Sunday, September 12, 2010

Working Weekend - Shopping

This weekend I tried to get some of my grocery shopping done while Jeff was studying.  First I went to CVS, to get some of the deals for the week.  About halfway through checking out, I realized that I had forgotten my wallet.  Of course it wasn't in the car, I had completely forgotten the diaper bag and had to go home to get it.  When we returned someone had dropped some pennies where we were checking out so Katy and Kent both picked one up.  Then Katy dropped hers and started crying because she couldn't find it.  There seemed to be a line a mile long and everyone was watching me try to juggle my coupons, CVS card, bag tags, wallet, a shopping cart with Felicity in it,  two shopping bags, hold Kaomi's hand, try to help Katy understand that the penny wasn't really hers in the first place, so she shouldn't cry, Kent trying to carry the shopping bag I handed him...

I guess it is usually like this, minus a crying child, but it sure made me want to laugh at what I imagined everyone behind me was thinking.

Then we went to Target.  One of the first items on my list was baby food.  You need to understand that I don't shop at target for groceries very often and I don't usually buy baby food there.  So I start looking for baby food and picking up other items that were on my list and adding them to the cart as I looked.  I finally had everything on my list, except baby food of course.  So I continue going up and down all the isles looking for the baby food I missed.  Meanwhile my kids have been acting up and I am getting a little frustrated.  Then I saw a mom struggling with her little girl (a screaming battle of the wills) and am thankful that I'm not having to deal with that right now.  I kept looking for the baby food.  I finally saw two guys just starting to stock cereal on the shelves.  So I asked, "Do ya'll have baby food?"  Of course they looked at me kind of strange, then one of them said, "Yep, it's in the baby aisle."  Well, duh of course it's in the baby isle why didn't I think of looking there.  I felt pretty stupid as I was thinking, I'm looking for baby food in the food aisles and now I have to go half-way across the store to get food from the diaper section.  I guess it makes sense...kind of.  Maybe they should move the baby section next to the food aisles so I can find it faster next time.

I wonder how strange it looks for someone to go shopping with 4 young kids.  I get lots of comments like "you've got your hands full" and some strange looks like "what in the world are you thinking".  I don't see too many others out shopping with that many kids.  I shop most of the time with all my kids, so I don't really think about it a lot.  I do know that we are often blocking the aisle and I try to be sensitive to other shoppers and move out of their way before they get to us.  I'd love to hear your ideas and tips for shopping with several kids.


  1. You want more Tips for shopping with 4? how many pennies do you want?

  2. Here are some things I've done when my kids were smaller and even do now. I give the oldest one the list and he tells the next younger one (and me) which things to look for. Keep the third littlest in the cart. They will enjoy looking at the stuff that is put in and find places for them back there. Bring snacks, toys, pacifier for baby and third littlest. Be encouraged though, the older they get, the easier it will become! It's actually pretty fun now! :) Hang in there! (BTW, not sure how to appropriately post this, but this is from Heidi)

  3. Heidi, thanks for the tip. I've had Kent hold my list occasionally when I needed both hands, but I hadn't thought of having him read me the items.

  4. We usually sing our way through the store, lots of Mary Poppins songs and church songs and then we make up songs. That's their favorite, when I start making things up. :-)

  5. Missy, I can just see it My kids do sing their way through the store, but I don't usually join them. At some point I usually have to put a stop to it, because it becomes a contest as to who can sing the fastest and loudest, which can become very obnoxious to those around me. :)

  6. Suanna, As they get older you may be able to send them on a mission to get one item at a time. Till then utilize the chain aspect to keep the able busy hand the non fragile item to the youngest able to hand it to the next oldest then to the oldest who has been taught to neatly pack a shopping cart it will take so training and supervision but will give a sense of purpose and now you can imagine the people looking on at a well oiled machine. Love DAD

  7. I have to say, I've been "that mom" on many occasions. One of my prouder moments involved dragging a kicking and yelling five year old out of Target (Not at all his normal behavior).
    It's life, and I don't give into temper tantrums. Let people stare. ;)
    The best tip I have, is try to shop in quick spurts. Not easy for me, because I have to drive quite a way to shop. I try to keep it simple. I don't bring toys or food. I already have more to carry, hold or watch out for than I can do. I leave the diaper bag in the car. I carry the one year old, hold hands with the three year old, who holds hands with the five y.o., who holds hands with the 7 y.o. I push the stroller into stores that don't have carts to accommodate 2 littles, and then put the 3 y.o. in the cart and let the 7 y.o. push either the cart or the stroller. Oh, and when all else fails, your two back pockets make great places for little ones to hold onto while you shop (this helped me make it through when Sarah was little and my oldest wasn't much help yet). Just make sure your pants fit well. ;)
    Rest assured, we make a scene. Even on our best behavior we get stares and the comment, "Are they all yours?" Ummm, yeah.
    What is crazy, is that this is the first time in years that I've had a toddler and not been very heavily expecting another baby. 22 months apart every time! Sam is 19 mos old, I would normally be 6 months along! So sad to be at the end of that journey (apparently 4 c-sections is about all my poor body could handle). Richly blessed, I am! Still, it was a fun journey that I'm sad to see end. Enjoy every minute, even chaotic shopping trips.

  8. Fatima,
    Thanks for the ideas. Yes, I have used my pockets to help keep my kids with me before:) I do enjoy it. I've been trying Heidi's idea of letting the older kids read the list. That has been working pretty well.


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