Grocery Shopping with Kids

Grocery Shopping with Kids

A month long lock down recently got over here and yesterday I decided to take kids along for grocery shopping. No, I haven’t had pleasant experiences in the past. But I was just feeling pity for them, wanted to give them a little outing, a little change or may be I had grown overconfident of my abilities.

My elder one does not enjoy the limelight and is therefore generally reluctant to accompany us (me & the younger one). She believes that we are Professionals when it comes to creating a scene and by scene, I mean the literal definition of a ‘Scene’, a loud, typically angry disturbance or display in public, such that it draws attention to those involved. Yet I convinced her and we took the plunge ….. and below is the sequence of events what happened next –

We arrive at the store, me holding grocery list in one hand, my younger one’s hand in other and a promise in my head that I would be more watchful this time. By the way, Parenthood has also taught me that one can sneeze with the eyes open. In fact, it becomes critical when you have a fidgety kid and when you spend one tenth of your lifetime sneezing. Those of you who know me personally would know that I sneeze a lot. And let me tell you that this skill of mine comes in very handy during COVID times. Imagine a grocery store fully packed, people everywhere, people blocking you in, and one sneeze, just one loud sneeze and everybody clears the way. It goes out as a warning, ‘Move it or lose it’ kind of a warning 😉

So, I put my younger one in the shopping cart and we start our journey through the aisles. Not even 5 steps and the kid started crying …. she didn’t want to sit in the cart, she didn’t want to be buckled instead she wanted to pick all the groceries and throw them in the cart. So, I’m multi-tasking now …. from pushing the cart, to picking groceries, to declining my elder one’s purchase wishlist, to wrestle with my younger one. Apparently, my Buttercup thinks that grocery stores are the best place to play hide & seek, oh, did I mention she has escaping tendencies too. If I try to catch/stop her, she fights my grip so hard that the strangers around feel that I’m kidnapping someone else’s kid. She does not even mind lying down on the shop floor to demonstrate her protest. To this point we had already invited a lot of hard stares, we no longer appear civilized and my elder one had disowned us. She’s about to leave & go sit in the car, but I plead her to help me. So now we take turns in chasing the Buttercup, but elder one is a bit rough with her. Younger one is getting mad, knocking over some display items. Sibling harmony is a story of the past. No matter how hard you beg, plead or even threaten the kids to try and get them to behave they refuse. You are no longer the boss, the tail is now wagging the dog and everyone is looking at you,  judging you for your poor parenting skills.

My faith is shaken ……. Not everything happens for a reason. But sometimes things happen because you’re stupid and you make bad choices.

To hell with the grocery list, I head towards the checkout, but the adventure awaits. I have a long and slow-moving checkout lane to crawl through. And trust me its torturous when it’s a rush hour and you are accompanied by a very impatient child and also by another compassionate child, most humble & courteous, the one who would step back and let everybody else pass through before moving an inch herself. Anyhow, younger one has been stuffed back in the cart and you try to keep her engaged with some stellar performances on her favourite nursery rhymes (co-shoppers enjoy for free). You are now second in the billing line. Just when you are a little hopeful that the lady in front of you is about to swipe her card to make payment, her kid shoots off. And then you have to wait an eternity for her precious child to return with his favourite snack that he missed to pick in the first place while your child has been struggling to jump out of your cart forever it seems. Even with a tolerance as high as mine, I’ve been feeling that my psychic stability is at risk. I wish I had a tranquilizing dart for my Buttercup.

Somehow you manage to survive the bottleneck with all your stuff and all your kids still accompanying you. You are breathless to this point with your ECG showing abnormalities. You had just witnessed a whole new dimension to ‘Shop ’til you drop’. You throw them all (grocery bags & the kids) in the car, put on your seat belt and sit in the parking lot for a while trying to relax your facial muscles which are strained due to all the angry weird faces you’ve been making at your kids. Just as you turn the engine on, Maroon 5 plays on the radio ….

Maybe it’s six forty-five

Maybe I’m barely alive

Maybe you’ve taken my shit for the last time, yeah


And so, it seemed the lines were tailor made just for you.

On the drive back home, younger one enjoyed her candy, elder one enjoyed some fresh air and I was just happy being alive. When we enter the house, the three of us were all smiles … okay, fine … may be mine was a little bigger than theirs. Motherhood can be messy sometimes but keep it fun, keep it going!

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