Or, otherwise entitled…
Man for hire!
Last night Hannah’s daddy and I went shopping.
By the time we’d actually got out of the house, travelled to the shopping centre and parked up, we didn’t have much time…and I was a woman on a mission!
So I stressed this would need to be a strategic “in-out-in-out-shake-it-all-about” affair i.e. run around, pick a couple of frocks up, sprint to the changing room, squeeze into something, wince and gurn in the changing room mirror, wince and gurn whilst gleaning Hannah’s daddys opinion, throw a card at the cashier (well, not throw; politely hand over whilst crying) and then get outta there…pronto!
Can you tell I don’t like shopping for me anymore?
But Hannah’s daddy LOVES shopping. REALLY, GENUINELY LOVES IT!!! He’s spent WHOLE days mooching round the shops looking for a perfect present for someone. I kid you not!
He’ll stand at the entrance of any women’s changing room (not in a pervy way though, just so we’re clear!), looking enthusiastic and giving honest opinions – and not the standard “yes, darling, you look perfect” (whilst rolling eyes covertly and wishing he was at home watching the telly).
No, this guy is good!
These days, we’re like chalk and cheese when it comes to shopping. I’m actually the one wishing I was at home watching the football/Gardeners World (Monty, I love you!)/Countryfile/anything!
…so, if anyone needs a shopping companion/personal shopping experience, I’ll gladly hire him out (for a small fee, obvs!) and I’ve no doubt he’d enjoy it immensely *wink*
Anyway, we decided the first stop would be John Lewis. I was SURE to find something (anything) there, wasn’t I?
It didn’t help that I wasn’t in the mood for shopping (although if I’d waited, I’d have probably waited for years to be in ‘The Mood For Shopping’) and I NEED a new frock. No, actually, I don’t ‘need’, I’m being stupid saying that…but I would ‘like’ a new frock as (in case you didn’t know) I’m hopefully – fingers and toes and everything else crossed – going to The BAPS Awards.
Eek! *gives a rabbit in the headlights but quite excited about it look*
So, we’re in John Lewis. I stuff myself into a couple of frocks – in the changing rooms, obvs…not in the middle of the store! I’m not comfy. I’m looking in the changing room mirrors and not liking what I see. I really should have shaved my legs/put on some decent undies/put a paper bag over my head/moisturised.
Time to go…home!
“We’ll just have a quick look in Selfridges” says Hannah’s daddy, whilst dragging me reluctantly (screaming internally) in that direction.
Oh God, oh no, this’ll end in tears…MY tears! I thought.
So, there’s me, trudging behind him like a sulky teenager whilst he carefully peruses the silks and organza’s and sumptuousness. It’s all a bit too shiny and nice in here for my liking.
I’m not used to this anymore. I’m out of practice.
The Stella’s and Beckhams and McQueens are held up and studied. All beautiful. All not me. All needing a second mortgage to buy them. I’d rather have been in Primarni…than Armani! I imagine me in everything that’s put in front of my face…and all I can think is – stuffed pig, trollop, spaniel’s ears, corned beef legs…oh, the thoughts are endless!
My self-esteem probably needs a bit of working on/tweeking, don’t you think?
And then….THEN…I see him. He’s wandered off whilst I’m in a trance…and is stood where he really shouldn’t be standing…and he knows it…and he’s stood there looking all pleased with himself and holding up ‘The Frock’ by one of my icons, like it’s the Holy Grail…and he sodding knows that too!
How very, VERY dare he!
“It’s about time you bought yourself something” he says. My interpretation of this comment being:
It’s about time you bought yourself something…because you can’t go to The Awards in your ‘best jumper’ that now has a huge hole in the arm where you ripped it on Hannah’s wheelchair OR those baggy track suit bottoms that have a big bleach stain on the knee.
They’re comfy. What more can I say?
So, the deed was done. I sob uncontrollably on the shop assistant and wipe my nose on his tie (I didn’t, honest!) and stress that whilst it was very nice to meet him, he shall never, EVER, see me again.
…and then Hannah’s daddy drives us home, whilst I lie on the back seat, looking pale and sweaty whilst swigging Rescue Remedy like it’s going out of fashion…I didn’t really do that either!
…maybe I ought to have, though!
Anyway, where’s this post going? It’s not all about frocks is it?
Oh no! No, it isn’t.
You see, there’s someone important that I missed out in all of this…Hannah!
We went out WITHOUT Hannah! *gasps in horror!*
Whilst the shopping stuff was a bit traumatic (slight exaggeration, really) we could just mooch around, at (sort of) leisure just like we used to do in the ‘Olden Days’, before Hannah came into our lives. Not having to think about special buggy’s or wheelchairs or changing bags or worrying about feeding or nappy changes felt quite nice…even if it was only for a couple of hours.
We used to take stuff like that for granted. Actually, we used to take everything for granted before Hannah came along…and that got me thinking…
Obviously, unless you walk/walked in our shoes, you’d never fully grasp JUST how restrictive and challenging it can be when caring for a child with additional needs….but it is, trust me. Probably even some parents of children without additional needs will be able to understand/empathise to some extent…but their kids will get bigger and less dependent and then independent…whereas our kids will probably ALWAYS be dependent on us, for everything.
You see, our life pretty much revolves around Hannah. And that’s okay, I’m SO not complaining…but everything, EVERYTHING, impacts on what you do, when you do it, how you do it…or when you don’t/can’t. And we took ALL this stuff completely for granted, without ANY consideration WHATSOEVER before.
…And it’s even simple stuff. Just a few tiny examples (I may elaborate another time, maybe):
- A trip to the loo/bathroom (alone) without having to worry about what a little person is doing/making sure they’re safe/or…best one yet; if they have to be with you whilst you’re on the loo, making sure they don’t wander off to put the shower on WHILST FULLY CLOTHED…yes, people, this has happened at Broccoli HQ!
- Walking around outside. Should be simple, really. Not so!
- Going out for meals.
- Waiting…for anything
- Safety…of anything!
- Travelling in the car
- Trips out
- Nappy changes
- Brushing teeth
- Buying shoes
- Toys – appropriateness/safety of.
- Vigilance – we must have eyes in the back of our heads…and use them, constantly!
- Time…oh, time…I took you for granted, my love!
- The weather/temperature
I could go on and on and on…but I won’t.
So, basically, life gets flipped over and thrown around a bit (lot) when you have a child with additional needs. Having the opportunity to have a couple of hours together, child free, is positively luxurious. Being a bit selfish and having only ourselves to think about feels good, really good…although there’s still the anticipation of getting a call on the mobile if something goes a bit wonky and parental intervention/an SOS emergency dash back is required.
But would I want the luxury of schlepping about in Selfridges or sitting in wine bars all day, every day, having waxes and manicures and spray tans and whatnot, without anyone else to think about?
Nope. Absolutely not. Actually, I’d rather chew my own leg off!
No, I’ve learned that life really isn’t about superficial ‘things’. I’d much rather be with my girl…feeling constantly exhausted, looking pale and uninteresting, getting bitten and mooching around in my dodgy tracky pants, any old day!
So, I guess that’s all for now, my lovelies.
…oh, but if anyone wants to hire a personal shopper (Hannah’s daddy), please let me know…I’m not kidding, either. He’s good!
Thanks, as always, for stopping by
Until next time