I’m going back to the grocery store topic again today.
Sometimes Sam does the grocery shopping and takes the kids with him, which is nice. I get “free time,” which really means I catch up on folding clothes mountain, clean out the fridge, and spend a few minutes (maybe more) visiting the blog world. I used to admire the man for taking both kids shopping. Taking both kids anywhere increases my anxiety quite a bit, especially when we’re running an errand and my focus can’t be solely on them, but Sam has always acted like it’s a piece of cake.
Little Man and I do just fine shopping when he isn’t hiding under clothes racks to intentionally scare me. Baby Girl and I don’t always do just fine together. There’s always the risk of her having an epic tantrum that’s so bad that I’ll have to leave everything behind while doing the Mom Walk of Shame to the car. You might think that taking both kids shopping would make things easier — since LM could help with BG since he’s a few years older — but you’d be wrong. They often get on great together, but, as siblings do (apparently no matter how much age difference there is), they sometimes aggravate each other to the point of making the other explode. Maybe it’ll be BG flailing around in the cart like an octopus crying because Little Man “shared” her toy. (By “share,” I mean that LM decides to teach BG about sharing by taking her stuff. Sigh.) Or it might be LM huffing and puffing up a storm because BG cuffed him in the head for some reason. You get the picture.
With that in mind, you’d think that Sam wouldn’t be so quick to volunteer. Who wants to put themselves on the parenting front lines when they don’t have to, amirite?
Lest you think he’s SuperDad, I found out his secret. A few weeks ago, we all went out one Saturday to get some groceries. Usually I’m the one pushing the cart and barking out orders, but that time I was
being a terrible mother, who was preoccupied with catching certain little monsters doing something on my phone and let him take the lead, and I learned the secret behind his “it ain’t no thing” attitude.
For starters, Sam put both of the kids in the cart. He didn’t put BG in the seat where she can be safely strapped in, either, but put both of them in the big area. I nearly had a heart attack. (“It’s okay, she likes it…I’m watching her!” he told me.) BG was dancing and squealing while holding onto the side of the cart while LM encouraged her before I insisted on moving her to the seat. Then, Sam grabbed a handful of cookies from the sample box and handed them to the kids to feast on. After that he beelined to the toy section and gave BG a couple of toys to “look at” (which he had no intention of purchasing). And then he started checking stuff off the list, with no problem, except for when BG tried to open the cereal (which Sam helped her finish so she could eat it, too).
He violated all of my uptight grocery shopping rules. We don’t put monkey toddlers who can bust their heads open in the cart without being strapped in. We don’t take more than our fair share of sample items. We don’t let them take toys we aren’t purchasing and put their grimy little hands all over them. We don’t let them open food in the store.
Oh wait, I don’t.
(I also don’t have to worry about — as I found out — having to “pay back” the store for a doughnut Sam gave Baby Girl out of the case and forgot to pay for last time. Another time it was a banana, he told me.)
Now that I know his secrets, I don’t feel like he has the upper hand with the parenting stuff as much. (Not that it’s a competition, but ya know…) When Baby Girl started sobbing because there were no sample cookies while shopping on Monday, I opened a package of food in the store for the first time ever to keep the peace. Plus one for crappy store doughnut holes, which no one would touch later. And, yes, we paid for them. No petty thefts for the toddler on my end. 😉