thoughts and things

Supermarket Sweep

Supermarkets have never been my favourite place. Since having a baby though, they have become one of my enemies. It comes to something when shopping alone feels like a holiday. On my own, I run down the aisles in wanton abandon, chucking in things I like to eat and my apples are never half bitten when I get home.

With a baby or toddler, it’s hell on earth.

Just getting to the supermarket and parking is an achievement. If you can dodge the old people driving up the wrong way of the car parks one way system, and manage to get a parent and child space, you should buy a lottery ticket as it’s your lucky day. (By the way, I always feel guilty when I do get one like I shouldn’t be using them. I look around and think people are watching me. Suspicious I may be childless in a parents parking space. Paranoid? Moi?)

Once in the car park, it’s the decision of what trolley to use. Before Bubs was born, I didn’t even realise that shopping trolleys had advanced to the stage of having different baby seats dependent on age/size of baby. I thought it was wonderful being able to take the actual car seat and place on top of the trolley in a very convenient tray. Until I actually had to shop with it.

Using one of these trolleys is akin to pushing a armoured tank around a playground. You can’t see anything or anyone, and you are desperately trying not to run anything over. The baby is strapped into this tray but one false move and you think it’ll topple over.

Baby’s cry in the supermarket. Hell, I want to cry as well. I probably was one of the other shoppers tutting and looking at the mum and baby tank combo in a sort of disapproving way once. When Bubs was a baby, my only solution was to hold a bottle to feed Bubs as I pushed the trolley with the other. Quite a skill, actually. I could’ve let her scream a bit more I guess but I was trying to hold together the strands of my nerves and remember where I was and what I was doing.

As Bubs gets older, it is clear she really does not like a supermarket. The big kids’ trolley seat is now hers, and I’ve timed it that I can get a good 10-15 minutes of this novelty seat which can get me past the fruit and veg and well into the cold aisles before she tires of waving hello at everyone and trying to chew the actual trolley.

Then I pull out my weapon: a biscuit. I quickly tear the wrapper off and offer this dangling carrot to Bubs, quickly as I am scared the shop will think I haven’t bought the biscuit yet and accuse me of stealing when I actually did buy it last week. I can also give myself time by emptying the contents of my handbag for her to hold/chew/throw.

A few times, I have been stupid enough to go into the supermarket with the buggy, and no trolley. I pick up a basket. How the hell am I supposed to hold a basket and push a buggy? Shouldn’t someone invent a clever basket holding buggy device? As well as kicking the basket around the shop, Bubs does not like being in the buggy. And will cry. And scream. How many biscuits are too many in a supermarket emergency such as this?

A last resort is to let her loose on the reins. Abandoning the buggy, kicking the basket and holding on for dear life as she tears along the aisles. Glass jars are her favourite target. Once I’ve regained control and shoved a bottle of gin in my basket, and herded her to the checkout, I’m almost free.

That’s when you realise you haven’t bought anything you actually need and have a bottle of gin, a chewed apple, a loaf of bread and leaflets from the advertising space in your trolley.

That’s when you do the supermarket sweep and run around in a mad frenzy trying to buy something that will look like a meal.

20140423-110630.jpgDistraction techniques demonstrated



15 thoughts on “Supermarket Sweep”

  • Ohn how I remember these days and with twins it was really awful at times. If I had to take the kids, I woudl time it for lunch and hen go round taking things off the shelf to feed them, so it felt like fun! Babybels, brioche rolls, Organix snacks, raisins etc etc!

    Mich x

  • I took my girls a few times shopping but wow it’s a lot of hassle. I’m lucky enough to sneak off when there busy at pre school and school now, so much easier x #sharewithme

  • Ahhh Emily I can sooooo relate to this. I hate supermarkets too. I am all about delivery these days especially with two kids. They are not easy to shop with at all. 🙂 I love this post. So many of us can relate to this. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. You have a lovely blog here. Off to have a look around. lol 🙂 #sharewithme

  • Haha! That brings back memories. I used to pick up the packs of bananas in bags so I could then open them and give one to Little Miss but still pay the full amount at the end (I was equally paranoid about the stealing thing!). I think her record was 3 bananas in 1 shop! Mind you even at 9 and 6 it’s still no picnic going to the supermarket with both of them as they get REALLY annoying and run up and down aisles, ask for things etc – grrrr.

  • It can be so stressful, right? Whatever you choose to distract them with, things always go wrong. You just can’t win in a supermarket! #sharewithme

  • Haha – I’ve always felt very lucky – shopping was only really a problem when D was about two and he wanted to climb out of the trolley!

    Now he’s quite engaged with it all. When he was little he wasn’t too bothered. I’m bound to get a child now who doesn’t want to do the supermarket run and TWO OF THEM?!? How do I do that?

    Better to stick with the home delivery service!!

  • Gosh I remember these stresses – it is SO hard!! Thankfully Grace was fairly well behaved when I was in Supermarkets and she has continued to be that way. I have to say that I remember the first time I EVER went shopping with a new baby. It was in Homebase. I was petrified! Great to see you yesterday 🙂 Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  • So true, I am lucky enough to be able to fit lots of stuff under the pushchair so use that instead of a basket, a couple of quick trips each week with one while the other is at preschool, either that or I go on the weekend leaving them with daddy!

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