Shopping with Lakshmi

Our first clothes shopping trip

‘Peppa,Peppa’, Lakshmi trills as she checks to see if I am awake. This is followed by ‘George, drum’. She mimics George’s drum rolling movement followed by Peppa blowing her trumpet action. She seems to be in a much happier mood this morning than she was when I went to pick her up yesterday evening. The lack of afternoon nap meant she was tired and grumpy. She fell asleep as I drove her to the train station. We were going to Westfield to do some shopping. I park the car near the station and wait for her to wake up. She wakes up crying. I cannot take her like this. People might think that I’ve stolen this child. The way she is behaving at the moment, it looks like she might even side with them. I try to pacify her by showing her the passing trains. Slowly she settles down.

There are plenty of seats on the tube and yet this lady with her children sits opposite us and starts her sneezing fits. She covers her nose in a cursory way which doesn’t do much to prevent the spread of her germs. I don’t want to appear rude but cannot take this for long. I move down the carriage and a couple of stops later we are at Stratford.

Lakshmi is happy to walk with me as we walk towards the shopping centre. A station lady smiles and waves to her as we pass. At the Centre I can hear music and see people gathered around some car promotion activity. The singer sounds like a man but has the body of a woman to die for. She has two men dancing with her. We watch her sing and dance to a couple of songs. Lakshmi seems enthralled.

At the store, the attendants are quite happy to help me. I tell them that this is the first time I’m clothes shopping with my grandchild. The attendant is also a grandmother to an eleven month old. Lakshmi plays peek a boo around the clothes stands. I worry when she disappears for the few seconds. I pick up some clothes randomly and we go to try them on. Lakshmi is now playing hide and seek behind the curtains of the cubicle. In between she runs to the next cubicle with me in pursuit in various stages of undress. I pick two tops and pay for them. I’m not entirely sure if they suit me but don’t have the time to try them on again. Lakshmi wants to see the dancers, but it looks like they’ve left for the evening.

We meet up with Lakshmi’s Appu and find a restaurant with a short waiting time. A Mexican restaurant has space. Lakshmi enjoys the chicken and chips and devours the chocolate brownie. She has inherited her mum’s and granddad’s sweet tooth. Soon her tummy is also starting to resemble their’s. It is late and time to head home.

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