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October 19, 2008

Death by broken down grocery cart

Cart What is it about grocery shopping that makes me feel like I could murder someone? Right there in the frozen foods aisle, in between the pizzas and the Ben & Jerry's, I could commit homicide. Or at the very least ram my cart into the Coke can pyramid and be done with it.

I spent two full hours yesterday in grocery hell. Before I had a baby and decided to make an attempt at fiscal responsibility - you know, just for kicks - I used to shop at a lovely store. It had soothing music and hot samples and rotating holiday displays. Now I shop at the cheap store, which seems to have been designed to drive a person straight out of her mind. The colour scheme is an affront to the eyes, it seems to be store policy that the floor of every aisle must be permanently sticky, nothing makes sense (why are the cheese slices with the refrigerated pudding and not with the rest of the cheese family on the other end of the store??) and the staff are literally nowhere to be found - I think they're huddled in the back, hording all the samples, watching the rage-filled chaos and laughing at us. 

While watching a lady pick up a muffin from the bulk bin with her bare hands and then toss it back in, I had a flashback to one particularly enraging shopping trip. It was back when spitting up was at the top of Maddie's list of favourite ways to pass the time. I had her in the Baby Bjorn and was trying to steer the cart full of groceries - it is fate's twisted sense of humour that makes me always get the cart with the wonky wheel - when of course the inevitable happened and... splash! That morning's peaches and YoBaby now a puddle on the floor. So I'm bending over to mop it up with a spit cloth, holding onto Mads with one hand and feeling my back misalign one vertebrate at a time, when from behind me comes a dramatic sigh. "Could you at least move your cart? I have to get by!" Apparently the chaos that was my life at the time and my giant post-pregnancy ass was getting in the way of this woman's mad dash to the Cocoa Puffs. I think I made a big sarcastic show of how sorry I was, which she mistook for a genuinely felt apology, thereby of course pissing me off even more.

Yesterday was not much better. I chased down an actual employee (who'd accidentally wandered out in to the store) to see if there was any butter anywhere, or if they'd just decided to stop selling it (but I asked him without the side of bitchy) - he said he'd go check and then never came back. Never ever. I think he went home.

On the way out I was in need of a margarita, but opted for a McDonalds hamburger with extra pickles instead. The margarita probably would've been the healthier option - those count as a fruit serving, right?

So, question of the day... do you shop with the kids, or without?

October 19, 2008 | Permalink


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I go with the kids

Posted by: anon | Oct 19, 2008 12:02:35 PM

Always shop with the kid - BUT I have to leave dear old Dad at home because he costs way too much money at a grocery store.

Posted by: Sleepynita | Oct 19, 2008 1:16:37 PM

I usually grocery shop with all three kids. And my husband wonders why I need a break when he gets home...

Posted by: Brittany | Oct 19, 2008 1:57:02 PM

If I am absolutely desperate for something (like day before thanksgiving and I need a turkey desperate), I will take my kids. I have six. It isn't fun. I just can't concentrate. So they usually stay at home with Dad. I make it a point to take one with me, just so we have some one on one time. They help me out and know I will get them some sort of snack for coming along.

Posted by: Pearmama | Oct 19, 2008 5:02:41 PM

I almost always shop with everyone in tow- all 5 kids Plus the hubby.. You'd think the hubby would make it more manageable but actually I think he's worse than the other 5 combined.. Every once in a while I venture out alone, but the experience is soo odd to me that I tend to get lost in the store.. I'm too used to counting heads & making sure everyone is still with me... lol

Posted by: Momma Chaos | Oct 19, 2008 7:07:36 PM

Yeah I usually have Mase, but bribery works pretty well with him. If he stays in the front seat of the cart while I shop (which he hates), I let him play with the video games by the exit before we leave. He doesn't know they cost money yet so there's no harm done there. I also swing by the toy section and let him play with a few while I shop.

Posted by: | Oct 19, 2008 7:21:02 PM


I'm so there with you. This morning I almost went postal (groceral?) on a poor stock guy. My neighborhood Super Target has this great habit of flipping aisles every week or so, just to keep me guessing on where my usual items lurk. Maybe they think I'm sucker enough to buy that incredibly overpriced olive tapenade because it is now in the spot where my Sun Butter used to be located.


Like shopping with a 2-year-old isn't enough of an adventure! Let's shake it up a little. Grrrr.


Posted by: Em | Oct 20, 2008 12:24:47 PM

I shopped with all three when they were littles. A few years later I could leave the kids with my hubby as he had changed jobs and would get home at a reasonable time. Ever since the years with the littles I shop by myself.

Posted by: MaryOliver | Oct 21, 2008 5:47:21 AM

Wow - I'm in the minority I guess. I try to grocery shop without DD -- to the point that I'll take my lunch hour at work to run to the store or one of us will go when DD is sleeping! Occasionally, we'll make a family trip out of it on the weekend, but otherwise if I stop with her during the week, it's just for a few items. I've also ordered groceries online through Peapod.

Posted by: Suzanne | Oct 22, 2008 12:44:38 PM

Spot on, as they would say in the UK.

Grocery shopping brings out the worst in everyone.

To top it off, in the UK you can't steer the shopping carts, adding to the misery.

Posted by: Susanna (A Modern Mother) | Nov 18, 2008 4:15:30 AM

Oh lol!!!!

THIS is why I do not take my kids to the shops!

Yes there are odd occasions they have to enter with me! But in those moments I make sure I need to get 5 items MAX - that way I can literally sprint in and sprint out - by passing the sweet, chip, biscuit, hair accesories and ice cream sections!

(Found you via Under the Big Blue Sky)

Posted by: Laura | Nov 18, 2008 4:58:46 AM

I came over from Under the Big Blue Sky too. You are great! I love your humor. Reminds me of another lovely sarcastic person I am so fond of. You are going on my reader right now.

Posted by: debbie | Nov 18, 2008 5:53:02 AM

I shop both ways--sometimes with child, sometimes without. But shopping without is sooo blissful. It's an hour to myself. I can actually read the labels and compare prices. I don't mind being caught behind someone with a big post-preggo rear end--because, heck, I want to drag it all out as long as possible! Hey treat yourself to the nice grocery store every once in a while--it's worth it. And at the higher end stores they offer things to entertain your kids. Like the one I use gives her free slices of cheese whenever we're waiting at the deli. They also have a play area with an attendant.

Posted by: Alisa Bowman | Nov 18, 2008 6:31:53 AM

When I only had one kid, I felt blessed to be able to shop without the little leopard. Now, with two children, going shopping with just one is the treat. Shopping by myself? Oh, I dare not tempt my heart's deepest wishes!

Posted by: Momma Mac | Nov 18, 2008 6:42:49 AM

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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