Flu and other various illnesses struck our house for a while, but thankfully, we’re all much better now. This week, we’ve been able to once again get out of the house and resume life as normal. Woo-hoo! I hadn’t done any grocery shopping since we all got sick, and we were down to the bare minimum. I knew I had to go shopping, but I really didn’t want to miss time with Stephen in the evening, so I thought I might as well take all the kids with me during the day. (I usually either go when the kids are asleep or take just one with me.) I remember watching an episode of the Duggars from a while back when they took lots of their kiddos to the store. Their whole trip was so organized, and I thought, “Hey, I can do this!”
When we lived in Springfield, we went to Aldi a lot, but I stopped going when we moved out to Nixa. I was curious to see if I could save any money on our grocery bill, so I grabbed our reusable bags and off to Aldi we went. I carried Seth in our Ergo carrier (don’t know what I’d do without it), O rode in the front of the cart, and L and T stood on opposite sides of the cart. The kids really did an amazing job – I only had to remind them of a few things while we were shopping. Seth was awake the whole time but didn’t make a peep. I kept looking down to check on him, and his eyes were as big as saucers. He was taking in all of the sights and sounds. (He took a LONG nap when we got home!)
At one point of the grocery trip, I had the girls look around and asked them if anyone was jumping around or being loud. O said, “But they’re all old.” Most of the people in the store were 65 or older!
When we got to the check-out line, the girls helped me load all of the groceries onto the belt. They tried to throw the eggs and glass bottles onto the belt, but I caught them just in time! Then, we went over to the bagging area, and the girls went to town. They thought it was the coolest thing ever. We had a quick lesson on not putting bread at the bottom of the bag, and then they started loading the bags. They truly were great helpers. When we got into the van, I took a huge sigh of relief that everything had gone well, and the girls asked, “Can we go to another store now?” That’s definitely not what I was thinking at that moment! But I told them we could definitely come back since they did such a good job.
Here are some tips to help moms grocery shop with young kids:
1. Play “store” at home to teach expectations. (Ex: look with eyes instead of hands; mom has the list and you don’t need to ask for anything, etc.)
2. Start with short trips for just a two or three items at small stores.
3. Have a pep talk in the car before going into the store to review expectations and consequences. (Ex: good choices mean playing game with mom later, bad choices mean a longer nap.)
4. View the shopping trip as a lesson in manners and give lots of praise for good behavior right when you see it.