Every Little Helps

Pre-pandemic I used to take Joshua to our local Tesco every weekend; he enjoyed the trip and would push the trolley and flirt with the other customers. That was one of the adventures that stopped suddenly when Covid -19 hit . We immediately switched to home deliveries and signed up for weekly deliveries. The van drivers would unload their van onto the garden benches in our yard. We would then wipe every item with antiseptic wipes, before bringing the shopping indoors and putting it away. My husband and I developed a system, he would tend to wipe while I went in and out of the house, usually with a cross Joshua hovering in the kitchen or at the door, getting in the way and suggesting a range of requests to try to distract us from the task. We have only just stopped wiping all of our shopping, but the driver still unloads it outside. We have found it a quick and reliable means of shopping and I am not inclined to return to our old way of pretty much daily trips to the supermarket on my home from work. We will continue with the home deliveries for the time being.

However I have started making occasional supermarket visits, typically to Aldi or Asda , on the way home from daycare to buy extra bits and pieces. I found that I have enjoyed those rare shopping trips. So today when I decided to try some gluten free baking for my visit to Scotland to see my first best friend, I needed to buy the gluten free ingredients. So I decided to take Joshua along too as he had not been there for almost 2.5 years. I wondered if he would have forgotten the routine but he soon showed me that he knew exactly what to do: He clung tight to our trolley and happily pushed it up and down aisles. He still dashed off if I stood looking at a shelf too long for his liking and waited at the end of the aisle for me to catch him, giggling his head off. The only new behaviour that he demonstrated was lifting his t shirt to flash his bare tummy to anyone who was passing, but nobody seemed to mind too much and they possibly thought that it was related to the heat . We worked down our shopping list, then I sat him down on the seats at the end of the tills, while I loaded the conveyor, packed the shopping and paid the bill. He seemed delighted as we walked together pushing the full trolley back to the car. It was very warm so that was enough excitement for one day and we headed home again. Joshua was worn out by his shopping trip, so while he lay down listening to his music, I tackled a new recipe for gluten free brownies with my new ingredients. They look and smell good so I am happy to call that experiment a success.

I think we will predominantly continue to rely on home deliveries, but then that will make occasional trips for top up shopping much more pleasant, as Joshua never had the stamina for a full weekly supermarket shop. Today marked yet another step back towards pre-pandemic normality and that should be celebrated, as we claw back the parts of our lives before Covid-19. Now we are hugging friends and family again, even indoors, and we are eating inside restaurants, so as the advertising slogan goes ‘Every Little Helps’. But rather than rushing back to what we had before, it is worth reviewing whether everything that we used to do, we want to pick up again. It might be worth spending time evaluating which parts of lockdown life you actually enjoyed , so might like to keep up. Especially as Covid numbers are on the rise again, lets maintain the parts of social distancing that did not inconvenience you too much and perhaps it will pay to be cautious, rather than jumping back into our old lives with both feet.

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