Categories
Finland Storytelling

Shopaholic With An Excuse

Having kids is great, because I get to indulge my inner shopaholic. Living in Finland, a country with four distinct seasons, there’s always something on my shopping list.

Don’t get me wrong, there are other good sides to having kids, obviously! They are adorable and remind me that some people really do have hearts of pure gold.

They give me an excuse to go see my colleague’s puppy.

I get to beam with pride when they learn to swim or score a goal.

And they say funny things, like “Yo is hi in daddy language,” and “I’d like to go to Australia one day, but can we please leave our coats at home, because it’s hot over there?”

Now, I don’t know if I did something wrong, but my kids get terribly excited whenever I tell them we are expecting new raincoats or socks in the mail. Since the poor kids can’t expect a puppy of their own with a mum who’s allergic, at least I’m comforted by knowing they’ll appreciate good outdoors wear or reasonably priced firefighter prints. My favourite print has dogs surfing while holding cameras.

I certainly don’t remember caring for clothes at their age, but then again I wore a uniform to school. Uniforms are like the opposite of clothes, in a way. My boys, on the other hand, wear superhero shirts, or even entire superhero outfits to daycare. Today, I had to walk over to daycare twice, because in my sleepy, groggy state I had arrived there with two kids on bikes and one Batman outfit short.

Online shopping has become a bit of an addiction and I’m always scouting around for sales and second hand items now. Comparing clothes and prices online is just so easy, compared to pre-pandemic and pre-kids real-life shopping, when I actually had to burn calories wandering around and carrying my own bags.

When I visited Honolulu years ago, I was surprised at a shop assistant asking me if she could take the clothes I wanted to try into the dressing room to wait for me, freeing my hands for more purchasing. But over here, that would never happen. At some point, pre-online shopping just had to end because I’d run out of hands. There was a limit to it.

Online, there are no such problems and I even order our groceries online. You could even go as far as to order pharmacy products, but thank goodness, I’m not there yet. There is still room for growth in this hobby of mine.

The fun thing is that if you order pharmacy products in certain areas of town, they’ll drop them off in a drone. A drone! In this country of introverts and engineers marrying introverts and engineers, I’m sure they were already planning this way before the pandemic. Wanting to avoid people has never been this popular, but it’s always been around.

In the online shopping business, things don’t always go smoothly, though. I ordered some extravagant shampoo just to feel pampered, and my order was delivered to my neighbour two floors down. After some detective work, I located it and brought it home only to realise I’d ended up getting someone else’s soaps (but not the neighbour’s). Rose, lavender and vanilla soaps were packed inside, along with a birthday surprise: an enourmous basket. No wonder the shampoo package had been so large and clumsy!

The store then sent a courier to pick it up in exchange for my real order, but he claimed had no idea he was supposed to pick anything up and now I think he just pampered himself with the pink, scented soaps and picnic basket. All jobs must have their perks, eh?

I do try to have other hobbies, but I’m largely misunderstood by my living companions. When I was attending a creative writing group, my kids asked their dad some tricky questions.

“Where’s mummy?”

“She’s at a writing course learning to write.”

“Doesn’t she know how to write?”

“Err… yes, but she wants to write better.”

“Does she write poorly?”

“No comments.”

Unsatisfied, the questioning continued the next day.

“Mummy, did you sit on one of those little chairs we have at daycare?”

“Mmm, no, what do you mean?”

“When you were at daycare learning to write.”

Whatever I do, it always comes back to daycare and my two trendsetters in Easter Batman outfits. Shopping is just one of those mummy ordeals that we have to deal with.

69 replies on “Shopaholic With An Excuse”

Haha! How sweet they must be right now. 🙂 Mommy learning to write! Tell them that we are learning some things all our lives. I love your city through your eyes. Just today I was wondering how you are and when you will post again, and voila! Drone delivery would be a huge no no in Italy, amore says. A new sport would be born. Drone crime. Wishing you well!

Liked by 2 people

But surely you have drones? So drone crime might already exist. I’ve always wondered at how easy drones could make it to check out apartments worthy of robbing and time it when the residents are gone. Just fly the outside an apartment building’s windows… Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. We are fine. Busy and work-exhausted as usual. Hope you’re well, too. Happy Easter!

Liked by 1 person

Your children sound so cute and with so many questions to answer, must keerp you very busy. One Easter Batman suit short isn’t a good thing at all. 🙂 i also enjoy online shopping which I think has become a national sport. Amazon is wonderful here in the US. We get next day delivery and it’s so easy to send stuff back if it doesn’t suit. Happy Easter.

Liked by 1 person

We don’t have Amazon. The last time I ordered from Germany’s Amazon, one of the items never arrived… and our delivery times are long, too! But for kids clothing, all the brands offer it so I’ve always got an order pending at one store or another…

Liked by 1 person

I do enjoy reading your stories about your little ones.

On drone delivery, I have a question. It sounds like you live in a multi-level, multi-family building. Does the drone deliver to the building’s entrance and alert the buyer to come outside to accept delivery ? or does it ring a doorbell and find it’s way up the stairs? Maybe it’s like Harry Potter’s owl and knocks on your window to let them in? I think it cannot be the latter two but I’m having fun imagining it.

We are not so advanced here in Toronto, although there’s lots of talk about drone delivery

Liked by 1 person

I wondered about that too. I live in New York and our packages are dropped off by folks who carry it in UPS / Fedex / Amazon vans / trucks. Also: I found this interesting: “In this country of introverts and engineers marrying introverts and engineers.” Is that so?

Liked by 1 person

Thanks, Sandy! I would love it if a drone knocked on my window to deliver stuff – but not so much if I hadn’t ordered anything!!! The pharmacy drone delivered the orders to a neighbourhood park. I think they were still in trial mode, maybe it was easier to land in an open area.

Liked by 1 person

That makes sense. In distribution logistics the ‘last mile’ for delivery is the most expensive and most customer sensitive. Cutting down on the human intervention from pickup to destination is why drone delivery is so desirable. Also why owl delivery would be so much better.

Liked by 1 person

Lovely piece! Somehow it is an enthraling thought, you sitting on a tiny chair or even at a school-desk, the tip of your tongue sticking out, trying to write a perfect A. (Using, like when I was young, crown pen and ink.) But do I understand correctly you stopped attending writing class? And went for online shopping instead? I wish I could do that and find myself a pair of really well fitting shoes. Or a Batman providing such an item. In reality I keep trodding from one store to the other, wearing out the shoes I have now and DO fit really well, and not going anywhere. Maybe a drone from Finland would be the solution. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Hahahah, I was amused by that too: the thought of me sitting on the tiniest little chair, holding a pen in my fist, trying to write 😋 I like how my kids just associated daycare at The Place To Learn.
Oh, the writing group only met for a couple of months, last autumn, and it wasn’t really a class. I haven’t really been able to find another class or group to join… especially since I write in English.

Liked by 1 person

I love that second photo! Especially with the snow. I also loved this: “They are adorable and remind me that some people really do have hearts of pure gold.” The boys comments about going to Australia echo my own son’s pleas when he was small. “Mum, can we please go to Denmark – just for the weekend, please!” The concept of needing two trips of twenty four hour was not understood by him at that point. The sweet, heartwarming innocent delight of children!
I loved it but hated the effect of dragging kids around shops. You are indeed lucky to have online shopping! I started online grocery purchasing as soon as I could as it was so much easier. Funnily enough I have reverted to in person shopping for groceries now that I don’t have little people to monitor. Come to mention it, I don’t notice kids in the supermarket now at all. If I do, they are quite ratty and so badly behaved!
The internet is such a double-edged sword. Reducing loneliness in some ways, yet decreasing those chances for incidental communication via ordinary daily activities.
What a good Mum you are to retrieve the second Batman outfit!
Finally, I have also recently started 2 writing classes – with mixed results! Good on you. Are you enjoying it?

Liked by 1 person

Kids in the supermarket: I avoid that because it’s just an unnecessary hassle! But when I was a kid in Brissie, I remember late night shopping in my pj’s. And daytime shopping in my “togs”. I think we chatted about this before. Both concepts are very exotic here! In addition to the weather, another reason might perhaps be that people are introverts and don’t want to be looked at, but there are exceptions. I used to see an elderly lady each morning smoking a cigarette in her bathrobe and bathroom slippers, outside on a street in downtown Helsinki, with her dog. Her hair was always up in rollers. She was like the female Dude from The Big Lebowsky 😊 So hmm, I guess you have a point: nothing very interesting happens to you when you just stay home. That’s a good reason to shop in the real world.
As for writing classes, I only did the one group in autumn, but it ended and that was it. I was way older than the others and my style was so different, I didn’t really fit in. They just wanted to talk about representing minorities in writing, and that topic continued each time: I’m nowhere near thinking about such things in my writing! And I haven’t managed to find any other groups or classes: Helsinki is such a small town, not much on offer. But what kind of courses are you taking? Are you enjoying it? Do you have a goal?

Like

Brisbane was laid back years ago and kids did roam the streets in their togs in the long hot summers.
No doubt we have spoken about supermarket shopping in Brisbane before. Being younger, I believe your memory might be better than mine!
It is a shame that Helsinki doesn’t offer more in the way of writing. There is always a zoom class somewhere though. Or you could start a virtual group and hopefully attract Finland’s talented writers! I found some good online courses via youtube – Reedsy and Median.com The group I have joined is disappointing in some ways as it is not so much guided around writing tools as reading a piece of work out to the group, but listening to other people’s stories can be a learning experience.
Do I have a goal? Not specifically. I do want to improve my writing as I just wing it and have no tertiary education in that area to guide me. Mind you, I am no fan of the classics so would probably have hated University lectures in that realm. Many of the people in the groups are aiming at writing their own books. (some of them poets already have self-published)

Liked by 1 person

Laid back, ah that describes the tone of my memories so well, and it’s also what Finland definitely isn’t, or wasn’t back then. Probably a huge influence to my culture shock upon coming here.
I don’t really need a writers’ group, just thought it would push me a bit and inspire me. We too focused on reading aloud and I do think I learned some new things about myself and was able to define my style and analyse it in a way I’d had no need to do before.
I plan on writing a book and recently I’ve discovered, very much thanks to the Croatian blogger Tanja’s encouragement, that my genre is perhaps childrens’ books. I’d like to dive into it, but my job takes up so much of my energy and screen time that it feels hard to find the time, and my poor eyes are always tired. I’m happy to hear you just want to improve, because I appreciate bloggers that put some effort into their posts, and from your posts you can definitely tell that they are carefully crafted 😊

Like

I love the Batman costumes, superhero wear, and most of all online shopping! In the south we have goodwill which is a second hand store and Walmart… I buy new clothes at Walmart and we almost always shop goodwill instead of brand new. No point in ruining something expensive with farm attire and wear and tear 🤣😅. Your daycare sounds great to allow your kids to express themselves!! Motherhood makes life interesting ❤️ this week I’m a mom of three. I only birthed one but my SIL needed a hand so I took her two in. One is autistic and there’s a bit of a learning curve with the wild child but I’m enjoying every moment with them!

Liked by 1 person

Thanks for reading and chatting! How’s the mom of three thing going? 😊 I shop for second hand clothes for the kids as much as I can, and the rest I get on sale, always. Facebook marketplaces are quite popular over here, and through them, I’ve managed to sell my kids’ old clothes quite easily, too. It makes sense to recycle those clothes since they are only worn for such a short time. Although right now, my boys aren’t leaving their clothes in selling condition as much as they used to 🤣 All their pants and jeans have holes in the knees! I don’t know how they do it in the winter time, when they only wear them indoors anyway!

Liked by 1 person

One kid is hard, two is worse, and thee is the equivalent of a thousand kids 😬🤣. I’m exhausted!! They are acting out and I’m just trying to keep everyone alive and mentally & physically healthy. It’s hard to do when they are acting out ❤️😅

Liked by 1 person

It’s made more complicated because they aren’t “mine”. How they were raised is very different from how I’ve raised Nikolai and because their mom is sick and they’re here… they’re angry and taking it out on me. I’m trying to be fun/ understanding/ lenient but firm. It’s a challenging line to walk. The youngest is basically lashing out and looking for a fight. She will say inappropriate things and when I refuse to acknowledge her behavior to give her the satisfaction… she pops off with “did you hear me?! Did you hear what I just said to you?!” 😤 and I have to walk away and take five, then come back and say “ya want pizza with that?” 🤣😅

Liked by 1 person

drone delivery? I don’t think we have that yet but i’m not sure. Covid certainly made online shopping even more appealing. we’ve been getting our groceries delivered for many years. makes it so easy.

Liked by 1 person

Has been waiting for your post to read, this is such a delightful and funny entry! Especially about your kids questioning their mommy’s ability to read 😅. Your kids are just adorable and curious. Now, all superheroes must be ever ready to question everything don’t they? 🤣

I love that Finland is a country of introverts, sounds so tempting to be in the introvert world as where I come from, it is very opposite. And drone, wow! How does it work, like it will take a photo of you receiving the item as proof of receipt? Haha.

Liked by 1 person

Thanks, dear friend! These superheroes definitely have opinions and aren’t afraid to tell them! I’m happy you found my post funny, I like to bring a smile. As for the drone, not sure how they make sure the right person got it. Over here, photos are generally not taken, i.e. no proof of delivery is needed because we are such a trusting people 😊 Hahah, really! It astonishes me sometimes how trusting and sincere people are here. Once, I sold my kids’ old double stroller online for 80 euros (which I thought was quite a good price), and the buyer took a train from another city to fetch it, and paid me in advance while traveling here! I mean, she hadn’t even seen the stroller up close, in real life, and she just paid me, a stranger, almost 100 euro up front. When she arrived, I was afraid she’d be disappointed! But it went fine.

Liked by 1 person

That is just unbelieveable the level of trust toward each other. Living in one of the most trusting people countries in Europe surely helps a lot with mental health! I envy and one day I wish to travel to Finland without worrying about safety and being con. lol. It’s not so much here though, your handphone if you put it on the coffee shop table and turn your head, it may suddenly vanish!

Liked by 2 people

A lot of people leave their bags if they go to the bathroom at a cafe or the movies or something, over here. I’ve never been conned in Finland. But it’s not a perfect place, there are plenty of faults, just like everywhere else. Hope you do get to visit one day! 😊

Liked by 2 people

How nice to experience these simple things like leaving your things attended for a while as daily things. Sounds like in Japan! I do wish to visit one day, especially Scandinavian countries. Very expensive for Asian, but worth it. I shall start saving 😀

Liked by 2 people

I’m not one to enjoy shopping in person or online. I understand why you enjoy it, but I find it overwhelming. On the flip side I do like the idea of all that is available at the click of my fingers and if a drone delivered what I bought, I’d get more interested. That sounds like fun. I’m a complicated woman, I guess.

Liked by 1 person

Stay complicated, Ally! 😊 Luckily there are still options. I never enjoyed real life shopping, almost hated it as much as I hate the hair dresser’s! Don’t know how those things are supposed to be enjoyable! But online shopping is so easy. I also get the bonus of feeling super efficient, since I get to quickly cross things off my list. I mostly shop for just practical things that we actually need.

Liked by 1 person

For the kids, I just get a size that’s slightly too big 😊 And if it’s a Spanish chain like Mango or Zara, I get an even bigger size, because apparently Finnish boys are taller than Spanish ones, judging by the sizes!

Like

I love children (other people’s children) at that age, when everything is new and exciting and they are starting to develop their own personalities. I never considered shopping for them to be a benefit of having children. I’m sure if I had kids they’d be like cats and hate everything I bought them.

Once I got over the excitement of shopping online I found I bought less. I stick things into my cart and then let it sit there for a few days while I decide if I really need it. Sometimes it mysteriously disappears. Apparently I did not need that. When I had to drive a couple hours to shop I found myself buying things I didn’t need and didn’t always even like just to justify the trip.

Liked by 1 person

That’s smart, to leave things for a few days. I used to do that when I real-life-shopped. Online, I tend to get carried away more easily. I’ve also made mistakes because I didn’t read the description closely enough… Thanks for dropping by and Happy Easter!

Like

Tell those kids (and dad too) that mummy writes just fine! Living in the middle of an ocean, online shopping is something of a boon, but I try not to get carried away or depend on one source (Amazon) because you never know when they’ll turn on you. As for drone delivery, I’d be the old duffer complaining about the noise or shooting them down!

Liked by 1 person

Here in the south, two days ago our waste bin was stolen. It was outside next to the front door, on the street sidewalk, as usual. Drones? Here? Well,
they wouldn’t last a delivery 😅😂
Happy Peaceful Eastern 🕊️
Sid

Liked by 1 person

Oh my goodness!!!!!!! What do they want with a used trash can?!?! Maybe the delivery drones could just drop the stuff from very high, and they’d land nicely with mini parachutes… and the drones would stay safely out of reach? 😋 But then who would catch the delivery, well that’s another story…. Happy Easter, dear Sid!

Liked by 1 person

I also wanted to learn how to write Hehehe…!
When it comes to shopping online, I am totally the opposite. I love shopping but I wanted to see it esp clothes cuz it´s dissapointing when it doesn´t fit. But with my painting stuff, i definitely go online. One of the great things I´ve learned living here in Germany is to make a shopping list–my life was totally changed!
And yes, having kids is a life changer.
we hiked a mountain and my daughter is wearing a ninjago mask, not a typical Corona mask but an entire face shield mask in green! Every single person passed by always looked at us like we are the weirdest group! It will come a long way!
Ahhh the addiction of shopping, I love it,but I guess that my wallet is fat enough to buy all the things that I want but I don´t wanna indulge in those things anymore..:-))

Liked by 1 person

Truly interesting and entertaining thoughts here, Snow. I’ve also learned just last year that many sustainable energy marvels came from the brilliant minds of the engineers in your country. Learning to write better? Many need that including me, but you? I don’t think so. Oh online shopping! We’ve been doing grocery shopping online in here even before the pandemic actually hehehe. Pharmaceutical products can also be bought online now and delivered. My prescription maintenance heart meds for example, I could replenish them online now. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

❤️ Glad to hear you are enjoying the convienience of online shopping, too! I just saw two little delivery robots yesterday. They were crossing a pedestrian walkway and I paid attention to how they just blended in. (I’ve never ordered from a robot, though, just regular humans!)

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.