Grocery Store Adventures (Part 1)

Why is it so difficult to go grocery shopping with a toddler? How can there be urgent feelings of hunger, tiredness, irritation and/or grouchiness the second we step foot through the door?

Whenever I go grocery shopping (which is normally daily), I am fully equipped and ready for anything that may be thrown my way – literally! I bring so many toys, snacks, drinks and jackets that I barely have room left for groceries. As soon as Alex is placed in the cart and the baggage gets unloaded, the cart is already three-quarters full. I look like a three-ring circus to everyone within seeing (or hearing) distance. The workers recognize me as soon as I enter and are usually smart enough to stand back as I speed through the aisles like a formula 1 driver. I am head-over-heels elated when we make it through at least half of the store before a meltdown. I feel everyone’s eyes on the back of my neck as I whip through the store with a screaming toddler in tow. Alex wants the chips, the cookies, the bread, the onions, the pickles, the markers, and of course that large package of depends.

When we reach the check-out I am half-way relieved to have made it so far, but I know there is still plenty to do. I must somehow unload the cart, pack the groceries into bags, find my “supercard” – all while distracting Alex from the wide assortment of colorful candies (which happen to be strategically placed on his eye level and ever so sweetly calling his name). By this point, Alex has either eaten or nibbled on at least 1 or 2 (usually edible) items, so I must explain it to the cashier and pay for them accordingly. As I explain why the bar code has been chewed off a box of cereal or why there’s only a few crumbs left to a large croissant, I try to ignore the eye rolls from the cashier. I also must get rid of the extra items Alex placed in the cart. Regardless, we usually come home with an additional item or two that I didn’t intend to buy, but apparently Alex had. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a toddler.

Once those tasks are complete, I can finally breathe my sigh of relief we pass the most admired thing in the whole store/world. . . the kid’s toy ride. I have a soft spot for these little rides which seem to be everywhere from malls to hospitals. The toy train located just beyond the registers at our local Coop moves slower than a snail, but lights up and is the highlight of the shopping trip for Alex. So as I let him out of the cart, he bolts to the train. He gets inside and starts hammering on the buttons with his fist before I have a chance to make my way over. He waits impatiently but remains in the same place until I come.

I pull the shiny silver 1 franc coin out of my wallet and his eyes light up. He knows that very soon the train will be taking off to the destination of his choice (as slowly as that may be.. perhaps it’s an Amtrak?). He is very excited and waits on it even after the ride is over, just in case the train spontaneously decides to take one more trip. He hops off once he gives up hope kicks, screams, cries and bites when I take him off the train and place him back in the stroller. We somehow manage to walk out of the store (perhaps with a bit less sanity) and back home with groceries bulging out of the stroller’s basket – practically busting at the seams. All I know is that even if the stroller doesn’t make it home in 1 piece, at least Alex and I survived another shopping adventure.

Do you have a story about a crazy shopping experience with a little one?

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*If you take a close look in the train picture you can see that Alex had already polished off an entire capri sun before we even left the store!

And for the countdown: 8 days until Kathy and Joan arrive!!

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5 thoughts on “Grocery Store Adventures (Part 1)

  1. Patty McHugh

    WOW, you certainly do take a lot of things with you to the grocery store! I thought I had to bring a lot, when you were little! The way you described your adventures, with Mr. Alex, gives everyone a vivid picture of what you go through! You and Christine are the amazing writers in the family! The details certainly paint a colorful picture! I wonder if someone has tried to video tape this event, one of the times you have gone in there? Someone could make a bundle off of some of your adventures! I just love the expression on his face, as he is sitting on that train…pure contentment! I can’t even imagine what he is like when you try to remove him from this train! It could not be a very pretty site! Oh, by the way, thank you for letting us know what he had just finished drinking…I was wondering, since I could see something in his hands, the little stinker! Thanks for sharing this with all of us! Your story, and the pictures, are GREAT! Thank you for taking the time to do all of this!
    WE LOVE YOU, ALL!
    LOVE ALWAYS,
    Mom and Dad
    P.S.- Daddy just came out to check something on the computer, so he was able to see the pictures, and hear about most of the story. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Mom! I always think of you when I go in the grocery store since you would also bring a ton of stuff (cooler, jackets, etc.). Alex is such a crazy man in the store. It’s simply unreal! Even loading him up on drinks and snacks doesn’t always work. You probably wouldn’t stop laughing if you saw us in the store! Love you!

  2. I got a crazy one at Casa with my 2 girls last 2 weeks. Alana was in the buggy, Marisa walked. i kept telling Marisa to be careful around the glasses section. till the end of looking here and there, we were about to reach cashier, Alana stretched her legs and… 4 glasses fell on the floor, broke finely… hmm.. apparently, they didn’t charge me..

    1. Oh man! I’m always scared of the aisles with anything breakable, esp. glass with my crazy little guy running around! That’s good you didn’t have to pay for it. I’m glad that the store was understanding!

  3. Pingback: Grocery Store Adventures (Part 2) « Blog Archive « Steph & Claudio's Blog

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