To enter the marché, stand at the entrance and take a deep breath. Then plunge. It's the only solution to successfully circulating I can advise. You will undoubtedly be mown down by a chunky pushchair bearing a sticky-fingered toddler holding a Christmas lollipop and a demented parent who is either a) regretting not buying the smallest, most manoeuvrable pushchair possible; or b) so wrapped up in Christmas panic that not one thought was spared to considering the wisdom of taking Baby Tank into a Very Crowded Area and is furious to find so many people muttering angrily at his/her attempts to kneecap them as s/he forces a passage through the throng.
You will also trip up over the lead of a dog whose owner thought it a marvellous idea to go for walkies in an area full of boots that
If you are with a partner who is muttering darkly about crowds, Christmas, the cold, and wishing he hadn't come, one's whole 'joy to the world' attitude gets a bit ragged after about five minutes (at most). Yesterday afternoon I got the one thing I went for, and will not be going back to the market. Wild horses couldn't drag me. Not with those crowds.
I did not get the two other things I went for, cue much grinding of teeth. I'll have to go back for those, but they are sold in shops not the
Fortuitously, I had made some mince pies that morning and put the artificial (I'm so green...) 4' tree up (on the table) with the help of my youngest, so a festive atmosphere greeted me when I stomped back into the house. I went straight to the kettle, and helped myself to a pie or two.
When I say 'festive' it goes without saying that that background music was not a CD of Michael Bublé singing his favourite Christmas hits (on his 2011 album as a gift for his 'naughty and nice fans'...! and which I don't have) but an XBox battle of soldiers or zombies killing each other with weapons that made a loud noise. Anyone who lives or has lived with boys will take that as read. They will only go so far to humour you (and Michael Bublé is definitely beyond those bounds).
I have a list of phrases I say on a (thrice) daily basis:
"Turn it down"
"Clear away your plates"
"Yoghurt pots, bin, now"
Just before I headed up to the peace and tranquillity of my bedroom with my Kindle, cuppa and mince pie, I managed to yell my way down the list in quick succession over the racket. My parenting for the day was thus sorted.