So I know I have shared many stories of my shopping with small children in tow. There was the time that involved beer spraying down my entire family, and the whole clearance section, or the time I forgot my debit and credit cards. There has been many a shopping trip that ended with me nearly in tears, parking in the nearest lot with my donut and fountain pop, while the kids cried themselves to sleep in the backseat. But every shopping trip has been a learning experience and I am going to pass on what I have learned about how to survive shopping with your littles in tow.
But before I start, let me first tell you about this wonderous place called Fred Meyers. There you will find “Playland”. A magical place where any child over 2, can be pried off your leg and left in the capable hands of someone other than you, while you shop. You might pay a little more for your groceries, and you might have a one hour time limit, but it is so worth it. However I know sometimes sadly, Playland is not a possibility and you might find yourself alone, trying to summon up the courage to enter the grocery store with all your little munchkins. Here is some simple steps to get you through the store without a total mental meltdown.
- Find the BIGGEST cart possible Yes they suck to maneuver and you will probably take down a few displays on your way through the store. But some of them can buckle 3 kids at one time, and that my friend, is worth any amount of ran over strangers and spilled apples.
- Plug those babies in- Sure they say screen time is bad for kids. But you know what is bad for mom? Going any where in public with her kids and no distractions. So, bring those ipads, those kindles, those headphone and smile smugly back at the judging moms. Because hey, those bad boys got you all the way to aisle 12 without a single temper tantrum.
- Feed them whatever keeps them quiet– There is a time to worry about sugar consumption, but a shopping trip where you are outnumbered is not that time. Rip open that Costco size box of fruit snack, you haven’t paid for yet, and give them however many it takes to keep their mouths shut.
- NEVER, and I mean NEVER let them “help” you bag your groceries- I mean it sounds like a great learning opportunity and all. But we all know how it is going to end. Smushed bread, grapes rolling everywhere, leaking milk carton, one or all of you tripping over each other and ending up wiped out on the floor. Not to mention lots of dirty looks and eye rolls from the child free people bagging the next lane over. SO please, please leave those kids buckled up. A buckled screamer is better than a climbing, running screamer any day of the week.
- Reward yourself- Have you ever noticed how at Winco the bakery is set up conveniently right at the end of the shopping path? There is a reason for this! Because by the time you get there, you know with every fiber of your being, that you deserve that donut. Or that giant muffin, or on a bad day maybe one of each. So sneak those carbs quietly in your cart, while your kids are distracted unloading someone else’s groceries unto the floor. Whatever you do don’t let them see, the last thing you want is to have to share!
And look, just like that , you have survived. Now load those groceries in your trusty minivan, wherever you can pile them around the stroller, the extra car seats and the entire spare wardrobe you have in your trunk. Than buckle your kids, crank up some music and drive until they get tired of screaming to be heard and fall asleep. Pull into a nice shaded spot, pull out your 1,000 carb snack, and your iphone and enjoy your little moment of zen, because you dear mamma earned every bite!