Dear Mom in the Supermarket,
I saw you last week, with a big pregnant belly, pushing your shopping cart and smiling. You must be exhausted! And your little boy sitting on top of the wagon, he was so cute. He couldn’t have been more than 18-months old, right? Remember when you were feeling the avocados and he picked one up and just threw it on the floor? That little old lady passing by giggled and called him a real firecracker. Then you both laughed a bit. It was a sweet moment.
Here’s the thing. I don’t want to poop on your party, but I want you to know that it won’t always be this way, just so you’re prepared. You’ll still have sweet moments with your kids, but those moments won’t be in the supermarket. You see, once you have two or more walking, talking human beings in your charge, the supermarket is less like a pleasant place to shop and more like a chilled version of hell. So here are some tips so you’ll be ready in a few years. Ok, here goes:
1. Don’t ask the kids who wants to sit in the wagon. They’ll either both want to sit or both want to walk, and one will wait to hear what the other chooses so he can choose the same thing. You decide that sh*t before you get there. And don’t be tricked into letting one sit in the big part, because the moment a bag of lettuce hits your child’s precious leg he’ll cry that you’re squishing him and have a meltdown in the middle of produce.
2. Once that’s settled, at least one child will demand to know how many things you’re getting. Don’t commit to a number! Because if you do your child will count, and once you reach that number they’ll throw a sh*t fit that you’re still shopping.
3. Even though 99% of what you’re buying is for them, your kids will request a “special treat” for the lies you told about how many things you’re buying. They’ll each demand special treats until you give in, so just say yes and make it easy. But be prepared, once you say yes your kids won’t pick anything until they’ve seen the whole store. THE WHOLE STORE. They’ll get really close a few times but then they’ll realize that something better might be in aisle seven. So they’ll keep waiting. And when they finally decide…
4. Make sure their special treats are NOT in glass or hard plastic, because they will demand to hold their special treat. And they will drop the special treat 14 times each by the time you reach checkout, no matter how many times you bark “drop it again and I take it away.” You wouldn’t dare, and they effing know it.
5. Move fast through the bread aisle. You know those mushy stress balls that feel so good to squeeze? That’s every plastic-wrapped loaf of bread to kids. They will squish them if they are in front of them for even three seconds. So just move fast. Same goes for the meat section. Saran wrapped raw foods and little fingers are a toxic combination.
6. If both children have decided to walk, listen carefully. What you see as an aisle, your children see as a race track, and this is prime time for a sprint. They’ll run like maniacs down the lane until they almost bowl over the same old lady from the avocados two years ago, except now she thinks you’re the worst mother ever and your kid’s a little brat.
7. Avoid the cheese area. Your kids will erupt in laughter over the smell and yell obnoxious things comparing the smell to your farts and Dad’s breath. And they’ll make sure everyone can hear.
8. Don’t shop for greeting cards. I don’t care whose birthday it is, your children will pull cards out to “help” you until they discover the section with pigeons in bathing suits and hot cowboys and then its game on for them. No card is safe.
9. Save time to hang out at the lobster tank. If you stop for even a second, the lady who’s never free to help you with a deli order suddenly has time to play aquarium director.
10. Be prepared at check out. Your kids will need gum, a chocolate bar, any kind of squeezable neon sugar and a balloon. Don’t say yes to anything or anyone. No one will share and you’ll have four packs of gum and six “congrats” balloons on a stick by the time you leave.
But honestly, try not to worry. You’ve totally got this! And after doing it for a while you’ll become an old pro. In fact, I’ve gotten so used to the chaos of grocery shopping that by now, the only thing that really bothers me about it is this…
If none of my kids ever eats, why the hell am I always in the supermarket?