I bet as you are reading this, you’re thinking “Wow, she had an awesome weekend at the outlets with the girls. Got a bunch of great deals, maybe a pedicure, and had a few glasses of wine with some great girlfriends”. Oh, the luxury that would be! No, the kids and I headed to the supermarket. The one with the carts for little ones to “help”.
Let’s just sum up the whole experience with two words: herding cats. The kids were thrilled with their new-found independence. They could walk behind me, pretending to be all grown up like, adding things we really didn’t need to their carts. Sure, you can call me a lazy mom, but do you know that certain aisles of stores are specifically merchandised to appeal to kids? Yeah, try saying “no” over and over to your kids as you have already relinquished your power as a parent. Yes, the ultimate power of making your child sit IN the cart, facing you, as you meander down the aisles. That power was gone. Caput. No more. When you have two strong-willed children you find that the one spot in the shopping cart that gives you this power is more of an issue than a help. A fight always ensues over who gets to sit where. I’ve long given up the idea of shopping cart bliss.
They were enthralled, overwhelmed, excited, engaged…goldfish, fruit snacks, cheez its, and oreos, all within their reach. And what went in one child’s cart had to have a match in the other child’s cart. I estimate that we spent an extra 60 dollars on this trip alone – a good argument for leaving the kids with dada.
Oh, and the apologies. In almost every aisle, I found myself apologizing to others. “Sorry we’re blocking the aisle”. “Sorry my child just ran over your foot”. “Sorry we just banged into your cart.” By aisle ten, I’d found two kinds of shoppers were lurking through the store:
- Those who empathized, either because they had kids themselves, or had at some point taken care of kids and knew that a successful shopping trip was no more than “trying your best”. From these shoppers, there were some endearing smiles, “I’ve been there” looks, a few good chuckles, and even one mama who said I deserved an award for having the patience to shop with my two kids in tow (thank you, I needed that!)
- Those who clearly had it out for us – shooting me dirty looks, grunting at me when I apologized, and the WORST offender of all – getting back at little Morgan by practically running her over (this is no joke, he went right after her). To these people, I say, get over yourself.
In the end, we made it home – two happy kids, and one pooped mama. The kids couldn’t stop talking about having their own shopping carts and being just like mama. And that made it all (even the extra 60 bucks in groceries) worth it. It made it the ultimate shopping trip.