I recently found myself out of the two must-haves for Mr. Pants. Milk and apple juice. Or as I like to call them, creamy calming goodness and tantrum medicine. With ten hours to go until Daddy Pants was expected home, I had no choice but to attempt a run to the grocery store with both kids. It took me two hours to muster the courage. But I had to suck it up, hide my fear and be a woman about this. There are single mamas out there that do this on the regular because they have to. Surely I could rise to this occasion and quit being a cotton headed ninny muggins (I think everyone has watched Elf this week right?).
I first did what any self respecting mother would do, I complained to Facebook about it and got cheered on from my friends. Properly pumped up, I set out to kick ass and take names. I returned with about half of the things I needed but with both of the must haves. That is what we call a win. So in the spirit of sharing good fortune this holiday season, below are some ideas, tricks, and tips for getting you, your kids and your groceries to and from the store in decent, not dead condition. Good luck and godspeed, shoppers with young children....
You will need two lists
List one contains the absolute must haves. Don't be greedy. This list is your mission. Keep it short. Only the absolute, can't live without 'em essentials. When hell possesses your sweet angel, ask yourself, "Is list one complete?". If the answer is yes, get the hell out of there.
List two contains the rest.
This is REALLY important. It is imperative that Mr. Pants' feet never touch the ground. Car to cart, cart to car. If his feet touch the ground, I might as well turn right around and go home. It is on like Donkey Kong if he he thinks even for a split second that he can be outside of the cart. No matter how hard he campaigns through tears and puppy dog eyes, do not DO NOT let him out.
Oh my God, do not.
But, should you ever decide that it is time to let them out of the cart.....
Use your "backpack"
I have yet to buy a "backpack", but I still might. I will not even have a scosh of shame about it too. Judge me all you want about my kid on a leash. He is just fine not getting hit by a bus in the Walmart parking lot, and that's the point. And it's not about me not being strict enough with my kid. It's about my kid going apeshit at the store and no one wins that.
If there ever is time, this is it. This is when they get to eat as many cookies as they want. And juice boxes. And Pringles. And peanut butter crackers. And test the Kleenex. And use your chapstick. And have a piece of bread. Another juice box? Totally dude. Here you go. Mama loves you.
Put on your blinders. As in, decide before you go that you will never even care for a second if someone gives you a look or makes a comment about your kid being a weiner in the dairy aisle. Instead memorize a few statements to have on hand should someone say something to you. Something like, "Wow, people must really like you and your awesome advice".
You do not have time to wander. Put your comfortable, sensible shoes and clothing on and get to moving fast. I found that the mere fact that I was racing through the store, threw Mr. Pants off long enough to get almost done without a problem. He stared at me like, "Whoa mom. Whoa" for the first leg. I had fire in my eyes and quickness that cast a spell over him. And the quickness of the cart gave him some extra vesitibular input that made him very happy. Two birds, one stone. Go me!
Arriving home alive should be celebrated with the fruits of your labor! And what an awesome opportunity to really start driving home some table manners. Especially when he strips down and serves himself while you get the baby down for a nap. Hot damn this kid is fast.