Terrible Twos: Supermarket Sweep

15/03/2011 11:20 | Updated 22 May 2015

supermarket sweepSo many lessons our two year-olds teach us! Lesson no. 471: consider well the consequences of your choice of gift.

Example: Ava's little shopping trolley. After a conversation about gender stereotyping and how gifts should encourage aspiration and creative thought, I still knew that what Ava likes to do most of all is what mummy does. And, as it goes, unfortunately mummy seems to spend a horribly disproportionate amount of time in supermarkets. It's my own fault. I always bloody forget something.

Anyway, I was right! Ava loved it and I felt suitably smug. I had scarcely imagined, though, before that Tuesday morning in Sainsbury's, quite the battle of wills I was about to experience.

So I had my shopping trolley (containing little sister Ruby) and excited Ava had hers (surprisingly sturdy, as you will see, and containing Hugo Bear). I had my list and Ava, it transpired, had her list too.

This is the (shortened, as I remember) list of items, in order, that got put into the tiny trolley by Ava and mostly taken out again by me, to various levels of disgruntlement/sorrow/fury/obliviousness:


party balloons

a 'you are 9!' birthday card

colouring pencils



non-stick baking tray (didn't fit in trolley)

6 bulbs of garlic (kept one)

2 packs cooked beetroot

1.5kg smoked gammon joint (which got dropped and was apologised to)

2 chorizos

3 packs honey roast ham (kept one)

a jar of something that looked indescribably foul and had a label that said 'Pamapol Lard With Meat'

black peppercorns

dried parsley

dried sage (tears at giving up this one for some reason)

tin of butterbeans (kept)

jelly cubes

4 packs of Organix fruit pots (kept one)

2 Sainsbury's Basics toothpastes

Colgate whitening toothpaste (kept)

Sensodyne something or other

12 pack of loo rolls (didn't fit in trolley)


2 pairs of tights

heavy duty garden refuse sacks

binbags (kept)

6 soft hotdog rolls

Curly Wurly

chocolate raisins

Curly Wurly

chocolate raisins (conceded and kept)

large pack sweet popcorn

At last (at last!) the checkout, where Ava, on tiptoes, put the mutually/begrudgingly agreed contents of her shopping trolley on to the conveyer belt, as I did mine. The lovely assistant packed for me, while I handed a slightly desperate Ruby snacks (it had been a long morning). I paid. We went home. I unpacked the shopping, and all was in order... one rogue item.

Given none of us will contemplate eating it (even Ava), that tin of rice pudding ("Awww, poor poo-din") will no doubt sit in the food cupboard for months – unloved, unwanted, watching as tins of tomatoes and kidney beans come and go.

PS. One tin of rice pudding seeks good home. Pick up only.

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