Welcome to the Seven Depths of Hell (aka Having to bring your Toddlers to the Grocery Store)

Sometimes I would rather be sitting in a car with no air conditioning during a Texas summer than be walking the aisle of the grocery store with my toddler. Don’t get me wrong, I love my child, but some tasks are tenfold more difficult to accomplish when you have a very active toddler in tow.

My child has never wanted to sit in the seats of the cart, where many children seem content to sit and observe while they are wheeled around.  We went through a phase where he would sit or stand in the main basket with the groceries, which was great.  He was in the cart and as long as I didn’t get too close to the Broccoli (which he still to this day will grab a head and start eating) or anything else he might be able to get his hands on we could cruise through the store with no problems.

Next we began the carry me phase. . .he would stay in the cart maybe through the produce aisle (if I was having a streak of luck) and then would insist that I carry all 30+ pounds of him around the store while I pushed the cart or else deal with him screaming bloody murder.  We have thankfully moved past that stage but have entered a new stage where he wants his feet on the floor and to “help” me with the groceries.

This current phase is definitely the most challenging I have encountered and it involves lots of redirection of him and breathing and patience for me.  My first experience I let him push the cart and directed him to the items we needed to purchase and I let him pick out items and put them in the cart.  This worked beautifully, through the produce aisle. . . we then got the the bakery items and he was all “Ooo’s and Aahh’s pointing at different bread items and looking at me to name them for him. . . I was breathing and attempting to redirect him to the cart to push some more when he saw cupcakes. . . why do they have to have cupcakes on display all the time???  After a battle of yes those are cupcakes, no those are not your cupcakes. No, we are not getting cupcakes, I finally managed to wrangle him back to pushing the cart.  We stopped and got lunch meat which he missed throwing into the cart and threw in front of another shopers cart. . . Lucky for me it was another Mom with a toddler.  She just laughed and smiled at me while he picked it up and threw it again, this time making it into the cart.

Now instead of pushing the cart he decides hanging off the cart handle while picking up his feet is fun, so he acts like a little monkey and we make it through dairy.  In paper products he helps me put toilet paper and paper towels underneath the cart and gets complimented by two elderly ladies about what a great helper he is.  Yes, he was a great helper, thankfully they were long gone when in the next aisle he screamed bloody murder when I wanted to put him in the cart or carry him.  He settled on letting me put his butt on the handle and half holding him we wheeled to the front.  We made it to the checkout line, my saving grace, as his little hands can stay busy putting the items on the belt, and as long as he isn’t too close to the checkout computer screen (because he turns them off) and gets a sticker, we are home free.

As I check out I can think of at least three items I forgot.  I don’t care.  I can work around them, I am not going back to get them. . .

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