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Forays into suburbia...

Well, we have three major shopping centres near us (relative near us), let's call them shopping centre A, B, and C... We used to always shop at centre B, but over the years it's become very crowded, and basically the major demographic of the centre leaves us feeling socially and culturally ostracised. So, when we moved back to this suburb after living elsewhere for 18 monts, we found we were just as close to shopping centre A, which demographically was more "home" to us.

Unfortunately, this week we found out the major renovations of shopping centre A that we've been hearing about for about 6 months is far more extensive than we'd thought it would be, and not only is the supermarket we usually shop from closing, but also the alternate supermarket. This leaves us with the option of going back to shopping centre B for groceries, or shopping elsewhere. We really can't face grocerie shopping with three kids (and yes, we all have to go), in the crowded, culturally foreign supermarket where we often feel invisible or just plain ignored with our trolley and kids and whatnot...

Shopping centre C would be an option, but is really too far away, requiring two busses and an hour's travel each way. I don't mind going there for larger shopping trips, or meeting friends for coffee, and it's not far from the boys' school really, the same second bus, but for the major undertaking of weekly grocery shopping for a family of five on public transport, it's too much of a challenge...

Soooo, this is my long, and possibly confusing, way of coming to the point that we had to find a working alternative.

Dave told me last night that one of our local busses actually goes to a small shopping centre in the next suburb if you take the bus in the opposite direction to which we normally would take it. He then tells me the bus trip is only about 10 minutes, so very similar to shopping centres A and B... When I looked at the time table it was actually only 6 minutes away, so shorter even!

So, it was decided (I decided) we should investigate this new shopping centre as a possible replacement for our beloved supermarket at shopping centre A...

Turns out shopping centre D, as it'll be known now, is quite pleasant. There's a nice big cafe there. A supermarket of the same variety as the one we ususally shop at, though more crowded, but the crowd speaks our social language I guess, though about 75% of them are silverhaired... The other 25% seem to be our very own demographic with little kiddies. Certainly the centre has more than it's fair share of those annoying rides for little people.

The supermarket had very narrow isles, but the fruit was in better shape. It also offers the full range of groceries we're used to. We are thinking of trying out the "other" brand of supermarket available at the shopping centre, just to see if it is less crowded and has wider isles, because that would really suit us better with our entourage.

The is one major bonus to this little shopping centre, and that is that it had a video hire place (DVD hire? It's been so long since I've been in one)... Our local one shut down a couple of years ago, in favour of smaller independant places that offered foreign language films specific to the major cultural demographic in the suburb. I'm very excited at the prospect of being able hire movies again!!! I'm so excited that I'm actually going to take the boys down there on Tuesday and get me a card (hopefully, if they don't need a driver's lisence)...

So, it's a sleepy little centre, reminiscent of our local in Bendigo, but yes, it'll do just fine thank you... Thank goodness for that!

On a parenting note. The boys were a bit more ratty today when out, expeically Luey, but I felt like I handled it ok. At one point I got extremely frustrated with Erik who was hopping about not making eye contact with me while I was trying to explain to him why it's dangerous for him to run along the road, right at the edge of nature strip, even if HE knows he won't fall into the road, the drivers don't know that and could have an accident while watching him instead of the road... I ended up yelling, but yelled that I was getting frustrated because I felt he wasn't listening when I was trying to tell him something important because I was scared he might get hurt or someone else might get hurt. He seemed to get that.

Luey was W H I N I N G about everything he could think of especially when we got to the centre. He wanted to put the granny shopping bag, though he'd promised Erik could have it once they got to the centre. Then he wanted a drink, so we went to get a drink, but then he wanted something to eat, so we said we could get something small, then he wanted a ride on one of those bloody machines, and I said we didn't have money for that too, then he wanted the seat that Erik was sitting in, or the seat I was sitting in... Eventually, I took him outside. We sat on the bench and he was crying and whinging and groaning, and I just sat there quietly for a minute, then I asked him why he was so upset, and he said, "I just want what I want". I said we were trying to give him as much of what he wanted as we could, but we couldn't give him what we didn't have, and he could have a drink and something to eat AND a ride. He could pick two of those three things but not all three. He said he just wanted something to eat and a ride. I suggested he'd get thirsty later and then want something to drink because it's hot, and we wouldn't be able to get anything. Then he said if he got an icy pole it would be something cold and wet that he could EAT, and then he could have a ride too...

So, both the boys got icypoles, and a ride.

He was still pretty whiney after that, but I felt like I could deal with it, because we'd come to some sort of agreement over the food/drink/ride issue. He agreed to sit in the trolley for most of the shopping, and then when he wanted out of the trolley he agreed to stay close to us. So, on the whole it worked out, and I understood he was feeling crappy because he hadn't slept well in the heat. After lunch he had a three hour nap...

Comments

Juniper said…
I know what you mean re: Shopping Centre A. I was there today and I had *no* idea it was doing so many renovations. First inkling was when I was in K-mart, and it was closing down, empty shelves! Then both supermarkets were lacking in variety as they are closing up too, so I needed to go to *both* to manage all of what I needed. Suffice to say, *I* won't be going back there any time soon.

Not that I go there for food shopping usually anyway, as my very favourite preference is Shopping Centre B. As long as I go ASAP in the morning, it isn't too busy, and I love the fresh food options.

I am *very* interested to hear (privately) where Shopping Centre D is, as it sounds pretty good.

And last but not least, you know my opinionated opinion is that your shopping woes would disappear if only your DH would get his license... But, no point living in the "what if's" - and you are doing a great job scouting out new options that suit you and your 3 kids while supermarket shopping. Seriously, shopping with 2 *school aged* kids (who should know better) isn't very much fun, let alone smaller kids and a baby/toddler! You deserve a medal!
Sif said…
Hahahaha, ao funny that you know which shopping centres I'm talking about!

Yeah, some things would be easier if Dave would just get his lisence. Though, Luey's crankiness today, and need to have a whinge about something, ANYTHING, would have been the same, car or no car, I guess...

I'll tell you about shopping centre D next time we catch up :)...
casso said…
Have you tried internet shopping? I think it can be a litle more expensive, but I'm looking into it once we move. Sounds like your new shopping centre rocks though!

And stoked to hear about Luey too - what a clever guy working out the icypole answer! Sounds like you worked with him really well too. So you should be proud of yourself and him!

Doesn't this heat just drain the hell out of you when you go out though? I'm with juniper, you deserve a medal going out with all three boys on public transport. You'll think everything is so much easier when you only have Bryn to go out with!

Cheers, Cass
Sif said…
We've done three periods of internet shopping. Once when Luey was born, and it was all new and shiny, it was ok, but the service quality dropped after a few deliveries and we kept having to call back and get our order fixed up...

The second time, we found the same thing, and we also found that we had to do a lot of extra shopping because we preferred picking our own produce, and we eat a lot of fresh produce, not so much of the pre-packaged stuff.

The last time was after Bryn was born, and we stopped after just a month, because basically they kept holding us to ransome. We'd order something they didn't have in stock, or they'd get an order wrong, and they'd just "credit our account", so take our money, and not give us what we ordered, holding the money over till our next order. We live on a very tight budget, and so this meant spending extra money going out to buy the essentials that hadn't been delivered, argh! They currently have $22 of our money "in credit" that we'll never get back unless we shop with them but I just got so frustrated ringing week after week to get something fixed or to let them know they'd forgotten something, etc...

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