Last time I wrote about our family adventures in the grocery store, it was to praise the unsolicited intervention of “helpful” strangers. On our latest trip to the market, we could have used a helpful stranger – one good at pushing shopping carts instead of friendly advice.
If we are only collecting the products we actually need, one cart is plenty. I am more than equal to the task of pushing it around the store while my wife herds the children in the generally desired direction and hunts coupons on her iPad.
But when Buster scoots down the aisles on impulse power, bringing in every item that looks good to his sweet tooth or salty-snack-craving tongue, we could use a second cart for the pile of groceries that nobody with any money intends to buy.
I don’t remember Big Brother ever adding this volume of groceries to the cart. Buster started doing it because he thought he was being helpful. Back then, it was random items to help us fill the cart. Now, he’s become selective, choosing only products that look good to eat.
If the cookies look particularly tasty, Buster is not above bringing multiple boxes to the cart. Any attempts to dissuade him from his gluttony are met with a standard reply: “I need it!” When you are two years old, chips and candy are no mere desires. You need these things to sustain you in your never-ending battle against the meat, fruit, and vegetables that are constantly being pushed at your face.
My wife and I have different philosophies about Buster’s foraging expeditions. I try to discourage him from putting extraneous items into the cart, but my wife doesn’t think it’s worth the public whining and crying. She wins this debate, though she now has Buster nearly trained to put his groceries on the bottom of the cart, which is something of a compromise, I suppose.
At least it keeps Buster from dropping a jug of juice into the basket on top of the bread and eggs. Most times it does; as I said, he is nearly trained.
At the last aisle, we have another debate over whether to dump all of our unwanted groceries on a lucky cashier or attempt to put them back where they belong. I win this debate. My victory entitles me to be the one who retraces our path through the store searching out the homes of all our superfluous items while my wife distracts Buster elsewhere.
I feel a little strange going through the store putting things onto the shelves. I bet it’s not really what my fellow shoppers want to see me doing. But, it will be over soon. In the blink of an eye, Buster will have graduated from his hunter/gatherer stage. Then he will be right there with Big Brother, pleading his case: “Can we get those cookies? Why not? Just, please. Can we get just one box? That’s not fair. We never get to buy anything I like . . .”
This is a great method. He believes he’s getting what he wants, but in reality he’s not getting much of anything at all. But at the end of the trip, he’s happy living in his fantasy world of cookies and sweets. I have this shopping dilemma too, but it’s not because of my son. It’s my husband. Therefore, I endeavor to always go shopping alone. That way, what goes into the basket is only what’s on the list, nothing more (usually) and nothing less.
Face it: grocery shopping is a no-win situation. Going alone is the best solution, but even that kinda stinks.
I don’t know. I like going alone, well I prefer not to go at all, but alone if when I must. But then again, there is nothing fun about watching the prices skyrocket, but knowing that we have to pay it because one must eat to live.
Going alone is the best solution, but not having to go at all would be better.
Totally agree with that!
Kids have such funny definitions of “ever” and “never.” My 5yo is most fond of demonstrating this at the grocery store, too. 🙂
Leave it to the grocery store to bring out the best in all of us.
Whenever i take my kids shopping I panic and end up with a whole bunch of crap I don’t need.
And you were probably so distracted that you forgot to use any coupons you had. Kids are magic that way.
Totally. Every time!
That’s really cute! My mom would give us things from her shopping list and send us to get them. It was really fun, for us, because we felt “important” and “adult,” getting things we needed. We sometimes even got our own cart to pull around. On risk of loosing this position, I don’t remember ever getting the wrong thing or extra things. 🙂
That may become a useful tactic when he gets a bit older, although I have a feeling he’ll still sneak in a few extra yummy-looking snacks.
Wow. I’m surprised that you get away with putting his gathered sweets and salties back at all, my friend, without a real fit being pitched. You are doing a good job with Buster already. Way to go!
One of these days, he’s going to remember what he put in the cart when we get home. Then the game will be up.
Since you already have the olders, you know: Enjoy all of this because it … goesbyfasterthanyoucanbelieve.
My daughter is 24 and it feels like yesterday she was cart-filling from the inside.
That’s the purpose of this blog, mostly. It slows down just a little bit while I write about it.
Smart man, you are, and funny, too!
Very kind of you to say. Thanks.
Think of it this way, when you retire, you can get a part-time job stocking shelves. 🙂
When I retire. Now that’s funny.