Cartless Shopping

Now that my two oldest are getting too big to fit together in a shopping cart, I am going to invest in two of those leash-your-child-to-you contraptions. It’s the only way I figure I can keep them from rampaging through a store like a couple of rabies-infested wild dogs.

It’s spring break this week, which means I’ve had my 5-year-old home all week. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that we got to play with him this week. Yet how unthrilled I was to run a few short errands with him Monday afternoon.

Running a quick errand with one child is difficult. Running one with two children is disastrous. At least for me.

Now my definition of a short errand is one where I can be in and out of a store within 15 minutes – 10 if my children cooperate. I’m not talking about an 1.5 hour trip to the grocery store. It’s not like I am torturing my little ones.

But they end up torturing me.

Our first trip Monday was to a rather large party-supply store. I needed to grab a few bags to wrap easter gifts. No big deal, right? Wrong.

Word of the wise, don’t ever take your children into a party-supply store. Their cute chubby fingers can’t resist the bins filled with favors. They’ll end up knocking half of the stuff into the aisles as you frantically try to put it back in the bin it belongs.

Not. Worth. It.

The worst part? When we got to the checkstand my 3-year-old spotted a piece of candy on the floor. He popped it into his mouth before I could yell “NO!” Then he smiled and laughed at how good it tasted. How can I tell him it’s not good for him when it tastes delicious?

After the party store we ran to a thrift department store to make a simple return. This store had carts. They were small, plastic ones but I didn’t care. I plopped both of my boys in the same cart and told them to sit down and be quiet. Big mistake.

They wrestled and climbed on top of each other and then decided to lick each other’s faces all over while I waited in line to make my return. Disgusting. No matter what I did, they wouldn’t stop.

And the check-out lady? She seemed oblivious. There’s something about my children going wild that must calm employees at the register. Because they never seem to move very quickly to ring me up even though I think I am going to lose it.

I think she said something to me like, “Your kids are having fun.” To which I replied, “Yep, but they are driving me nuts.” What I really wanted to say was, “Can you move any slower? Because I feel like smacking you right now.”

We’d been to two stores, shopping for less than 30 minutes, and I had had enough.

It wasn’t as if Monday’s behavior was a fluke. This comes on the cusp of me losing control of them at a religious store two weeks ago when we went to buy a small present for their cousin.

I had no option at this store – no carts. They zig-zagged through aisles behind me as a tried to quietly, yet sternly, whisper “get over here” in a respectful way. All heck broke loose when we entered the store’s small clothing section. While I was checking a size on something they decided to run from mannequin to mannequin rubbing their grungy cheeks on each white dress that was hung. I wanted to kill them.

Then I drug them to the cash register. While I was waiting to buy one, small thing, they snuck behind me and put plastic rings on each of their fingers. They were going to “keep” them. After I told them that was stealing, they reluctantly put them back and stood right next to me.

That’s when they knocked over an entire DVD display sending new releases flying across the floor. I helped a worker pick them up and put the display back up only to turn around and see them knock it down again. I was so mad.

I took them on one simple errand that day and I ended up exhausted.

But I’m too stubborn to run all of my errands alone. I have more time during the day when they are with me and even though it stresses me out, I feel like I need to keep taking them so they will learn to behave. Wishful thinking? Probably.

Luckily for a couple more months I’ll just have one little boy to take with me when my oldest goes back to school. Who knows what I’ll do this summer when I add a third one to the mix. I’ll definitely have to order my leash things by then.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jess
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 20:41:25

    Being pregnant never helps either. 🙂 I used the child “leash” when taking my little guy through the airport when he was 2 and it was wonderful, I am not going to lie. I figured it was better to get a few dirty looks for having him on a leash than have him lost in a gigantic airport.

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 06:49:29

      I love that you used a leash when at the airport. And that it worked! I think you were fully justified. It’s scary when my kids run around in large, unfamiliar places. Especially when there are throngs of people surrounding us 🙂

      Reply

  2. Elise
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:00:02

    Three kids in a store is NOT fun. It usually takes me about 1.5 hours to do my grocery shopping, and at least a third of that is spent running after Davis and telling the older two to stay close to me. (and that all happens even with one of those massive carts that can hold four kids – even if I use the seatbelts) I love to read your blog! My experiences always feel much more normal once I see others who are going through the same things!

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 06:35:17

      It takes me about 1.5 hours too! Sometimes I get done grocery shopping and seriously feel like I need a nap. I am glad I am not the only one who shops that long.

      Reply

  3. Trackback: Double-Cart Shopping | Boogers on the Wall

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