Shopping with your child is the WORST
For the past eight years I have struggled with taking my children grocery shopping. I love my girls, but their behavior in public is like getting stabbed in the ears with chopsticks. Their indoor voices aren’t their strong suit.
In fact, for years I’ve tried everything to make sure they aren’t with me when I’m at the supermarket. I’ve even written about their behavior in a book I co-authored – but did that change them? Nope.
If the kids are invited to a play date, I’ll grab my list, drop them off and set my GPS straight to market. Grandma asks to see the munchkins? “Hi and Bye!” I’ve got a little errand to run. Free at last. God Almighty, free at last!
Even when the Jehovah Witness’s knock at the door, don’t think I haven’t considered making a quick run to pick up a few necessities.
But the other day was the first time I made it through the entire event without my blood pressure raising the roof. No, I wasn’t drunk or showing signs of dementia. Shh! Don’t tell anyone, but my girls are finally helpful. Oh, sweet baby Jesus the day has finally come!!
Just like when they started tying their shoes for the first time – it happened over night. Can you imagine my surprise? So what is it about being 7 or 8 that turns them into helpful humans? I’m sure not going to sit around and analyze this miracle, but I wanted to share the glorious wonders of it all.
Shopping with your child…
1. If your child insists on reading every word of the grocery aisle signs and reminds you where the large vats of ice cream are…you might be shopping with a 2nd grader. Normally, when people point out my flaws or are telling me what to do, I get irked. But now the munchkins can read and help me find items or even read labels when I can’t locate my stinking old readers, they are little shopping sidekicks!
2. If your daughter remembers you need cheese IN the dairy aisle, instead of realizing you forgot it as you pull into your driveway…you probably are shopping with a 2nd grader. When you hit a certain age, perimenopause takes over your brain causing a pea soup thick fog to lead you through your day. This is why it is helpful to have fresh sharp brains right beside you, to keep you on track. College nightly adventures didn’t do my brain well. PSA: “Kids don’t do drugs…or drink heavily. When you’re older, you will miss all those braincells.”
3. When your kid begs to heave the groceries on the conveyor belt giving you time to chat with the checker to discuss important things like the weather, fruit ripeness and sporting events…you might be shopping with a 2nd grader.
I’m not sure why I thought I would be doing everything for my family the rest of my living days. These children who I carried for 9 months, and wrecked my abdomen, ahem; really can take over and give you a break from time to time. I’m not talking indentured slaves or free child labor, all day long; but we can share some of the family responsibilities to make our house a messy, but sanitary home.
4. If every. single. time you stop the shopping cart to turn and grab something, and you find your son riding the cart…he’s a 2nd grader. Really my girls do this too. I can’t keep the monkeys off the rails without threatening a “brown out” at our house. I guess I can’t blame them. If I had someone who would push me around on the side of a big, red Target cart; I’d be whooping and hollering like rodeo cowgirl who sat on a hill of fire ants. I like me some fun too!
5. If your daughters are discussing the difference between regular lemonade and diet lemonade and the words, “big butt” come up…you are hanging with 2nd graders. Body image talks have already started with my girls and the grocery store is usually a forced time to do it. I love asking the hard questions, especially discussing airbrushing while looking at the celebs in the checkout magazines. Suck it, Cosmo!
6. If your kids “ooh” and “ah” when they enter the chip aisle, like they are watching the grand finale of a fireworks display…yep. Second grader! As long as I can remember, my girls have been obsessed with chips. ALL chips. It’s like listening to Forrest Gump’s friend, Bubba talking about his favorite shrimp. Pringles, Doritos, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Cool Ranch Doritos, Fritos, Big Scoop Fritos… It’s like the store pumps in LSD into the air at the end of that aisle. Turn on the Grateful Dead and let my munchkins drool, stroke and hug the bags of chips. When people laugh at their behavior, I just tell them I haven’t fed them since last Tuesday. Then that ends that!
For those of you who haven’t reached this magical time in your parenting career, I’m here to shake you back into consciousness and repeat, “It shall happen to you too.” It may seem like an eternity for the stage to arrive, but the payoff is so worth the tumultuous wait. Investment in ear plugs can be a smart choice too.
Now I find myself imagining how pleasant my summer is going to be. I relax by the pool, imagining how my shopping stress will be minimized. I dream of floating on a tranquil cloud down the aisles, giggling with my girls on our magic ride to the produce section. Life is good.
But if I’ve jinxed them by writing of this newfound bonding time, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m calling Grandma for a visit until they snap out of it!
When did your kids finally get to be helpful on shopping trips? Please leave your answer below in the comment section. I’d love to compare and whine.