Food Shopping With Children!
A little trip to the supermarket with all four of my boys during half term reminded me just how hard food shopping with children can be. With three of mine at school now I had forgotten the stress that a simple trip to the supermarket could create. So much so that my naivety saw me taking them to the café for a sugar hit BEFORE doing the actual shop. Massive, massive, rooky mistake! One that saw the next hour consisting of four noisy boys running up and down aisles trying to skid on their bottoms, a full trolley flipped over and a screaming mummy meltdown moment. It was also the inspiration for my latest blog post though – 10 things a parent shopping with young kids will understand!
1. Parking In A Parent Child Parking Space! Now this one will always be a bone of contention for us mums and dads. Why oh why do certain people have to try to take away this tiny bit of ‘convenience’ that is on offer to us? A few brave ones amongst us will confront these misusers of parent parking spaces. They will give them a piece of their mind on behalf of all parents or maybe opt for my more favoured route of sarcasm and tell them that they seem to have left their child in the shop. The rest of us will just give them a dirty look as we walk past them and have a little argument with them in our heads. Either way, the result is beginning your shop just that little bit more stressed than you needed to be.
2. Finding A Two Seater Trolley! Any parent knows that the best way to do a food shop successfully with minimum carnage is to trap your children in the trolley, well away from any shelves. If you have more than two children in tow you could do with a three seater trolley but as they are yet to be invented, a two seater will have to make do! You know they exist, you have seen them before but can you ever find one? You stand more chance of finding a needle in a haystack as all ten of the double seater trolleys are buried deep within the mass of lazy boy one seaters!
3. Trolley War! You have finally made it into the shop with two of your children sat snuggly next to each other in the trolley. Do they hold hands and sing nursery rhymes together? Do they cuddle up together for a little nap? Not if they are anything like my boys they don’t! Being forced into such close proximity calls for just one thing! ‘Mission – Annoy Your Sibling’. Be it a hair pull, a sly little kick or a wipe of a snotty nose on the arm next to them, one of your little cherubs will go out of their way to annoy their sibling and you will bear the brunt of it!
4. Trolley Stunt Man! – As your attention is on your two children bickering in their seats, your other child may decide that now would be a good time to balance their bottom on the edge of the trolley and lift their feet up off the ground. And then hey, guess what, let’s add ‘no hands’, just for fun! A well meaning shop assistant pops over to kindly advise you that the trolleys aren’t really designed for children to stand in and your son or daughter is likely to have a nasty accident. Worst parent of the year award apparently goes to you that day!
5. Don’t Forget Why You Trap Them In The Trolley In The First Place! Not wanting to appear to be an irresponsible parent, you let your children out of the trolley before any more stunts can be performed. All goes smoothly until you enter the cereals aisle. You turn your back for a split second to get some porridge and when you turn back, the Weetabix and Shreddies have been joined on the shelf by two very cheeky looking little children! Tempting as it may be to leave them there with a price tag on, you scoop them back up and go back to your original plan of piling them in the trolley.
6. Random Items In The Trolley Trick! – You are loading your items into your shopping bags when you discover a random tin of sliced peaches or other such randomness that you would never knowingly buy. There can only be one explanation as to how it got there and I think your little tinker sitting in the trolley may just know.
7. Use Food As A Distraction! Before long, it is time to resort to every good mums and dads parenting trick – the biscuit! Forget peeling satsumas in a bid to be healthy. Desperate times call for desperate measures and sometimes only a biscuit will do. Followed swiftly by gingerbread men……………crisps…………..ice lollies. Every new thing that enters the trolley is fair game so be prepared for several packets being opened before you get to the till!
8. The Till Trauma! So, you have finally made it to the till to pay. As we all know, it is important to let your kids help you with things, so you let them load up the conveyor belt. All goes great for the first few minutes until they seem to seize the opportunity to use their new found height from being in the trolley to have a ‘stack it high’ competition. You then watch in slow motion as the food tumbles overboard and your children find it hilarious as a yogurt smashes to the ground leaving a trail of white slime behind to it.
9. I Need A Wee! You are half way through packing your shopping, there is a queue of three people behind you and your youngest suddenly clutches themselves screaming that they need a wee. You smile apologetically at the shop assistant and tell them you will be right back as you dash to the other side of the shop praying that your little one doesn’t have an accident down you on the way. If you are lucky you will get a lovely shop assistant who takes over the packing for you. If not, you will return to a pile of shopping at the end of the conveyor belt and a queue of tutting shoppers glaring at you.
10. The Judgement From The Person With No Children In Tow. Try as you might to fix your ‘everything is under control’ smile on your face your eyes cannot hide what you are really thinking when other shoppers make comments such as ‘Ooh, you’ve got your hands full haven’t you!’ and ‘Are they all yours?’. You smile sweetly and shrug but what you are really saying to them in your head is a different story entirely.
You have done it! You have survived your ordeal and have enough food to last you a week before you have to go through the whole process again. You head home for a quick cup of tea before starting the hour long process of putting everything away and contemplating the idea that home delivery is the way forward from now on!