My girls are age 10, 9, and 6. Grocery shopping is pretty much a breeze now, but back in the day when they were younger…oh boy, do I have some memories! Most of them have to do with my youngest. We call her our strong girl, which now is a very positive thing, but not so much when she was three and her strength was her will! Let’s just say I was very humbled quite a few times in a grocery store with her. VERY humbled. As in —I want to disappear and crawl in a hole, everyone is looking and eyes are rolling at my apparent lack of parenting skills—humbled.
For example, we were in the produce section and she decided she wanted an apple, RIGHT NOW. She would not budge from the produce section, and when I went to carry her out, she ran to the railing, (ya know-the one that holds all those slanting, perfect rows of apples?) and wrapped her chubby fingers around that railing with a look of defiance that honestly scared me. Then, one of those chubby little knuckles bumped the slanting, perfect row of apples, and it was like dominoes. Hit one, and all the others come tumbling down. After the avalanche of apples stopped, there was my little strong girl, still clenching the railing with all her might, amused by the sea of apples surrounding her feet. That memory still makes me close my eyes and take a moment.
Or how about the one where my middle girl had a hard time listening to her mother, which in turn created a memory that brings red to her cheeks, and to this day, makes my tongue hurt.
I had asked her twice to keep her hands off the shopping cart. It was one of those carts that rolled away with just the slightest nudge. We were in a store that was small and crowded, that had stacked boxes of wine, with a few bottles at the top, at the end of several aisles–what were they thinking? So…
Daughter touched the cart, again.
Cart rolled forward with ease.
Cart hits wine bottles.
Wine bottles hit the ground.
Sound of glass– lots of glass– breaking.
Red wine spilling and puddling, oozing down the aisle like a crime had been committed.
Exchanged look of horror between mother and daughter.
Mother biting tongue hard, creating an oozing of her own.
Mother trying to figure out how to talk her way out of paying for 20 bottles of wine. (ok, 5)
Over the years I have learned some survival skills
when it comes to the grocery store so I will share.
#1. Visit the bathroom BEFORE you start shopping. Especially if you are in one of those superstores. It never failed, before I implemented this rule, we would always be in the very back of the superstore when a bathroom request was made.
#2. This one goes along with #1. When you announce that you are all visiting the bathroom before shopping, you will get the inevitable “but mom, I don’t have to go.” When you hear this, pull out the “Sit and Count to 10 rule.” I love this one! We use it all the time, before trips to the park, before longer drives, at the mall… they must sit on the toilet, count to 10 and see what happens. There is always a chuckle when the one who was stubborn about “not having to go” ends up “going.” Mom’s…this “count to 10” rule will change your lives!
#3. Hand over your shopping list and a pen. This is great for older kids. Let them be the one to check the items off the list.
#4 While the older child is checking off items, allow the younger one to get the item from the shelf and put it in the basket.
#5 Now that the 2 older one are busy, if you have a third child, make them the ‘arranger.’ They get to sit in the basket and arrange the items to fit nicely, like a puzzle. Remind them to put “squish-ibles” in a safe place.
#6. Give kids a pen and a copy of your list. Let them write the aisle number beside each item as you find them. Keep the list for the next time you make out your grocery list. arrange items on the list according to aisle number. This works well if you go to the same grocery store each week. OR, just give them a random list of items and make it a game, as they find the items they mark them off.
#7. If you only have one with you, give ’em a ride. While your hands are positioned on the handle, let you child slip between your arms, hold on to the handle and stand on bar. It it great for those who are too old to ride in the cart, but still have little legs that get tired. I love this because it turns into hugs and snuggles while pushing, plus its a great arm workout with that extra weight to push!
#8. Bring an ipod with earphones, let them listen to book on ipod or children’s music. If you have one with internet access, check out Hulu and let them watch a movie or kid’s show.
#9 If you have a younger one riding in the front of the cart and they are super bored, find an aisle that has children’s books and grab one for them to read. I did this many times, of course they had to be old enough not to drool, tear or bite on the book.
#10 Pocketful of snacks.
#11 No “can I have’s?”
#12 No “mom, look at this! mom, look at this!!” in every aisle. From one mouth–bearable. From 3 mouths? Makes me want to find the marshmallow section, steal a bag, and encourage the girls to play “chubby bunny” so their mouths would be too busy to talk:)
#13 When things get out of control and warnings are not working, I have gone straight to our “no talking” rule. Sounds over the top, but if words have not been nice, there should not be any words! There are times where mom just needs to think, compare prices and have a little moments peace. Sometimes I use this rule when I am paying. It is rude for children to interrupt adults, so when I am talking with the cashier, quiet is good. We have not had to do this in awhile, hold on while I have a proud moment…
#12 When walking out of the store pushing a cart full of groceries, both hands are tied up on the cart, which leaves no hands to hold little hands to cross the parking lot. This is when we apply the “Hold The Cart” rule. I like seeing little hands on either side of the cart, in front of me, so I can see they are safe and sound.
Got any other tips? Would love to hear them..
This post is linked to
Works For Me Wednesday @ We Are That Family