You may not be able to see them, but in my children’s hands are secret spy phones!! – well this is what they were told to find all through the store by the amazing Tony Friend pictured – isn’t it cool when someone’s name fits them so perfectly! I had arrived at the store half-way through my shopping stint so the boys were getting a bit restless. I had tried placing them on a mat but I hadn’t noticed the overhanging sleeping bags that had gold sewn in the seams, that were just too tempting for a three year old not to try to swing off! With a few screeches, and fire coming out my ears I was tossing up whether or not to flag the fabulous sale and leave before I had more to pay in damages than in bargains when along breezed Tony.
“Can I help?”, he cheerfully asked.
Well….this wasn’t the time to be polite and beat around the bush – I had my own mission to accomplish and I couldn’t do that with two restless units of energy waiting to be plugged into trouble rolling around on the floor.
“Yes, can you deal with these two so I can shop in peace please?”
There done it. I’ve admitted I’m not coping with my offspring to a complete stranger! Quick as a flash, Tony got down to the boys level and with big animated eyes said that there were spies in the store and he needed the two of them to help him find all the special phones that had been planted in the store. They were his special secret agents and they had a very important mission to complete! Well, he didn’t know that my children don’t watch TV, read comics or other fiction books and would never have heard of spies before in their lives, but they captured the fun in his voice and just set off with the new found freedom of roaming the entire store, diving under clothes racks and running around squealing with delight at finding plastic coat hanger numbers! I was ecstatic at now being able to shop in peace but my ‘Yeah ha!’ balloon popped when I realised that now I actually needed help with deciding what to purchase! This was a bit of a dilemma – have my kids supervised or make an uninformed buy. While I pondered this, Tony reappeared and asked if I needed any help – what a man! So, with kids running up to him with spy gadgets and a mother who needs to make the purchase quickly but with lots of information Tony was able to manage the whole package effortlessly – well I found out he did have four kids of his own – so he had the kid skills there!
Twenty minutes later the boys had completed their important mission and not only came away with memories of special spy phones but were also given a hacky sack each – they were too very happy little people – with one very happy mummy who had a big bag of bargains to carry out! – thank you Tony – you’re a star!
Christine Miles (Manager of the ABC) is not only fabulous with her adult customers but rolled up her sleeves and got down to the level of the small customers too. Callum (pictured) had just reached the point where he had played with the shop toys, looked at the board books and had decided he would rather play hide and seek behind shelves with his frustrated mother! The alternative game was tag with his older brother who had been happily reading in a corner! Christine promptly took control of the situation, saving my sanity and adding to her total sale – clever lady!! Two happy boys both walked out of the store with colouring books which then kept them busy for half of the three hour trip back home – Christine you are a legend!!!
Hello everyone! I'm so excited to be able to share some of my experiences with you, and so look forward to hearing some of yours. My passion is to help others avoid unrequited love, and to enjoy, (rather than endure) their parenthood experience. I am no expert in these areas but want to try and fill in some of the gaps the experts don't talk about, or simply gloss over. I look forward to your thoughts.