Is it time for the weekly grocery shop? Some people love it. Some people find it another mundane task of adulthood. I can guarantee you, not one Mum will enjoy a trip to the shops (unless it’s on her own). I don’t know about you, but above bedtime, going to the gym and cooking, I HATE GOING TO THE SHOPS. Taking two kids to the shops is nothing short of a nightmare. It’s a real life horror movie. My kids aren’t even that naughty at the shops, but I despise how long it takes. Once we enter the depths of the grocery store, we aren’t going to be spat back out (usually with a little less dignity each time) for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Pre-kids, a normal ‘big shop’ would take me about 20 minutes. I would take my time, browse around, help old people find something. It was enjoyable. Now, THERE IS NO JOY. NONE. I do try shop online but that requires an element of organisation that I lack, because I usually decide it’s time for a shop when I needed things yesterday.
Let me walk you through a typical trip to the shops with my three year old, Jaxxi, and my two year old, Jagger.
So, before we even enter the shops, we have to get out the car. Jaxxi is unbuckled first and sticks close while I get Jagger, AKA The Runner, out. Supplies in hand (bag, juice, snacks etc) and Jagger in the other, we trudge towards the entrance. Before we make it, Jaxxi finds a puddle in the middle of the car park and starts jumping in it. Onward we march, locating a trolley and dumping both kids in there, mentally starting the clock before the novelty of sitting in the trolley wears off. I have about 15 minutes from this point. It will never be long enough.
We start shopping, and it’s a continuous battle to keep my shopping list out of the hands of Jagger, AKA The Scruncher. I turn around to see Jaxxi is already gone, trying to play a game of Hide and Seek among the vegetables. She isn’t very good to be honest. I think it’s the ‘Mum, YOU CAN’T SEE ME!’ being yelled from beneath the table of potatoes that gave away her location. I can see her, and so can everyone else. Hmm, is it too soon to say out loud ‘Who’s kid is that?’.
DING DING DING. The mental trolley timer has gone off, as Jagger, AKA The Climber, slips out of the clip and stands up in the seat. Of course, he chooses the moment to do it when I’m a meter or so away perusing the canned tomatoes and there’s a number of overly concerned elderly grandmas in the same aisle. Knowing it will be a mistake to take him out, but unable to face the screams if I keep him in, I pop him down on the floor.
Trying to keep the kids close (and failing) I do my best to zoom by the Confectionery aisle. And not because I don’t want them to see the lollies (they rarely ask for anything), but because I don’t have time to play the coloured squares game. What is this game? Well, in the aisle at my shops, it has a line of big squares in different colours. Jaxxi stands on one, I have to yell out a colour and she has to race to a square of that colour. It’s a cute game but while I’m trying to play it with her, I turn around to see Jagger, AKA The Grabber, putting a fifth can of Spam in my trolley. He put half price Tim Tams in there too, but they can stay.
For the next chunk of the shopping trip, it’s spent with me standing in the aisle trying to find what I’m looking for while the kids run laps around me and into the adjacent aisles. I’ve tried asking them to ‘slow down please’ but they don’t take me seriously. I decide it’s time to try the trolley again and successfully manage to get them both back in there. The mental timer is reset (second time around is only 5-10 mins).
Finally we make it to the last aisle, the Dairy Aisle. Jaxxi is great at knowing which milk to grab, so she loads it into the trolley. All is going well until I put some yogurt into the trolley. Jagger, AKA The Hangry One, decides he wants some right then and there! Usually I face this problem with the bread too. One time, I put bread in the trolley, ordered some Ham from the deli lady, turned around and saw Jagger, AKA The Carb Ninja, munching on a bread roll he successfully yoinked from the packet! I hand him a sachet of yoghurt, met with the plea of ‘I WANT ONE TOO’ from Jaxxi. Surely by now, my local shop is used to me putting empty yoghurt sachets through the checkout.
On the home stretch, with two kids in the trolley, and the blessed yoghurt keeping them quiet, we begin the checkout process. Suddenly the kids have bailed and they’re off into the middle of the centre, entertaining the Italian Nonnos sitting around the bench, bitching about their wives. I get a few looks from other people as they wonder if I’m the one responsible for doing a half ass job of supervising my children, but I must remain on mission, which is get these groceries through so we can leave!
All that’s left now is getting the kids and the shopping to the car. With Jagger in one arm, AKA The Wriggler, I push the trolley with the other, and Jaxxi follows behind. At last, we make it to the car! I load the kids in, and then the shopping. I enjoy the 30 seconds of peace as I return the trolley.
Now to get home and unload it all….but that’s another story!