“See you in a little while, honey,” is what my husband hears at least one evening a week as he is walking into the house and I am walking into the garage and heading straight to my car the second he gets home. I’m going to the grocery store. I’m home all day, every day, but I will wait until my husband is home before I make an effort to go t the grocery store. It’s not because it’s more convenient. This is Florida; if I want convenient, I need to go first thing in the morning when it’s sunny and bright, not raining and the store is empty. When I go shopping at 5:30 in the evening, I run into every single person in the world shopping after work, I spend more time in line and I spend plenty of time figuring out what to wear since I usually end up getting caught in a downpour in white or in my Miller jellies (and white shorts, and two falls straight onto the concrete thanks to those shoes…in one trip).
It’s much more convenient for me to just load up the kids and head to the store in the morning, but it’s such a hassle thanks to the fact that other people never fail to making shopping with kids a complete disaster. My kids are nowhere near perfect, and they have their moments in the store – trust me. But overall, they’re pretty good. I’d say that 95% of our trips to the store are successful and end with very few tears and no major meltdowns. However, other people tend to make our trips a disaster, and that’s when the kids start to lose their patients and want to go. And that’s why I refuse to shop with my kids – other people have ruined it for me. Read on to find out which five people make it impossible for me to shop with my kids.
Anyone that’s shopping at the same time as I am shopping makes it nearly impossible for me to shop. You know those people that like to stop their cart to look at something in the aisle, but they park their stopped cart in the dead center of the aisle and pointedly ignore everyone that is attempting to squeeze between their cart and the wall of goods because they’re so inconsiderate? Well, there’s those people. But for me, it gets a little bit more complicated. I have twins. That means that every single person in the store stops me to talk about them as if they are the first set of twins they’ve ever encountered. “Are they twins? (Yes) Are they identical? (They have different body parts) Better you than me! (Agree) Do twins run in your family? (They do now) Are they natural? (I know you’re trying to ask me if I did this via in-vitro and I did not, but that’s not your business). You must have your hands full (anyone with any kids has their hands full). You must be tired (no, I’m not, they sleep like champs). Don’t you know where babies come from? (no, I missed the memo despite having four kids). My mother’s sister’s neighbor’s best friend’s uncle’s cousin has twins! (Super). Now multiply that conversation plus the addition of how many “Look how beautiful they are!” comments to it by 20. That’s why I don’t take my kids shopping. Oh, and that’s when it’s just me and the twins. Add the big girls to the mix and things get crazy.
The Check Out Person
This is a person whose job is to scan my items and let me go home. But never when the kids are present; it becomes a thing. This person wants to talk to all of the kids. They want to ask a dozen and 12 questions, which they cannot do while simultaneously scanning my groceries. They want to tell me personal stories. They want to make comments like “Oh, my birthday is also in September,” when they card me for alcohol. They want to comment on how big the twins are getting, and they want to question me about every purchase I make. “Do you like this brand of wine? Do you like this toilet paper? Do your kids like these puffs? I never knew we carried this. Do these have a lot of calories? You could buy these at a different store for less…want me to put them back so you can stop there on the way home?” NO! I just want to go home! And this is after they come around their station to tickle baby feet and look closer at them…it’s really annoying. I get it, but it’s annoying.
I will say this one time, and one time only; do not use the big amazing double carts if you have a single child. It’s not that I think that your kid should be deprived of having fun in a bigger cart, it’s that I think you should use the ones made for singletons. When I have my twins with me, I need to shop. It’s not easy to do that with just the stroller, and I can’t get groceries into a single cart when I have two kids shoved in there. So I know your kid wants to have fun and you shouldn’t feel that you have to deprive him or her, but if you see that the store is particularly busy and there is only one of those left – maybe leave it? I never take it when I have just one kid with me – even if that kid begs. I hate the idea of leaving a mother with multiples in the lurch when I know this trip is already more annoying that it needs to be.
Other People’s Kids
When did other parents stop teaching their kids basic manners and etiquette? Or is it their bad example? I’ve never had to tell my kids not to touch someone else’s baby or their stroller or their person – ever. It’s like they just know that you don’t touch other people. But I cannot tell you how many kids come up to me when we are in the store and stick their hands on my twins, take toys out of their stroller, rub their faces and try to touch them. I cannot tell you because I cannot believe it myself. My kids would never touch someone else’s children, I’d be horrified. I’d rather let them lick the bathroom door knob and take those germs.
The bagger; I appreciate your job and all that you do, but I do have a few issues with you when I am shopping with my kids. They’re cute, and it’s impossible not to want to play with them, I know. But when you are touching my babies and tickling their feet and talking to them, I’m in the store for 5 extra minutes because no one is bagging my groceries. By this point, we’ve been in here for an hour and a half since we’ve had to talk to everyone, and the babies are over it. They’re tired. They’re starting to get fussy. Instead of asking me why they are fussy, bag my stuff and let me go home.
And when I say, “No, thank you, I’ve got it,” when you offer to help me to my car, respect that. Do not force yourself on me. Why? It’s not because I don’t appreciate your help, it’s because I have a system and I’m faster than you. And also, it’s because one time when it was starting to rain and someone insisted on helping me out, she made my life a living nightmare. I had the twins in the double snap and go in their car seats. I got to the car, asked that the bagger put the very few groceries I had in the floor in the back seat since the trunk was filled and still needed the stroller back in it. I opened one back door so she could get started and I went around the car with the babies and put my daughter in her seat. Then I went back around the car to put my son’s car seat into his base and lo and behold I find that the bagger has placed all the groceries on the car seat base – not the floor. Now I have a baby in the rain, crying and frustrated, and I have to remove all the groceries from on top of the car seat base and onto the floor because you simply could not follow instructions – or common sense, apparently.
Thanks, everyone, for making it impossible to shop with my kids (and please note that I am not a check out person or a bagger, and I never talk to other people in the store. I’ve never commented on anyone’s baby, asked questions or made small talk…which is part of the reason I cannot believe do that to me. I just don’t care to.).
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