These days grocery shopping for my family is somewhat of a logistical nightmare. I’d thought once the boys were in school that I could do the shopping during the week when I only had Kaylee with me, but I quickly learned that was not a good idea. If I can actually convince Kaylee to ride in the cart she makes a grab for anything that she can reach (which with her long arms is a lot) so she can hold it. But as soon as she tires of that item she drops it to the ground rather than putting it back into the cart.
Then, of course, there are the times I cannot convince her to ride in the cart. She’s very independant. Something that I both appreciate and loathe. When she chooses to walk through the store the shopping trip takes at least three times as long as it would have. Partially because she’s got short legs and therefore walks slow, but also because it’s nearly impossible to keep her on task for the 30-45 minutes necessary to complete my grocery run.
That leaves me to shop on the weekends. I would prefer to take Matt with me as we buy so much food that it would be nice to have a second set of arms lifting all of the groceries out of the cart, back into the cart, and into the car. But we’ve also learned that taking all three kids to the store is an even bigger nightmare than taking just Kaylee.
The boys cannot keep their hands to themselves unless someone is standing directly between them. Then you’ve got Brendan whining because he didn’t want to go to the store in the first place, Cameron dashing off in all directions just asking to crash into another cart, Kaylee slowing down the entire procession and making everyone more irritable, and Matt doing his best to keep the kids occupied and entertained but in reality winding them up and making them more wild, crazy and unlikely to survive the grocery run.
So that means I shop alone. This in itself is logistically difficult. The amount of food we go through in our house in unbelievable. When the kids all bring their appetites to the table we have trouble keeping up with them. It takes 4 boxes of macaroni and cheese to feed them. I go through a full 2.5 pound bag of chicken no matter what I’m making with it. They can down an entire box of frozen waffles in one sitting. The list goes on and on.
In an attempt to not be out of one item or another continuously I try to buy 3 or 4 or even more. But no matter how much I stock up on stuff we’re always out of something. And all the stocking up means that I buy a LOT of groceries. It’s not like I wait until the cupboards are bare, I go grocery shopping every single week. And just about every week my cart is so full by the time I head for the checkout that it is in danger of spilling all over the store. The basket is full, the child seat is full, the shelf underneath the cart is full, and I’m usually hand carrying another couple of items.
For a few months we tried to save money by shopping monthly. I get 5% off my groceries because I have a Target card. Then on top of that I participate in their pharmacy rewards, and for a while we were filling enough prescriptions to qualify for an extra 5% discount about once a month. So we would wait for the extra 5% to come in the mail then buy enough groceries to last us a full month.
That project was very short lived. It took at least 2 carts and sometimes 3 to get all of our groceries. There was no way I could make a run like that by myself unless i shopped until the cart was full, purchased the groceries, loaded them into the car, and came back into the store to fill the cart again (and yes, I did do that once). So Matt and the kids would have to go with me, and at that time Kaylee was small enough to need to ride in the cart which ate into our available grocery space.
Unfortunately, the holiday weekend activities made it impossible for us to do our grocery run this weekend. Other things took priority Monday and Tuesday as well, meaning I didn’t get our grocery run done until Wednesday this week. Which also meant that I was forced to take Kaylee with me. And boy, was she resistant to going. But I finally talked her into it, and she agreed on the condition that she could take her bunny mask.
Now, the bunny mask is actually Cameron’s. He made it in school the week before Easter. It’s just a paper plate with the center cut out, it has paper ears glued onto it, and is attached to a popsicle stick. But Kaylee loves it and has claimed it as her own. I saw no harm in allowing her to carry the bunny mask through the store, and thought it might actually distract her enough to allow me to complete my shopping more quickly.
Well I was half right. It definately distracted her. She spent the majority of the trip traipsing through the store, hopping like a bunny and attempting to get my attention every other minute to look at her bunny mask. When she finally grew bored with that she would drop the mask in the middle of the aisle and attempt to take 100 things off the shelves.
I quickly convinced her to stop doing that, by telling her she needed to be my helper. So she dropped her mask into my cart and began “helping” me get our groceries. This meant that I picked up whatever item we needed and she got to be the one to put it in the cart. This was fine and dandy for most things, but the problem was she didn’t want me to help her or do it for her on items that would not be so good to be put in the cart by a 2 year old. Such as eggs, or the glass jar of spaghetti sauce, or the bread. I spent the rest of the shopping trip having a battle of wills with my daughter.
Kaylee: “Let MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE do it.”
Me: “You can’t. It will break.”
Kaylee: “Le me DOOOOOOOOOOOOO it!”
Me: (firmly) “No. You’re too little. Mommy will do it.”
Kaylee: (raising her voice to an octive only dogs can hear) “I WANT TO DO IT!!!”
Me: (hiding item behind my back) “Fine. We won’t get that one. Here. Put this in the cart.” (handing her an item that was already in the cart that won’t break.)
Good thing they’re still pretty gullible at that age. Well, after an hour and a half we finally finished our grocery run and headed for the checkout. All of my kids love to check out at the store. They eagerly stand by the cart and wait for Matt and I to hand them items to put onto the conveyer belt. It’s about the only thing they can all agree on. Wednesday was no exception. Kaylee was quite eager to start emptying out the cart.
But she didn’t just take the items and put them on the belt. The cashier had been quite friendly to her when we first walked up, and apparently Kaylee was quite taken by that. Because every single item I handed her went straight down to the cashier. The lady checking us out thought it was extremely cute that Kaylee would bring her thing saying, “Here you go.” and “Fank you” when the lady took them from her, but as usual it made the checkout process take twice as long as it needed to.
We finally got our cart all loaded up and headed for the car. I was completely exhausted by the experience, but my little Kaylee-bunny was already ready for the next adventure.