Grocery shopping has become quite the ordeal for me.  Before having children, a trip to the market was not one of my favorite things to do but it was easy.  I took for granted how easy it was in fact.  Even after having my first daughter, grocery shopping was manageable.  As long as she was not hungry, I could get my shopping done uneventfully although if you asked me back then I may have mentioned how difficult it was to shop with a baby in tow.  What did I know! Now, each grocery outing is sure to be action-packed.  Choosing a cart can be a challenge as my toddler will usually not ride in the cart but sometimes she wants to ride in the cart and she will on occasion ask to ride in the dreaded car cart.  For those of you who have attempted to maneuver this massive vehicle through crowded grocery aisles, you know what I mean by “dreaded.”  Apparently, the car cart is only fun for about a minute because we are often still in the produce department when the whining starts and I am soon trying to control a toddler on foot while wheeling around the oversized car cart with nobody riding in the car.  Our next stop is the deli, where we are sure to have a meltdown if cheese is not handed over immediately.  I’ve learned to avoid this by using the kiosk and warning my oldest daughter that we will have to wait for the cheese.  Once we have the cheese, it is only a matter of seconds before I am bending down to pick up small saliva covered pieces of cheese off the floor. 

Although we are still in the first aisle, it is time for a potty break since for some reason, children love public restrooms.  What is the obsession!  Public potty trips were easier before my youngest daughter became mobile.  Now, I am forced to park the cart, unload the passengers, and try to keep my youngest off the bathroom floor while helping my oldest do her business.  This is no easy feat!  After the potty break and a quick visit to the lobster tank, we are usually in the clear for a while.  Thank goodness!  However, my oldest daughter has been known to grab something off the shelf and open it before I have the chance to take it from her and disapproving looks from strangers are always a given if your children are not on their best behavior.  I think I used to do this before I had kids of my own (not intentionally) and it was more a look of disbelief than disapproval.  I know it’s a bad idea but if I’m in a pinch and really need to get my shopping done fast, bribery works wonders.  It’s amazing how well a toddler will behave for a small bag of fruit snacks.  

If I am lucky, my husband will come along so that we can divide and conquer or better yet, I can sneak out to do the shopping by myself, usually after the girls are in bed.  While a trip to Stop & Shop is not first on the list of things I would like to be doing at 9:00 at night, there are no crowds and no lines and I am able to get my shopping done quickly. 

What can I say, it’s always an adventure!

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