Why buying new pants isn’t a brief encounter

A pair of boxer shorts. Buying pants with three kids in tow is anything but a brief encounter.

Nothing is ever straightforward with three kids in tow. Take last weekend, for example. We needed to go into town to get a few new things.

The most urgent of which, as far as I was concerned, were some new pants. But a simple trip to buy them was anything but a brief encounter.

We decided to head in early to watch a film in the shiny new cinema in town first.¬†We’ve just put our house back on the market so, as well as ensuring everyone was up, washed, fed and dressed we needed to tidy up in case of short-notice viewings.

Somehow, though, we managed. Everyone looked presentable – as did the house – and we made it to the train station in time and without me needing to use my inhaler. A minor miracle.

We went straight to the cinema and enjoyed the film without any added drama. Then it was time to go shopping. Except the kids were getting hungry so we went for lunch instead.

To our surprise, they wanted to go for real food instead of stuff that comes with a five-minute wonder made of plastic. So we quickly found a voucher code and headed for an Italian restaurant.

That passed slowly but without drink spillages or fights over crayons. Then it was finally time to do the shopping. Off we went to my store of choice to browse the undercrackers.

Here, all three children decided they wanted to loudly and enthusiastically help. Well, after two of them ran off and tried to hide under the seats intended for people trying on shoes.

Youngest seemed to think we were shopping for her – because which self-respecting three-year-old girl wouldn’t want a pack of men’s boxer shorts?

She found the loudest, most garish pack possible – seriously, they made the pair in the image above look rather conservative – and hugged it to her chest. It took both of us to prise them from her grasp and put them back.

Then she tried to persuade me to choose them. No way. Next, the boys kept picking up packs. Oldest cheekily offered me some in extra-large. Git.

Finally, I found a pack of the correct size that looked the part. But there was one last problem. They used to be called ‘Jersey trunks’ but have now been rebranded as ‘Hipsters’.

If I end up growing an elaborate beard and drinking out of Mason jars, I’m going to take legal action. Another kind of brief encounter altogether…


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