When I was a little girl, I would get really excited about the chance to accompany my mother and grandmother shopping. Now, 30 or so years later, my children are similarly amused by errands and, as a result, have a few favorite stores: they're big fans of Target, CVS, Home Goods (my daughter digs the pet aisle, even though we don't have pets), and, of course, Aldi. There are signs your kids are Aldi kids, too, but, honestly, you probably already know it in your heart.
Truthfully, this is a matter of the apple not falling far from the tree. Not much has changed since I was a kid and I still like shopping, even the boring, necessary, routine shopping, like for groceries or contact solution. I think, therefore, that my mood must be contagious. Or maybe it's genetic. Or maybe my children, like me, are also simply weird and easily amused.
But, hey, take your victories where you can get them, people! Because if your kids are Aldi kids you're probably there quite a bit, and if you're they're quite a bit it helps to have willing participants with you? (Is there any hell on Earth more torturous than a whiny kid on a necessary, weekly errand?) Here are some signs that this won't be an issue when you take your weekly trip to Aldi:
Their Snack Game Is Strong
Truly, people, if you have access to an Aldi and you buy your snacks anywhere else you are playing yourself. (So good! So cheap!) All the snacks there are amazing, and my kids have a solid rotation of favorites that they're bizarrely loyal to. While the variety is not what you'd find at a typical grocery store, they don't lack for choice.
They Argue (Slightly) Less
This comes along with the fact that the variety isn't extensive as it is elsewhere, which maybe sounds bizarrely Communist but it's great. Because, honestly, do I really need 12 fruit pouch brands to choose from? And how many times has this happened to you:
You: *put item in your cart*
Kid: "Nooooo, not that kind! This kind."
You: "That's the exact same thing but $2 more expensive."
Kid: "It's Minions, though!"
You: "No. It has a picture of a Minion on it. Do you want me to tape a picture of a Minion on the box when we get home?"
Kid: "It's not the same! It's better!"
This is a non-issue at Aldi because almost everything there is an in-house brand. Every now and then something branded will sneak in but, by and large, you can avoid this argument.
You Have To Be Careful In The "Toy Aisle"
There's this weird "middle aisle" at Aldi that houses, well, you don't really know until you get there. Right now, in my local store, it's gardening and outdoor items. Over the holidays there were a lot of gift baskets. Generally, however, there's at least a few toys, and if your children are Aldi children like mine they will try to get a toy in the cart. You must be quick and strong-willed.
They Have At Least One Aldi-Bought Item Of Clothing
OK, not a sequined dress, but probably something like underwear or a few t-shirts or onesies or socks or a pair of rain boots. I don't know how this works, but Aldi has a whole bunch of cool, non-food items that aren't typically in grocery stores but make sense in the context of "the middle aisle." Chances are you've picked up a great many things from this section, including a bunch of cheap clothing for your kid, because, "OMG, $3.99? Why would I not get this?"
Ordinary Grocery Stores Overwhelm Them
Between the size, the variety, and the time it takes to get through on account of the size and variety, ordinary grocery stores are beyond your Aldi children, who long for the simple life... and some more of those cheddar penguin crackers, because they're seriously just so delicious.
Name Brands Confuse Them
Again, just about everything in this store is an in-house brand. So between that and the fact that we don't have cable (so they don't see commercials), my children are so much less influenced by brand names than I was at their age. (Oh, the stupid, disgusting things advertisers convinced me I wanted.)
They "Help" You Bag
One feature of Aldi is that the lines go super fast (great for those times when you have to bring all the little ones), but that's because you have to do all your own bagging in a separate area.
Honestly, it's not too bad and, with practice, you get good at it. But it also means you're constantly managing your children as they endeavor to "help" you put everything away. So it's a lot of, "Wow you're such a good... Ahhh! No, sweetie, let mommy put away the glass jars. And please don't clink them together like that!"