Ever abandoned your shopping cart mid supermarket, grabbed your child, and left the store in tears (either or both of you)?
If not, well, lucky you. If so, we feel you (and have been there). Which is why we compiled this cheat sheet to make your shopping experience less something you white knuckle your way through – and more a totally civilized weekly errand you do with your child.
Park Your Ride
If you drive there, choose a spot not by its proximity to the entrance but to its nearness to the “shopping cart return” so you don’t have to be that person who ditches the empty cart in a totally valid parking spot because you already loaded the kid in the carseat. #SmallWins
Keep Your Child Busy
No, we don’t mean hand over your phone. Grab an onion, preferably one with lots of dry, flakey skin to be peeled. Hand it to your child in the cart. Enjoy the quieting sounds, ignore the trail of onion peelings you will leave around the store (you’re excused).
Very, Very Busy
When the onion fun is over (it lasts a shockingly long time), hit up the “pack your own beans/grains/nuts” section. No, not for the health reasons (who has time to rinse and soak beans overnight?!) – for the twisty ties! Let your child get creative and make shapes, figures, whole scenes (extra points for those!).
What shape pasta should we get, spirals or shells? Red or green grapes? YOU pick! Making decisions goes a surprisingly long way with a toddler.
When All Else Fails…
Distract with food. Not some unhealthy crap you wouldn’t ordinarily buy, but an apple (takes a while to eat) or a baguette (best $2 you can spend) will buy you some time, especially if your little is huuuuungry or just over the whole experience.
Did you know all pregnant women and moms with small children get to cut the line at Whole Foods? Yep, that’s a true story. Take advantage. (It is the least they can do when you think about it – a must-read if you haven’t.)
If It’s Time To Call It, Make A Quick Pit Stop
Before you abandon a half-filled cart (and waste that time and energy) in the middle of the store because your child is melting down, drop it at customer service. They’re happy to keep it for you while you deal with your little. If need be, many shops have a cold place to store it (who knew?!).