The Art of Grocery Shopping with Three Kids…and no I don’t use an iPad

The Art of Grocery Shopping with Three Kids…and no I don’t use an iPad…because I don’t have one!

Things you just have to accept:

  1. One or more children will yell, scream or sing loudly during the grocery trip.
  2. There will be hitting (between the children).
  3. The check-out process at No Frills will make you sweat like last week’s Zumba class (if you had time to take last week’s Zumba class).
  4. You are guaranteed to achieve your daily goal of 10, 000 steps (even if only to retrieve the grocery items thrown out of your shopping cart)!
  5. Older customers will stop to chat despite the real-time brawl happening in your shopping cart.
  6. You will receive disapproving looks.
  7. You will receive looks of encouragement and empathy.
  8. You hair is going to be a hot mess and your shirt will be stained beyond repair.
  9. You may have to yell “don’t eat that” and “stop throwing the food”!!
  10. You may feel obligated to apologize for the din of children travelling through the grocery store aisles.
  11. You may meet a new best friend in the form of another mom with one or more children.
  12. The mother with one child may think you look crazy.
  13. You are guaranteed 10 trips from the van to the house upon arrival: grocery bags and boxes 1 – 7, Kid #1, Kid #2 and Kid #3.
  14. There is a good chance one or MORE cartons of eggs will be smashed before you retrieve Kid #3 (don’t forget Kid #1 and #2 are “free” in the house).
  15. The kids will be eating lunch before you have a chance to put away your groceries!

We have had relative success during our grocery trips but it never runs smoothly.  In the words of W.C. Fields,”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” I try but I am always prepared to walk away. I would leave the fully loaded grocery cart in the aisle if it came down to it (imagine trying to carry three kids screaming out of the store – yikes)!

I have my grocery list made in the order that I walk around the store to avoid confusion when things get tumultuous between the kids. As the months roll by, the grocery trips have been becoming more and more fun.  We chat. We sing. We point at numbers and letters on the signs.  I try to approach the “outing” as a nice hour (or two) to spend with the kids and hopefully they can learn and meet new people along the way.

It is becoming more and more apparent that every day with my kids is a journey and it doesn’t always matter if we are on-time (what are we really rushing for anyway?). As Gretchen Rubin writes in her book “The Happiness Project” –  “The days are long, but the years are short.” I am starting to believe her.  One day, I will walk the grocery store aisles by myself or with my husband and these days will seem like a distant memory…

Thanks for reading.



2 thoughts on “The Art of Grocery Shopping with Three Kids…and no I don’t use an iPad

  1. Oh, you made me smile! I have been through all that plus a two year old opening up the fire door and having to self-bag my groceries with the blazing alarm ringing and the fire trucks pulling up! They should sell wine in every grocery store 🙂

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