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.

No related posts found.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Abby Briggs
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I have left Meijers many a time thinking I should head right to the mental ward. I love your blogs Kelli. They kick ass.

  2. Marysol
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Kelli, your posts are wonderful. I often find myself forwarding them to the girls here at the office.
    You and the hubs are officially gold medalists in my book 🙂

  3. Posted January 30, 2011 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Wow, this could be an exact story about me EXCEPT the bomb dropping at the end. I feel so much better about my experiences now because I don’t think I could have handled dropping the milk – would have totally lost it. You definitely deserve a medal!

  4. Posted February 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    I hear that. I try to do it solo because it goes quicker.

    Ours does have self scan, so you can carry the scanner around the store with you. And, so far the little guy is happy to have a “gun” that he is allowed to shoot at things (barcodes). It beeps, it has lights, it’s as if he becomes Buzz Lightyear for an hour.

    I’m ashamed to admit that if feels a bit like a vacation when I can go by myself. No rush, Muzak in the background…sad commentary, no?

  5. Posted December 6, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    you’re ace! your blog is ace! very funny – thanks x

  6. LauraT
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I love the post!!! I have learned that even with one child, I do Meijer by myself as much as possible. I even will get up on Saturday at 6am to go before the crowds and without the kid (and lets face it, the hubs too), which is a major thing for me as I am not a morning person at all 🙂

    • Posted July 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Laura! It is so true — doesn’t matter what time it is, I’d rather go alone — in a crowd, or not — than deal with greedy, unruly kids in a grocery store. They ARE better now… but… it’s still way easier on the sanity to go alone.

  7. Posted July 31, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Holy shit. Though it appears it was fully traumatizing that is one hell of a story. It could totally be a short film. I can see the milk jug in slow motion.

    Also, as a Meijer shopping mama, I am SO thankful that our store has removed the TV carts and those dumb ass ones that are the Little Tikes car on the front. Just regular old shopping carts for us. My girls are still good in the grocery store, but I fully expect lava and spilled milk in our near future. Thank god Meijer is open 24/7!!! Cause I’ll be drinking a cold one and headed out around midnight by myself…

    • Posted July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I swear, in my head, I still see that gallon of milk falling & spilling in slow motion. And yes — I hadn’t realized it immediately, but I did a happy dance when I noticed that the TV carts were GONE! Like our kids really need *more* screen time.

      We’ll have to meet up for that beer sometime soon. 😀

  8. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, an hour at Meijer alone is vacation. I once went to Meijer, bought a maxi sundress, a fifth of Vodka, a new lipstick AND groceries, all without my kids and it was so glorious that I still remember it!

Leave a Reply to LauraT Cancel reply

  • About Me

    Kelli Williams

    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

    View Full Profile →

  • Get Email Updates!

    Enter your email address to subscribe to Momma's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Archive Collection

  • Steph Harding Photo

    Steph Harding - Kick Ass Photographer!
  • Buy Momma a Beer!

  • Network with Momma Registered & Protected

%d bloggers like this: