Grocery Shopping with Children Should be an Olympic Event

I’ve learned the hard way that grocery shopping with children requires more patience than I have.

Grocery shopping with children easily takes twice as long, and when you the kids are cranky, God help you.

One grocery trip I survived should’ve earned me a gold medal, or maybe last place, depending on how you score Olympic Events.

One late Sunday afternoon, all four of us needed to get out of the house. Since we needed groceries, we hit up Meijer — which, for some reason, my children have never been happy in. I’m not a huge fan either, but the damn store has everything.

My kids enjoy the grocery store TV Carts… and for those of you who don’t know what a TV Cart is, well, it’s pretty much exactly that. A big, cumbersome grocery cart with a car in front that holds 2 children, showcasing a variety of cartoons to entertain them watch while you grocery shop.

One would think this would be genius! But the actual grocery cart doesn’t hold much, so by the time your cart is full (in t-minus 20 minutes) you have less than half of your list covered, and need another grocery cart, or to check out while your kids scream, because they take away the TV cart when you load up your groceries.

Oh the flaws in an otherwise genius idea.
My youngest doesn’t sit still for long, and she was done with the grocery store TV cart long before her sister. This meant the hubs & I had to take turns either holding her squirminess, or chasing her throughout the grocery store.

My oldest was already pissy because we didn’t get the TV cart she wanted (they have a couple to choose from, but only one was available) so even though she sat in the cart, she was a volcano bound for eruption.

Sure enough, as I stood in the long grocery store check-out line, I swear, these lines rival Disney World at times, without the magic at the end. I began to unload the TV cart, sweaty from carrying a thrashing, screaming toddler, while the hubs exited stage right to chase her as she escaped our parental clutches, yet again.This meant I was granted the lovely chore of kicking our oldest out of the TV cart. To this day, I have no idea what job would’ve been tougher. At least I wasn’t on my own, that would definitely require a double gold metal, and a free trip to the mental ward.

As I unbuckled my oldest, the TV shut off — it shuts off automatically when you hit a certain point in the grocery store checkout lane, which is just, awesome

And the volcano I mentioned earlier? Full blown eruption, lava spewing everywhere.

At this point, I was indeed on my own, but the grocery store checkout lady — who said “I’ve soooo been there!” — did her best to speed up the process.The hubs felt the eruption of our very loud oldest and managed to stumble back to see what he could do, with his own mini-tornado thrashing in his arms. The hubs almost made it back to me when our youngest squirmed out of his arms and ran one way, while our oldest ran the other. I was left scrambling to load up our brand-spanking new, boring grocery cart with bags of groceries as fast as I could, trying to keep one eye on my oldest so I’d know where to find her.

As I grabbed the sweaty gallon of milk with my clammy hands, it slipped, and I swear, in slow motion, I watched a full gallon of milk fall to the floor, just missing my feet, but not the rest of me… within a split second, it burst open as it hit the floor, and a tidal wave of milk soaked my entire body.

I was officially drenched in milk.

And yes, I did cry over spilled milk.I laughed too… I don’t know what I was doing more, laughing or crying, but thankfully the cashier noticed the case of beer we had snagged and made sure that was on top, saying “Honey, crack one of these on the way home… it will get easier!”

She was right, it has gotten easier, because I learned a great lesson that day:
If I wanted to grocery shop with an ounce of sanity left, I would need to do it alone, without my children… or with a flask in my purse.

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