I have learned how to get in and out of the grocery store with my two sons (one aged two, one eight months), with everyone still alive and most of my sanity still in tact.
One simple trick. TREATS. Treats all around.
Recently I whined about how I would never leave the house again. And then I whined a bit more. The unhappy combination of tantrums, outbursts, sticky fingers on expensive items, and strangers giving me the evil eye had brought me to the conclusion there was no point in going out any more. End.
But, there are times when you absolutely must go out. Diapers run out every few days. I get through filter coffee and espresso like there's no tomorrow. Errands need to be run.
So, this is what happens now:
We arrive the grocery store and I get the kids out of the car and into the double stroller. The minute they're strapped in, I give them snacks - Mum Mums for Oliver and crackers for Matthew.
The snacks disappear in minutes, so we head straight for the baby food aisle, where the toddler fruit jelly snacks are located. Unable to wait, I rip the pack open and give my son a pack of jellies.
One aisle later the jelly snacks are gone. I grab a bag of plastic animals hanging on a shelf at the end of an aisle. Moments later little zebras, horses and camels are being flung from the stroller and I dash to collect the stray animals from the floor.
We reach the checkout and despite all efforts, moaning, sniveling sounds are rising from the stroller. The checkout lady produces large shiny stickers, which alleviate the sniveling for a whole seven seconds.
Before we leave, there is one last treat to be bought: Starbucks coffee for me. It's the reason I come to this grocery store.
As we skedaddle the store, a trail of sticky treats, plastic animals and stickers decorate the floor behind me. A grocery store man is following close behind, stooping to pick up lost animals and jellies and bits of chewed paper and kind of half chasing after me with outstretched hands as I try my best to GET THE HELL OUT.
Bloody flipping hell.
Tell me it's not just me this happens to?