Couch Kitten: Let’s go ‘pick up something’ …why do moms always do this?

28 February 2020
Author   Wetumwene Shikage
 I have learned that when your mother says, let’s go ‘pick-up something’ you’d best try to find a creative way not to go or prepare yourself for several hours of major shopping. 
I do not know why our moms always do this. They ask us to tag along when they go to the mall to ‘pick up’ something.  They tell us it will be fast and we will come back home shortly. This is not true.  We end up wandering around from shop-to-shop or driving to different places buying many things. 
For me, this is what ‘go pick up something’ really means.
Mom asks me to go with her while she picks up something.  She says she wants to get vegetables. We get into the car and clearly, I had the wrong memo. The direction we are driving is not the same as what was promised. We get to a warehouse somewhere and I guess that this is where she intended to ‘pick up’ vegetables.
We go in to get some things there.  We get lots of things; none of them vegetables. Then, we get back into the car and we drive off to the central part of town.  I ask her why we were not yet on the way to the mall where we are supposed to be buying vegetables. She rambles on about needing to get many things done and we continue on our way.
Eventually she parks the car and we are nowhere near where vegetables are sold.  We are at the municipality building. Mom gets out of the car and she calls my name, which means I need to go with her. I want to stay in the car and at least answer some text messages or fool around a bit on Instagram (if I have enough data left).  But, that is not to be. 
We go to an ATM where we stand in a line.  Then, she withdraws money.  After that, we walk down the street to a bookshop where we spend 20 minutes looking around until she finds the one book that she wants.  I keep quiet.
We leave the bookshop and walk back to the municipality building where we stand in yet another line so that she can pay the account.  She usually does this through an online payment.  Why then did we have to actually go there and stand in line to do it?  Why is my presence needed? There is no point in asking these questions, she will not give a straight answer.
Finally, we get back into the car and drive to the mall where we buy the infamous vegetables that she wanted to ‘pick up’ over two hours ago. Of course, it is not just vegetables that she buys, but several bags of groceries.
The reason why our moms always drag us along with them to ‘pick something up’ remains a bit of mystery to me. They never explain what exactly we are going to do when they order us to accompany them.  I guess this is a way of teaching us something or maybe they think we are bored at home or maybe they want company while they run errands.  Who knows? 
To be fair, I have not taken the time to ask my mother why she does this. Each time it happens, by the time I return home I am tired after being all over town. 
I am determined that the next time she asks me to go with her to ‘pick up something’, I will find out exactly what that means.  Somehow I doubt that I understand things any better.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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