it's a secret, you know, so I don't know what it is. But I couldn't tell you if I did, it's a secret!
And of course Treasure needed clothes. And accessories. What self respecting cuddly cat doesn't accessorise? So we added our dress, tiara, necklace and tail flower. Daughter did make a bid for the shoes, but they only come in pairs and Treasure's got four shoeable feet, so point to Mummy. Not buying shoes enabled us to go over to Cafe Thorntons, hurrah! Not for the delicious and restorative hot chocolate I had, you understand, but just so we could get Treasure out and dress her. What I did discover was that cats on four legs and bears/rabbits on two legs don't really share any physical similarities but are supposed to wear the same clothes, and consequently poor old Treasure's dress is a bit of a poor fit.
Fast forward a few years, and will we be firm shopping buddies or will it be a punishment for both of us? I suppose it depends how long I'm willing to buy things for her! I can't imagine future shopping being so cute as watching my little girl wishing on a heart though. I'm so soft!