03 August 2009

Grocery Shopping With Kids in Tow

OK, so it's not the ideal situation but we all have to do it. I mean, really, what would you rather pay a babysitter for? Time spent at the grocery store, or time out on a date with your husband (or a mani-pedi...)?

So, today I set out for a major stock-up trip at the commissary. We live about 20 miles from the nearest base with a commissary, so just getting there is an adventure. We set out at 9 a.m. and by 10:00 we were there. I was feeling in-the-zone, so I decided that we could also accomplish a short list at the Post Exchange. Of course, that turned into a 45 minutes journey up and down the aisles, "stop poking each other, stop pulling things off the shelf, no, we can't get pokemon cards," etc...

On the the commissary...

I quickly realized that I must utilize some sort of strategy or I'd barely survive the adventure. So, I took one of those carts that can seat two big kids in the blue seats and a toddler in the cart itself. I had the five year old sit in a seat across from the toddler and rotated the 8 year old and the 11 year old in and out of the other seat. This way, only one child was out on the loose at a time. This turned out to be a great strategy, though I kept finding myself looking for the kids to be scattered around the aisles, only to find them exactly where the should be... seated in the cart.

Before I knew it, it was 12:30 and I could hardly believe no one had complained how hungry they were. I guess I owe this to the fact that I had them each choose a snack to eat in the car on the drive to the store. By 12:45, the toddler had begun to melt down. By this I mean he was pulling items out of the cart and dropping them on the floor, quickly escalating to him taking the frozen pizzas and bopping his brothers on the head. So, I planted the 4 kids and the cart at the end of an aisle, ran back to get the packaged cheese and yogurt drinks and quickly headed to the check out lanes.

I enlisted the help of my brawny 8 1/2 year old to move the overflowing cart of groceries on the belt, paid the $271 bill and headed home.

Lessons: Give the kids jobs, keep them contained, and let them each choose at least one item you don't mind buying anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I prefer the "just let them run wild in the store because you'll only live here for a couple of years anyway" strategy.... ;-)