Wednesday 4 August 2010

A memory jolt

When I read this post from Heather in Vermont it made me laugh and also reminded me of when my children were small, well, three of them anyway.
As they were . . .before the reminder! Is Gillian winking?
Barry didn't often go shopping with us unless there was something he needed to get that I couldn't buy for him. On one occasion he had to buy an overcoat but before we left the house he was surprised to hear me speaking very firmly to the children. They had not misbehaved in any way but I was just giving them the usual reminders to behave themselves while we were out. Of course, he had no idea this was the normal routine.
As they may have looked after the reminder! Expecting rain, Gareth?
When we arrived at the shop he was further taken aback when I told them all to sit on the (carpeted) floor. Without any fuss they all sat down, crossed their legs and folded their arms and waited patiently while their father set about trying on coats.
He was puzzled at what may have seemed draconian methods of dealing with his offspring but I think he had forgotten the time a few months earlier when Gillian had ended up in a shop window display, tangling with the clothes. (No-one offered to buy her!) He certainly wasn't there at a school assembly when Susannah marched onto the stage to be with her big sister, while all the other younger siblings sat obediently with their mothers.
Gareth and his sisters could never look only with their eyes - their tactile sense was very pronounced so passing close to anything that was remotely fragile was worrying. 'Mummy, what's that?' Prod, poke, crash! 
Actually, they never did break anything while we were out but table lamps in our house were doomed! Everything else lived up high out of harm's way. We considered having a pulley system whereby precious things could be raised to the ceiling during the day and then lowered in the evening when the children had gone to bed.
When Bethan was born a few years later, shopping was an altogether more relaxed affair.
Effectively, by the time Bethan was four years old she had two parents and three young adult siblings watching over her - poor child!
Keeping your eyes on one child is so much easier than constantly counting to make sure three are still present and correct.


  1. Funny! This reminds me of when my 3 were little. The age spread was about the same, and they were always into something unless I stayed on top of the situation at all times.
    Raising little ones is a challenge, but it's all worth it when they grow up well and bring their own little ones to visit.

  2. Very true - and what a pleasure it is to see them being loving and consistent with their own children.

  3. Lol, I just imagine them sitting on the floor ! I think my son counted for at least 3 because I stopped taking him with me when I went shopping. From 3 years on he just disappeared, I looked at something, and he vanished. How often I heard "Little Dario waits for his mum at the reception" ! It was terrible he didn't even do it on purpose. Later it was easier because at 15 he already mesured 1.90 m and now you see him even in a crowded street or shop with his 2 m !
    Some children are just like fleas ! Mr. G is like your Barry he only buys his shoes himself ! He hates shopping. I feel like Barbie dressing her Ken.

    BTW your children are really cute what beautiful blue eyesthe girls have !

  4. I enjoyed reading this story about when your children were young. I clicked on each child's tag and quickly skimmed through your blog posts seeing pictures of your children now grown and your grandchildren. You have beautiful children and grandchildren. I wish I had time to read your past blog posts.

  5. And you had me giggling all the way through this post :-)
    I've done that with my first labrador that I took shopping with me regularly. She was so cute, she would have walked away with anyone, so I dared not leave her outside shops. I just parked her in a corner next to the entrance and told her to stay. Which she did. Best dog I've ever had.

    Wouldn't dare to do something like that with hairy bunch of labs we now house. Prod, poke, crash! will be substituted with sniff, wag, crash!
    Shudder! Hehe.

    Very cute kids. They look like they come from a children's book. Something like the famous five ;-)

  6. Loved reading about your family, Janice. Those before and after reminder pictures were such vivid illustrations of the situation!!your children were adorable kids.
    i particularly loved that picture of Barry and little endearing!

  7. Thank you, kind respondents and you've reminded me of something else, Labrador-related and child-related too . . . don't hold your breath (as if you would ;-})

  8. It's bad enough taking two energetic kids to the shops, let alone three!

  9. Ahahaha! Oh yes, memories come flooding back of when mine were young, too! The boys were also very tactile - a very polite way of saying that they could not keep their hands to themselves! They never actually broke anything in a shop, but I had equally draconian ways of dealing with them when we were out. If they unbuckled their seat belts, the car stopped. If they whined for sweets in a shop, we went home without finishing the shopping, etc. You have to do it, don't you? Or there'd be chaos!

    Well. More chaos than usual, shall we say. LOL!

  10. Your children were certainly absolutely adorable!


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