Don’t let those sweet smiles deceive you. The second we step into Publix, and wheel over to the bakery, my children become possessed. It’s usually the littlest that starts the hair pulling, tackling, and other screaming contests. Strangers give me backward glances, and other moms steal knowing looks, smirks, and little head shakes as I shamefully rush by. I usually leave the store white knuckling the grocery cart, gritting my teeth, and in desperate need of a drink. This has become my personal hell.
Yes I know I should leave them at home with their dad. But hello, he’s on the road again. And this past Saturday morning we were out of food. No waffles (cue the whining). No bananas and cheerios (cue the crying). And no Stonyfield smoothies (cue the ear piercing, top of the lungs screaming). No clue how I let this happen this week…but at 8:30 am we were at Publix, and no amount of free cookies would appease the tired, cranky, hungry toddlers.
So in my quest for semi-peaceful shopping trips, I’ve decided to come up with a plan on how to survive my next visit to the supermarket. Hoping this will help keep my girls occupied, and me free from pulling out my hair!
SUPERMARKET SURVIVAL STRATEGY
1. Cookies at the End of the Shopping Trip. Oh yeah, things are gonna get real tomorrow. I normally head straight to the bakery and get them their free cookie. It’s like Pavlov, the second we walk into the store my 2 year old starts yelling “cookie, Cookie, COOKIE!!!” This usually keeps the girls happy for about 10 minutes. Then the sugar kicks in and the fun ends. For me anyways. So from here until eternity, the cookie will become a reward for the end of shopping, if they both behave.
2. I Spy. I never really tried this at the store, only in the car. But this should help for a few aisles…right?
3. Bingo & Scavenger Hunt. My new friend and awesome printable creator Sarah from Play 2 Learn with Sarah made these cute bingo cards and sheets for a scavenger hunt. Cute huh? You can download them for free on her site…oh and she has tons of other great printables. I literally go to her blog on a bi-weekly basis looking for things to do with my toddler. Thanks Sarah! I can’t wait to try this out and see if it holds their attention.
4. Let Them Help! Our friend Kristen, occupational therapist extraordinaire, recommends giving older children that can read a list and let them help you shop. I waver on letting the rugrats actually get out of the cart, but my 5 year old is awesome at picking produce, counting it, and putting it in the bags. She really is a big help, especially with unloading the cart at checkout. But my 2 year old (aka tasmanian devil) is hard to keep track of. This one is a TBD for the Hewitts.
I’m hoping a few of these ideas will help contain my spirited children on the next shopping trip. If all else fails, I’m petitioning Publix to bring back Publix direct. Remember when they delivered groceries? Genius. Or maybe they could offer free grown up libations to the parents in the store. Free bottle of wine per kid sounds good to me. Or maybe even build a play place like IKEA?