Friday, February 20, 2009

The Art of Shopping with Children

I told Wes last night that my children may need to go through therapy one day because of me. They suffer a certain trauma almost weekly that may leave a lasting impression on them.

It's called shopping. With one child, the horrors were manageable. As long as his chubby little legs still fit through those leg holes, we were fine (which is until about age 12 in my book). But two children is a whole new world. I mean, what will his therapist think when my older son shares his haunting memories of being trapped in a steel cage for endless hours?

Grocery shopping is among the worst of the offenders. Two children + a pile of food = a lot of smooshed bread. But OH THE JOY the day that I discovered the car cart. Never mind that maneuvering it through the store requires brute strength and an aircraft navigational system...I'll take that over being one of 'those moms' with the screaming children any day.

However, since CVS is my drug of choice...I mean drug store of means squeezing two of them into a cart the size of my kitchen sink. And then finding room for all of my loot. And keeping Griffin bribed...I mean occupied. Fruit snacks are a blessing.

And why is it that the need to go potty always presents itself at the most inopportune moments? I think Griffin is a fan of the drug store bathrooms that are somewhere in the deep recesses of the stock room and require the help of a sales associate to find.

And then there is the check-out line. I am always so relieved when I find an employee who doesn't mind their credit card machine being attacked by sticky little fruit snack-covered fingers. And since my cvs shopping requires multiple transactions involving higher math and about 12 coupons each, heaven only knows how many packs of lifesavers have been swiped by my little one from those perfectly-eye-level candy shelves. But hey--I probably had a coupon for them anyway.

How about you? Do you have any horror stories? What's your secret to the art of shopping with children? Tell all and help save on my therapy bill when my children finally escape their steel cage.


Julie-Pho-Tog said...

Thank goodness for fruit snacks and animal crackers. Grocery runs have always been somewhat easy so far. I give the kids a very light breakfast so i know they'll have the need of snackin' away during our meanering around walmart trying to find everything on the list, mommy dropping her coupons and such. Aiva is a trooper and rarely has to go potty. BUT, this past December right before christmas I had to make a run to restock our barren shelves and pick up something for shawn to open christmas morn. It was a mad house, and i had to get a block of velveeta. I turned the corner while bumping into to someone numerous times, Maive was burried somewhere within our loot Aiva holds onto my belt loop on my right hip and aidan is in the seat of the cart. A sea of people were in this isle. I waited & waited for the isle to clear but most of the customers were elderly and updating a friend on their lives and their childrens lives and oblivious to the need i had to reach the block of velveeta. so I parked it, told Aiva to hold on the cart stay here and mommy would be super fast right back in a minute. I made a mad dash and grabbed the velveeta block quarter back style and ran back like feeling like i was jason bourne or something. This whole ordeal took a lengthly 20 seconds to do so, but when I reached my kids at the cart there was woman with a mean face waiting for me. She began yelling at me at the top of her lungs about how she was a nurse and I should never ever leave my children unattended that someone could have taken them very easily.I turned behind me feeling my anger rise up and viewed everyone in the isle blankly staring at yours truly! Yep another worse mom of the year medal goes to JG! Yes I'm mortified still. Going to Walmart makes me sick to my stomach and I worry I'll see this "big" woman again. Shawn does our shopping now, and dinner is always missing an ingredient!

Mandy said...

Oh yes I have my own stories! I have a post from June 23, '08 called "Two's company, Three's a crowd" that is about one of my more memorable trips. Stop by and read it for some sympathy!

livingpalm said...

Kaley, I'm giggling my face off at this post!!! I almost lost it when I read the part that made me picture Griffin at age 12 smooshed into the front of a shopping cart!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seriously you crack me up!
Joshua has an infatuation with public restrooms and inevitably has to go #1 and #2 the minute we get anywhere public - even if he's gone at the house before we left!
I don't take the children shopping as a rule. I only take one at a time and for the past two years (prior to Josiah) I left Jared and Joshua home and made grocery shopping into some amazing 2 hour adventure! Griffin must not weigh the 40 lbs that Joshua does because I can barely lift him into the cart seat. Actually I can get him in but not out!!!
Josiah is a great shopper for now!

Trina said...

I think you struck a chord here, kaley! :) My secret - leave the kids at Grandma's house! But then I have to squeeze all my shopping into the 3 hours I have between nursing. But sometimes Grandma isn't available...My latest strategy is to find a friend or sister who doesn't have kids who would love a ride into town. I promise stops at all local thrift stops and try to remember to pack a snack and a waterbottle for each of us, and they usually end up thanking ME!? Imagine that! :) It's great to have another set of hands, or someone who will sit in the car with the kids while I run into Walmart for just a few items.
Your description of the car carts was soooo perfect. I have a love/hate relationship with them, too! But Jesse loves them. :)

Brandy said...

You cracked me up also. This sound just like me. Mine sound a little older then yours so I there's lots of complaining and fighting.

TammiD said...

I can relate with the CVS carts. I have a 10 month old that fits in the front and then my 2.5 year old sits in the tiny basket part. (during the Stacy's Pita/tostito chip deal that happened not too long ago you could barely see him once I put all those bags of chips on his lap!) The last time I was there my 2.5 year old decided to start messing with a plastic CVS advertisement that was attached to the front of the cart. Soon enough he had broken the whole thing off and it was completely destroyed with little pieces of plastic all over the ground. That was pretty embarrassing!

Tanyetta said...

I am just sitting here cracking up and high fiving you because I go through the SAME thing. I have a 4 year old that CRINGES when we pull into the shopping parking lot. HaHa!

p.s. the CVS carts ARE TINY!

here's a photo of my crammed into one:

bettyl said...

I hope you know that children are very resilient and may not even remember those days of shopping!!! But, it is a challenge, heck, it's a challenge with my 13yo, 15yo and hubby!

Sarah said...

When faced with those small carts, it is always push one pull another. Even at the grocery store when my 3rd was tiny, he'd be in the carseat in the basket, the other 2 would be in the top loading car part (does that make sense? you know as opposed to the ones where the car is in front of the shopping basket and close to the ground.) and I'd be pulling another cart behind me.