Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Survive a Shopping Trip with Your Kids

Oh, dear: the fruit bowl is getting empty. Max and I finished the last of the bananas this morning. Also, we’re out of bread. I need more frozen strawberries – I keep them around for making fruit smoothies with Max in the mornings. All this we can survive, but I’m also down to three diapers and 1 roll of toilet paper – currently in use. I HAVE to go to the grocery store, and I’m not alone. I have to take the kids.
photo by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

There’s little I like less than shopping with the kids. Well, maybe root canal. Shopping with them is such a hassle. It turns an activity that should be fairly straightforward into a marathon of “No – put it down – we’re not buying it – it’s not good for you – don’t bite the bag – don’t throw the food – please help, go find a bag of carrots – no – no – no – that’s cheap garbage, no – no, it’s full of sugar – why not? Because no – I love you, I won’t buy that for you it’s garbage -”
I don’t have the budget for the amount of garbage they want, and even if I did, I wouldn’t buy it for them.  My two sons would like to switch the family to an all sugar-fat-salt-character branded diet, but I’m resisting.  

The kids also tend to run around and do wild stuff in the shop. I have, in the past, abandoned the trolley and walked them out to the car, cutting the shopping trip short because I’d warned them multiple times and couldn’t take it anymore. Sometimes, I try to keep them focused with little tasks like, “Got find the bagels!” or “Two broccoli heads, please.” But they get distracted along the way or afterwards, and, let’s face it, they are young and poor at picking out the nicest vegetables or handling milk containers with care.

How will I make it through today’s shopping trip? I need the food and other items. Following are some options:
  • Go in the morning with Max only, before Zach get’s out of school: Definitely. This cuts the begging by 50% or more.
  • Sedatives: For them and me – probably not the best way to be productive the rest of the afternoon, though
  • Leave Max in the car: dangerous and hot
  • Leave Max at home: With whom? No one’s here. My friends are busy or at work. Husband has a job. Perhaps cows in the field can keep an eye on him? He always wants to run away and live with them. What about the electrified fence? Hmmm...maybe not.
  • Get one of the workers at Supervalu to look after him for 15 minutes: Meantime, I can run around the shop throwing things into the trolley...They have good customer service, but I don’t think it extends to childminding.
OK, I'm out of ideas. I'm going to have to take a boy shopping today. Mothes, pray for me.


  1. I used to sit the kids in the cart with a book to read. Also, our store has cookies for kids. I'd reward my girls with one each if they behaved. Worked every time.

    It's a different story now that they can't fit in the cart and want to help pick things off the shelves, so I share in your pain!

  2. I go on my own, on an evening, after my daughter goes to bed.
    I hate shopping in general and shopping with a toddler is beyond me.

  3. My nearly 2 yr-old is a nightmare for grocery shopping. I rescued him from certain death recently at Tesco as he dove off the front of the trolley and I managed to grab his leg as his head was an inch from the floor. I'm all for the 24hr shopping now.


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