I used to obsess about making lists before I stepped foot into the grocery store. I still make lists, I just tend to leave them on the counter or in the car so they are only useful to remind me what I forgot. I now find that with two toddlers, going in armed with a list is the least of my concerns. Instead, I don’t skip aisles. Nope, we walk down every single aisle and I let that be the trigger for my mental list (and usually if it didn’t make it to that list it wasn’t that important anyways!).
So, how do we get through the grocery store and go down every single aisle? Well, let me just tell you, it wasn’t easy…but now it is actually getting much easier! From race car shopping carts to cookies and more, we have a routine that has become foolproof for my two no matter how long we are in the store.
First, we cross our fingers and pray that there will be a race car shopping cart when we get in the store because, let’s be real, if there isn’t I have two options: Connor can either walk or he has to sit in the basket portion of the cart which makes it nearly impossible to actually get our groceries and make it to check out without losing food or a toddler. The struggle is real people! With this being said, huge shout out to Publix who takes care of us so well that we almost never have to resort to one of these methods and the few times they have seen me at a loss they rush to the cart corrals outside and assure me they will find one and bring it in…they are the best.
After the cart is found and the kids are secured (vital to our grocery store success) we head to bakery for our free cookies. The cookies give us the perfect amount of time to blissfully sail through produce and deli section UNLESS Connor decides he wants to look at and hold onto his cookie which will then inevitably end in a fight as Gigi finishes her cookie and has eyes on her brothers and if that happens, I pull something out of my purse to distract and entertain.
Then comes the fan (err…toddler) favorite: the lobsters. We spend at least a minute looking at the lobster tank. We say hi, we comment on their size, we wave. Hey, whatever it takes. The key to the lobster tank is leaving with a conversation that will carry us through the next few aisles. If you fear the conversation is dying down, alas you come to the end of an aisle where you can spot the tank again which will spur more conversation, or at least a wave, and even give you the option of a quick visit back if necessary.
The following several aisles are full of pointing things out and playing some form of “I spy” whether we are looking for color, shapes or animals on the different packaging of foods. If that doesn’t cut it and we use our “race car” to our advantage and pick up some speed. Fun, fun….for them anyways!
Then we get to the end, the dairy aisle. We play another little game that usually consists of me “forgetting” what kind of milk or yogurt we buy and then we are on our way. Smooth sailing to the checkout where I strategically place myself between the cart and the candy and we wait for our turn to get stickers and then we pay and we are on our way.
We might have a few rough moments along the way but the beauty of the routine is I can usually pull them back in as we anticipate our next step.
It’s pretty simple, it’s actually kind of silly, but what in my life isn’t silly? After all, I talk to a one and two year old all day.