With 2015 coming to an end, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the year that was. And with all of the reflecting, I came to an unexpected realization……
Shopping with children kind of sucks sometimes.
Back in the day, pre-kids, there wasn’t much to it. If I had to make a trip to a store, I could do it whenever I wanted. I would grab my wallet and go. I’d get what I needed, and be back in good time. #nodillydallying.
Nowadays, though? Going to the store alone isn’t always feasible. At least some or all of the family usually comes. As such, quick trips are now time-consuming “outings” requiring significant planning prior to going.
Say it’s a few years ago, when B or J were babies, but K and I needed to get some stuff for the house. Well, we had to work around feedings/naptimes/bowel movements. Then, once the timing was acceptable, we would load up the diaper bag and head out, fingers crossed that there would be no crying outbursts/poopy diapers.
Here’s the other catch – as challenging as it is trying to shop with babies, it isn’t much easier with little kids! At least babies are immobile, you see. Small children are not. They have legs and are not afraid to use them.
Or their arms.
Or their brains.
Or their brains to come up with some impulsive, poorly thought out idea for their legs or arms to execute.
As such, B and J require a different type of scheduling now, than when they were babies. For real, to minimize in-store incidents, I gotta scout and come up with a gameplan before leaving, like I’m Bill Belichick preparing for the Super Bowl (OK, so the lightbulbs are in the third aisle near the back, but the milk is on the other side of the place. If I come in through the left, go deep down the produce section, grab the milk, Hail Mary it out of dairy, and run a reverse through the candy aisle to avoid the toy display, I can snatch the bulbs after. Hut hut hut!).
I really can’t stress the importance of this pre-planning. Failure to do so never ends well.
Lemme give you an example. The other day, we nonchalantly decided to go pick up a few things at the local Fortinos supermarket. While there, the following happened:
- Upon arrival, B’s energy level, which was mellow in the car ride over, went through the roof. He was uncontrollably hyperactive. Whoever said “like a kid in a candy store” never saw a kid in a grocery store.
- B immediately ran over to the bakery to get free cookies for him and J (because hyper people obviously need a sugar rush). He gobbled his up, while J sat in the shopping cart slowly savouring hers.
- Even though the cookies were small, with a few chocolate chips, J somehow got it smeared all over her. Remember when Augustus Gloop fell in the river, in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory? She kinda looked like that.
- While we looked at fruit, B attempted to load the cart up with raspberries and blueberries. Why? Because he thought they were a great buy, courtesy of the sign near them that said ‘Great Buy!’
- We restocked the berries. As we walked away, B ran off. He unexpectedly sprinted back toward us, slid on his knees about 10 feet and just missed colliding into our cart.
- We told him to stop running. He started to dance and strut bow-legged through the store.
- While carelessly busting a move, he smashed into a bread stand, knocking baguettes all over the floor.
- He pretended to fall in the organic section, so he could roll on the ground.
- Ever try to talk to someone, but you can tell they aren’t listening, by their body language? Picture that, but with the person’s eyes darting manically, while standing crouched as if they’re a tiger about to pounce. That was me trying to calm B down.
- Since things were getting out of hand, I decided to hold his hand. Shockingly enough, Mr. Non-Stop Frenetic Energy suddenly didn’t move. No really, he dropped and refused to walk.
- After a stern talking-to, he did behave……for a few minutes. As I was browsing in the canned goods aisle, I turned around and saw B on the ground, again (He spent so much time on the floor, I doubt Fortinos had to sweep that night). This time, his shoes were about 15 feet behind him.
B – “Well, I was running so fast that I lost my shoes!”
- J wanted out of the cart, to take part in the fun. Her and B then entertained themselves by running their hands along the items on the shelves. How no glass jars ended breaking is beyond me.
- When shopping with kids, be prepared to be asked by them about whether they can buy something. Typically, the something is really random. In J’s case at Fortinos, she asked for two packs of underwear that she found in the clearance section. We said no, and told her to put them back. She, of course, didn’t. She hid them in the shopping cart, instead. Imagine my surprise when going to check out, and finding little girl panties behind the frozen pizzas.
Anyway, you get the idea. It wasn’t our greatest experience in a grocery store.
Please don’t get it twisted, though. More often than not, our shopping expeditions are pretty enjoyable. Quality family time.
On occasion, however, they are pure, unmitigated, ill-advised disasters.
To conclude, let’s take heed of the words of a wise man, who once stated the following, in fancy writing:
Alright, alright, the wise man was me. I just made those words up now. At least it sounds like a quote a real wise person would say.
Regardless, Happy New Year, y’all!
May your trips to the stores in 2016 be more peaceful than mine!