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Reason 37 Why NOT To Shop With Toddlers

Happy 2nd blog-oversary to Kristin, at We are THAT Family! She’s created a space for people to share the crazy things that happen in their families and to enjoy the truth that those things happen to everyone raising children — it isn’t so weird and unusual after all. I thought I’d participate in her celebration today with a little story from this week.

I shop for two weeks (or more) of groceries at a time. I do this for two reasons:

  1. It reduces my spending because staying out of the store keeps impulse items out of my cart (both child impulses and my impulses).
  2. I don’t have to grocery shop as often. Despite what my daughter thinks, it isn’t my favorite thing to do.

Yesterday, I had to make my bi-monthly Costco run, along with my biweekly grocery trip. We’d gone out of town and then gotten sick, and since I expect the germs to make a fairly regular appearance for the next several months, I knew that this was my window of opportunity.

Costco is usually a great place to go with toddlers. They usually supply 5-6 sample stations throughout the store so you can try the items packaged in such massively-huge bags that it’s intimidating to “try” them by buying.

However, I made a critical tactical error yesterday. I arrived right when they open the store, and then headed straight to the back where the perishable food, and samples, are located.

I now know that it takes those sample stations a good half hour to 45 minutes to get set up and produce the first wave of samples. For a toddler who knows the drill, sees the mouth-watering photos set up, and smells the food cooking, this is sheer torture.

So mine spent that 30-45 minutes alternately screaming, crying, and keening. In Costco, where the concrete floors and metal shelves amplify and reflect head-splitting sounds to shocking levels.

Then, of course, when we tried the tortellini with pesto sauce, we dribbled pesto all over the cart seat, which he was climbing all over. Pesto down the back of a toddler’s white (stupid stupid stupid wardrobe choice!) football pants looks just like… well, I’m sure you can fill in the blank. 

As worn as I am at the end of the day and as bad as I hate to put myself alone in parking lots at night, I’m thinking very seriously about doing all future food shopping alone after my husband gets home from work.

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