Online supermarket shopping is like a modern day miracle. I’d put it up there with stickers and play-doh for making parenting bearable. It’s not really because shopping with babies and toddlers is that bad. It isn’t if you have the right attitude. That is, the attitude that you’re actually there to keep your child entertained while somehow filling a basket with stuff you can’t recognise when you get home (“Ham offcuts anyone?”) and that’s past its sell-by date (those days when you had time to study packs for saturated fat content are long gone).

Speed is of the essence. A baby is relatively easy to entertain – give them some keys to munch on and they’re pretty happy (unless they drop them – which they do, numerous times, sometimes on purpose, you know, for effect). Downside is they need feeding round the clock so you’re constantly checking your watch to see if you can fit in the frozen food isle before milky time. And they seem to pooh their nappies at the most inopportune moments forcing you to leave your half-finished a trolley outside the loos while you deal with disaster leakage in record time, only to find trolley gone and contents tidied away for your return. Thanks guys!

The converse is true of a toddler. They can go without meals as long as you’ve brought with you your usual 4 years’ supply of raisins and chocolate buttons. They are either toilet trained or they have developed some kind of immunity towards their own soiled nappies so can go for days without a nappy change*. So far so good. Except their concentration span is now at an ultimate low. So you have to work even harder on keeping them interested in something, anything, while sitting in the trolley/buggy before they realise that sitting in the trolley isn’t half as much fun as hanging out of trolley, jumping out of trolley or (if you’ve been insane enough to take them in on foot) running away in a bid for freedom.

In short, mums today love online supermarket shopping. Wait until child/children are in bed. Pour glass of wine. Log in, upload last week’s shopping list. Edit if required. Checkout. Wait for nice Ocado man to pull up and carry the shopping in for you. Added bonus – time it for toddler’s dinner time and you can pop about 10 mouthfuls into said child without them realising while Mr Deliveryman provides a welcome distraction.

*please note this is conjecture and has not been tested in practice