Chapter 21-Mother’s Little Helper

Rarely a day goes by without worrying about my parenting skills. But Raffie’s cry of “don’t forget the wine Mummy!” pretty much confirmed my lack of abilities to the parliament of pensioners in the supermarket queue.

Unfortunately we go there regularly, but Raffie loves the supermarket and spends a lot of time writing out his shopping list beforehand with due care and attention. And after all, he is only being helpful. Raffie’s shopping list usually consists of the following:

Butter, toast, milk, toast, yoghurt, orange juice, eggs, butter, chocolate bourbon biscuits, wine for Mummy, beer for Daddy.

Planning his next expedition.

Planning his next expedition.

As you can see, he is a boy whose favourite meal is breakfast and who remembers the important things in life, although can’t remember to shut the fridge door or that no-one really likes shouting, ever.

Writing and drawing are two very different things in Raffie’s, the former being a careful row of vertical lines or bunched up spidery squiggles on lined paper. The
latter appearing on a number of inappropriate surfaces around the house, not least the fridge door.

Raffie has had a tough week. He has been suffering with a perfect storm of ailments which has made him sick, grouchy and thoroughly miserable. But being helpful around the house is something which takes his mind off it. He likes to mop the kitchen floor with the hand towel, clean down the hearth with his wipes, help with the washing up by hurling items into the bowl, and pours flour on the floor so that he can sweep it back up with his toy broom and dustpan and brush.

Outside, he has been picking up individual leaf after leaf between his finger and thumb and escorting each one to the bin and back, along with any blades of grass he has taken issue with.

Off to the garden bin.

Off to the garden bin.

Another favourite is using an old sponge to clean the glass in the back doors with water from his sand and water table. I would say though his laundry skills are improving, now handing me laundry to hang up on the washing line rather than pulling it all off the clothes horse.

The end results are often far from perfect, but his enthusiasm and pleasure in helping is a joyful contrast to the crying and distressed toddler we have had to try and soothe day and night this week.

Raffie running with two of his favourite purchases.

Raffie running with two of his favourite purchases.

To me, shopping both a sour reminder of the cost of living and how I wish I bit the bullet and just did it online more. But to Raffie, carrying a basket or sitting in a trolley at the supermarket is often one of life’s great pleasures. And it’s comforting to know that as I struggle up and down the aisles with a pushchair while people tut at me, thanks to Raffie at least I’ll never come home without the wine. And for that, I am truly grateful.

A perfect end to a perfect shopping trip.

A perfect end to a perfect shopping trip.


I find parenting a daily steep learning curve whether or not Raffie is yelling in the supermarket. Learner Mother’s blog is a slice of family life from sunny Cardiff and features lots of lovely photos too. You can find out more here

24 thoughts on “Chapter 21-Mother’s Little Helper

  1. So glad to hear of another little boy who loves shopping… For a while one of Adrian’s favourite phrases was ‘we got that from Aldi!’. We tried calling wine ‘mummy and daddy juice’ for a while but he wasn’t fooled and quickly realised that shouting about getting wine when you are in a shop produced a good deal of parental embarrassment, which equals fun! How do they know?!

  2. Ha! I love your descriptions of Raffie’s helpful activities, and they do sound familiar, as do the loud reminders in the alcohol aisle…glad to know I’m not alone! Love the blog, looking forward to more 🙂

    • Hello there, lovely to hear from you and thank you so much! Yes, yesterday he also asked anyone who’ll listen what a drunken sailor is! Thank you, and glad you are enjoying the blog xx

  3. How lovely – such enthusiasm! So sweet that he has a little list too. Like you, I end up in the supermarket with my son most days. I used to feel a bit bad about it but then I realised that he really enjoys his time there – lots of things to look at, people to smile at and usually a treat of some sort in the basket or trolley for him! Hope Raffie is feeling better soon (and that my son develops similar cleaning up capabilities as he gets older!) x

    • Hello there, thank you-yes it’s nice to be so enthusiastic about something which can be a bit uninspiring at times! But like you say there’s lots of things to see and we can do things like counting as well! Thank you, I think he has turned a corner today so fingers crossed! xxx

  4. Ha ha-loved that he reminders you about the wine-a friend of mine has a similar story-her little one refers to wine as ‘mummy juice’ and reminds her mum to get it at the supermarket! #magicmoments

    • Hiya that’s awesome! I love that. We have Raffie juice (milk), perhaps we should introduce Mummy juice as well! Thanks so much for visiting my blog, it’s lovely to hear from you x

  5. I sometimes try and make my kids have a competition on who can keep still longest when I’m buying wine in the supermarket. (Mainly as I have visions of them chasing each other and knocking all the wine over!)

    • Brilliant! We’ll have to try that one too. We have to keep Raffie confined to the pushchair or trolley still as if we let him run loose he just pulls things off the shelves! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog, I really appreciate it. x

  6. Your Raffie sounds a right Angel, and if ever he runs out of cleaning, he is more than welcome round mine!!! 🙂 Lucas regularly asks me in the supermarket whether i’m buying any ‘Mummy Juice’ – *red cheeks* loved reading this #magicmoments

  7. We forget that the things we see as boring chores are new and interesting to children. I love the image of him picking up one leaf at a time to take to the bin! We went and swept our neighbour’s leaves the other day and the children had an absolute ball….

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