Because, once these same children reach an age where they no longer need a buggy (however much you beg them to sit in one) and they can talk, shopping becomes awkward.
Mini is racing ever closer to 5 years old now, and, as such, she's pretty independent. She still holds my hand on the pavement, and walks beside me when in the safety of a shop or the precinct. However, she now likes to peruse the aisles as well, asking for things or asking what something is.
Most of the time, it's only toys, or magazines, she's interested in. I'm not stingy with sweets and cookies indoors (although we have strict rules governing when they eat these treats), so it's only the odd time she asks for those.
Recently, she has discovered the joys of lipstick or gloss. Or, more to the point, my lipstick and gloss. After my tool box (yes, I have that much make up, I'm an addict, but it's a cheap little treat) fell off the top of the bathroom cabinet, I moved it into my bedroom. Except she can reach, and regularly appears downstairs with lipstick semi-expertly applied. She favours my Revlon Red brush gloss (which is fine, I was trying to find a red that suited my pale skin. This was not it), and it suits her in a weird way. It's all down to her discovering Wizard of Oz over Christmas and being instantly hooked.
She also likes to paint her nails and toe nails. We know when she's decided to manicure herself when she pops upstairs for ages with the excuse of using the bathroom. Again, she's quite adept at doing the job- quite bad as I'm particularly cack handed at it myself.
I don't mind her exploring girlie activities, all be it at home- I'm not sending her to school with Revlon on any part of her anatomy- as I lived in a home where you never saw my Mum wear any form of beauty product. I don't think my Mum even wore perfume of any kind (I have about 40 bottles), so it's great for her to learn and have fun.
One thing I didn't think she'd be interested in- underwear.
Cue awkward conversation today in Peacocks sale.
I took her in to have a look. I went yesterday with Littlest and he was bought some tops and jumpers for school, so on looking in Mini's wardrobe and seeing a lack of jeans, thought I'd take her and treat her.
We didn't find any we liked, so I had a quick look on the ladies sale rails, picking up some new underwear on the way. At which point Mini picked up a pair of pants, which were a thong style, and asked if she could have them.
Now, this begs the question- how do you explain the functions of a thong to someone who is 4?
I tried to pass it off by saying they aren't her size. Except Mini wears age 6, due to her height, and guess what- the pants were a ladies size 6. They were also rather small. So she didn't buy it.
I told her no, but then she noticed the thong bit and started to laugh, asking why the people who made them forgot to sew on the back. By this time, a pair of teenage girls were standing beside us, killing themselves laughing at Mini. I explained that perhaps that was why they were in the sales, as they were faulty, and then pointed out they weren't as nice as her pants as they don't have Peppa Pig on them.
Thinking I'd got away with it, I manoeuvred her to the till- yet on the way, she spotted more thongs, with Mickey Mouse on them. Thanks Peacocks (and who wears thongs with Mickey Mouse on them? Its hardly two things you'd think went hand in hand).
What did I do?
I promised her a new lipgloss!
So, yes, I lament the lost days of buggy-dom.