I am feeling a little faint still, I must confess. Better than I was feeling earlier this afternoon though, obviously. It takes a little while for the effects of an experience that traumatic to wear off. The children, ironically, are showing no after-effects at all.
I have been to Toys R Us. A couple of days after Christmas. It was......not relaxing. The boys had both been given a gift card for Christmas and were desparate to spend it. (I am actually impressed they managed to last from Tuesday to Friday without exploding due to the anticipation.) The car park was, as expected, absolutely heaving and we had to drive round a bit to get a space. There were crowds of people EVERYWHERE. They appeared to be getting bodies into Marks & Spencer with the aid of a crowbar. Not being a recreational shopper, I find it hard to understand why people want to spend their precious days off fighting their way round shops a scant few days after they have completed the most intensive bout of shopping of the year. I would happily not go near a shop until March, left to my own devices.
Anyway, we got into Toys R Us (is it just me, or is that shop just permanently....grubby?) and the boys went into stimulation overload. The sheer amount of coloured branded plastic on offer was almost too much to cope with. They ran around from the Dr Who display to the Lego to the Star Wars figures to the Lego Star Wars stuff and back again about, oh, several hundred times. All the while, approximately eleventy dozen other children (mostly boys, interestingly) were doing exactly the same, feverishly clutching their Christmas money. First Born had to be dissuaded from buying yet another plastic laser gun that goes "Wheedle-eeedle-eedle-ooo!" at precisely the pitch to make you want to pack your ears with Polyfilla.
Amazingly, Second Born decided there wasn't anything he really wanted - he spent a few pounds on a Lego model kit but left with the bulk of his gift card intact. Even First Born didn't spend his entire allowance. He bought a Darth Vader figure and a laser screwdriver (the Master's one from Dr Who if you're interested) and more Lego, but he summoned the necessary inner strength to leave with £5 unspent. Believe me, that is a first. And on a positive note, I don't have girls so I didn't have to brave the Pink Aisles. The ones that are so brightly, aggresively cerise that from a distance they seem to pulsate slightly. They scare me a bit.
We then negotiated the car park again, sat in queues of traffic (have I told you how much I hate sitting in traffic?) and got home through absolutely torrential rain and a bit of localised flash flooding. The boys liked this last bit - the water was deep enough that cars going past us were spraying water right up over our car's roof. Very exciting. So we have yet more cardboard to dispose of, more Lego to add to the three hundredweight we already had and First Born has another piece of battery-powered plastic that lights up and goes "Wheeeeeeeee!"
Tomorrow, I plan to go for a run to try to atone for the remains of the box of Lindor I have just polished off whilst reading blogs and watching TV. Unless it's raining again. I'm not feeling that guilty.