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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shopper's Rage

Shopping is fun.  It's therapeutic.  It's my favourite pastime after cocktails.

Even grocery shopping.  This is often my favourite kind, as it's the one that requires the least covert manouvering to get my loot inside the house, since it doesn't matter if #1 Hubby sees the shopping bags - it's justifiable necessary expenditure in these tough economic times.  No need to stress my tired little brain with finding a legitimate reason to justify tinted moisturiser as a necessity for eczema prone kids, or another skirt that is suspiciously large for a 5yr old.

So the grocery shopping is the one that I actually look forward to the most.  Yeah, I know.  It does make me sound a tad bit sad, doesn't it.

Grocery shopping with 2 toddlers.  Not so much.

It's a fine art steering a trolley close enough to the shelves to reach what you want, but not so close as to allow your toddler to rip everything down within reach.  Try that with 2 toddlers.  It's like a 4 wheeled octopus trawling the aisles.  With poor steering.  And - inevitably - a severe lean to the left or right.

Trolley Training should be mandatory

Whenever I take the twins shopping, I should come with my own safety vehicle up ahead, complete with orange flashing lights and warning signal.  Kind of like when enormous trucks are on the road moving houses and large pieces of equipment.  That's the kind of road/aisle assistance and warning that I need.

By the time I park my trolley at just the right distance from either side of the aisle so as to ensure the twins can't grab anything to tear open, I am smack bang in the middle of the aisle.  I have a crap sense of direction, can't read a map to save myself, have got lost in my own home town (a town of approximately 500 residents...that's how small the place is) - and yet, I have an internal GPS navigation system that detects the exact centre of any shopping centre aisle.

I know it's wrong, but some days it is so tempting...

So it's either disgruntled shoppers who can't get past the ignorant moron who has stopped in the dead centre of the aisle (which is NEVER EVER wide enough to accommodate 2 trolleys, no matter how much you squish up and play bumper-trolleys in an attempt to get past each other);


Disgruntled shop assistants having to pick up the carnage the twins are tossing on the floor in their own personal experiment testing the sturdiness of food packaging.

FYI - Pasta has the strongest packaging.  To date, they have not been able to smash open a packet of noodles, spaghetti, pasta of any kind.  Just another useless fact I am good for.

(As I write this, they are sitting at the kiddy table eating breakfast, quietly, well behaved - dare I say, angelically... so I do feel a wee bit mean for describing them as such feral monsters.  But, if they were to see a shopping trolley...they'd morph like gremlins do after midnight).

Generally I go for the disgruntled fellow shopper option.  Occasionally I'll come across a fellow mother who totally gets my determined yet downtrodden look.  The kind where your shoulders are hunched as if you're about to wrestle, your hands are gripping the sides of the trolley for dear life, and your face says "Don't even think about commenting...because I will follow you through the supermarket aisles, ramming this trolley into your ankles every single time you dare to stop".  Or, you know, something like that....

But, every once in a while - I get one of those snotty shop assistants.  The kind who is still legally a child themselves, but feels the need to throw withering EMO style glares at you as soon as they see you walk towards the supermarket with 2 toddlers in tow.

The kind who is thinking "Ugh...I'm NEVER going to be that stupid." - Just you wait 15yr old check out chick, just you wait....

What I need is an uber-trolley.  Built up with stadium seating so the twins don't fight over who sits on which side or who sits closest to me and/or the side.

A trolley with some sort of roof or canopy (or electrified sides) to keep the twins in, and stop their grabby arms reaching for everything.

I need one of these...

crossed with one of these

So a quick couple of questions for the interverse of people out there - 

Am I the only one who treats a supermarket trip like it's a life or death mission?  

Am I the only one who goes in all tensed up as if I'm about to take on Rambo?  

Am I the only one who inevitably runs out of snacks and has to grab something off the shelves of totally crap nutritional value, and bust it open out of desperation, just to shove in the mouths of the twins to shut them up and keep their hands occupied for at least 5 minutes, as I tear around the remaining aisles well above the recommended speed limit?


  1. No, no I think all mums are with you on this one. My kids aren't too bad on the grabbing stuff off the shelves part but moreso asking for everything they could possibly think of (despite it being a supermarket, not a toy shop) and then screaming or whinging the entire time because I tell them that no, surely the hundred thousand other toys they have at home isn't enough... And then there's the climbing in and out of the trolley and fighting over who sits in which part of the trolley. If I didn't need to buy anything then I could quite happily fit (cram) all three in there... But then I wouldn't be at the shops right? Thankfully my hubby loves food shopping too so for the big shop, I try to wait til he is home (which is occasional to say the least). Then at least I don't feel like I've run a marathon after what was supposed to be a quick trip to the shops.

  2. If only I had the shopping adventures you have......sounds like real fun I am real jealous can we swap. I might have to take the tiddly winks today for an adventure hey!

  3.  Do it and die. Only I will be training our kids how to shop. It's the one thing I can capably hand down through the generations.

  4.  Oh Fern, I think you really will need a trolley with stadium seating once the baby arrives!  It's either that or home delivery.

  5. I don't do the food shopping - that's Map Guy's domain. He used to do it with Tricky in the baby sling while I went to work or slept. It's quite possible he's actually a woman...

  6. I tend to do my shopping at the greengrocers and the butchers. I only go to the supermarket for non-food items. I tend to try to do it on days that Seagull is in childcare, but that doesn't always happen. I had to go today and after whinging about wanting bikkies and chocolate (the greengrocer has a small range of that sort of thing), he then switched to asking for things like apples and bananas (Seagull was so insistent about the bananas today that I couldn't refuse - I nearly cried at paying nearly $9 for four bananas). I actually got him to help - I'd tell him how many of an item I wanted and he'd count them out and put them in the bag for me. The only downside is that he wants to eat it all straight away and gets really upset when I tell him we have to pay first. He does like being given a piece of fruit afterward to eat in the car though.

    I managed to snaffle the parking spot right outside the butchers shop today, so I left the kids in the car and watched them from inside while I was buying the meat. That never happens and I was so stoked at not having to get them out of the car for once.


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