I remember when I was a smug childless twit and I used to judge parents and kids I saw while shopping at the store. “I am NEVER going to let my kids behave like some of those brats”, I thought as I effortlessly perused the aisles of Target. Well, never say never my friends. Here I am, many years and battles later, with those kids at the store. You know those kids. The ones that are loud, run around hiding in clothing racks, need to touch every item on the shelves, and just generally make your uterus quiver in horror with their mere noisy presence.
I have compiled some of my own personal photos to give all of my newbie and non-parent friends an idea of things you might also experience while shopping with small children.
Enjoy the stage where your child can be contained in an infant seat or cart. This blissful stage passes all too quickly. At the time you’ll probably think shopping with kids is difficult, but you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, sister. As you can see in the picture, the main issue in this stage is that by the time you get the kids in the cart you have nowhere to put any actual items. I’m pretty sure I’ve wedged a bottle of wine into the infant carrier before because, priorities. Don’t judge.
The carts with seating options for multiple children help free up some valuable cart space. But be advised that this is also not a perfect solution. The cart space is usually smaller than a standard cart, yet the size of the cart is humongous and has the turning radius of a stretched limousine. I have knocked over my share of grocery store displays (clean-up on aisle 7!) and, sadly, I have rear-ended a few people with these giant metal monstrosities. Proceed with caution.
Also, there is an inherent danger in having your children so close in proximity to one another. In other words, expect fighting. There always seems to be some kind of an altercation brewing in this little car. Trouble I tell ya. Trouble.
Kids have a limited window of time at the store before they lose their ever-loving minds. Budget your time accordingly. Pick up essentials at the beginning of your shopping trip. Nobody needs a meltdown before you’ve even made it to the dairy aisle.
They want to touch EVERYTHING. Seriously. Just, like, anything they can get their sticky little hands on. This hazard emerges when you are no longer able to hold them hostage, err, I mean secure them in the cart. They are particularly drawn to breakable and fragile items.
They want you to buy them everything under the sun. Every toy, gadget, and gizmo they see they need to have! A detour down the toy aisle easily adds an extra 30-45 minutes to our trip. Luckily, my kids (usually) understand that I’m not going to buy them everything they want, so we have been able to avoid the whole screaming in the aisles for a toy spectacle. (And now, because I have said that, I am fully prepared for them to throw the mother of all tantrums on our next shopping trip.)
All the world’s a stage… And I just never know when my dynamic duo is going to bust out into a song and dance routine. I swear, it’s like living in a demented Disney musical. Middle of the aisle dance party? Sure. Why not.
I hope you enjoyed my visual guide to shopping with children. It helped me realize that I might spend too much time at Target. Nah. Who am I kidding? There is no such thing as too much time at Target.