People gotta eat.
That means people gotta go to the grocery store occasionally.
Sometimes, those people take their children into the store with them, because those babies gotta eat, too.
But no one said there was rule that allows kids to lose their minds riding on the back of a buggy, all Thelma & Louise style.
Now, I don’t always get this right. Since Amos has figured out there are other places to sit besides the front portion of the shopping cart, there are sometimes outbursts and loud protests over who gets to ride hanging on the back. At this point in my parenting journey, if everyone is relatively quiet, I could care less who that ends up being.
Except Margaret Hannah.
That kid knows she loves to drag a foot under the buggy and cause sudden stops left and right. She’s relegated to the inside as much as possible. She’s also the worlds worst about demanding candy when we finish. She never gets any, so I’m not sure when she developed this Pavlovian response to the checkout line, but this is the face she gives while I’m cutting her all kinds of threatening eyes:
I am strong. I am unaffected. I will eat that stupid sucker myself if one is in fact offered. I show no mercy.
What my 3 do know for sure about a trip inside a grocery store:
- Don’t ask for things you know we won’t be getting. Do we eat oranges regularly in our house? No. Is there any sense in asking for that bag of cuties you saw in a commercial on Nick Jr? Negative. Keep moving.
- Don’t EVER open something to snack on while we’re shopping. Because, no. Even this is not acceptable:
- All extremities remain in or on the buggy at all times. I’m not in the habit of leisurely strolling through the aisles. You will lose a limb if you’re trying to hold on to an end cap when I make a turn. #sorrynotsorry
- No, you may not have Elsa or Ninja Turtle cereal. You never eat it. I will not be fooled by your promises. I am a pro at mothering this pack. I cannot be swayed.
- Do not touch the buttons on the card reader. Ever.
- My whisper voice should scare the crap out of you. Mama don’t play when she’s perfected the art of the 20 minute grocery trip for essentials only. You better not either!
I have real sympathy for people who struggle with a buggy full of littles, I really do. But I just can’t wrap my mind around why some mom’s don’t have their own list of survival techniques to ensure smooth experiences in the store.
We ran to Wal-Mart last week for literally 8 items. I would have gone to IGA in town, but I was boycotting cooking supper, Pat was working late, and Amos needed diapers that wouldn’t cost triple what they’re worth. So, into Sam Walton’s haven we went.
There was a mom with only 1 child in her cart pleading with a tyrant of a toddler over an umbrella she’d grabbed at some point in the store. The mom kept handing her yogurt melts she’d picked up from the baby food aisle that were just being thrown to the ground dramatically. It’s like she was trying to free a hostage from her daughter’s grasp. Why does she not know that we do not negotiate with terrorists of any kind? Especially those who live in our homes but do not contribute financially???
It’s like mom code. Don’t do it, sister! Fight the good fight, and teach your baby a lesson she will remember for the rest of her life… hopefully.
I’m not advocating breaking out the spanking spoon all willy nilly, merely sticking to your guns as much as possible so your children learn and respect boundaries. It really does work.
In the meantime, please know I’m praying for you, mama of the pack wilder than mine over on aisle 7. I’ve been there, too. My ability to drown out words that sound like gummy packs, and chocolate milk, and yogurt with Dora on it is just unbelievably strong that I’ve been able to move past the grocery store struggle and into an enlightened space of shopping. You’ll get there too, hopefully. Until then…