Children are tiny miracles. They bring light and laughter into your life. They also can easily convince strangers that you're trying to kill them when, in reality, you're just denying them junk food on the candy aisle of the grocery store. Whether your child is still in the "screaming for absolutely no reason" stage of infancy or in the more advanced "secretly stash sugary snacks in the cart" phase, you probably already know that there are plenty of ways kids ruin grocery shopping. But in the parenting chapter of of the Girl and Boy Scouts, surviving a trip to the grocery store is a hard-earned badge you should be proud to show off.
If you manage to leave the store without anything being broken, security being called, and a meltdown (let's be honest, this could apply to either your children or you), you know just how much of an accomplishment that can truly feel like. In fact, it's a bonding experience in many ways. Haven't you ever walked by another mom or dad struggling with a toddler mid-tantrum and just nodded in solidarity? The struggle is indeed real. Check out these ways kids can absolutely ruin grocery shopping, even though you swear you love them to bits.
1. They Make Getting Out Of The Car Unnecessarily Difficult
Remember the good old days when you would simply drive to your destination, get out of your car, and walk in? Yup, those days are long gone. Now it takes a solid five minutes just to get your toddler unbuckled and out of the car seat.
2. They Make You Sweat Before You Even Enter The Store
If it wasn't the act of getting your child out of the car, it was the struggle of getting them not to run head-on into traffic that has you busting out your fan before you even walk inside.
3. They Think Grocery Carts Are Molten Lava
Have you ever tried to put a child into a cart who decidedly does not want to do so? You would think someone was actively sawing off a limb with the blood-curdling screams they let out as you try to do the unspeakable act of putting them into a grocery cart.
4. They Cause Everyone To Look At You
In between the banshee-like yells and your sweaty pits-stained shirt, your fellow shoppers aren't sure whether to judge your or feel sorry for you. Either way, the holes their eyes are burning in you only make you sweatier, so that's great.
5. They Cause You To Forget
A grocery list? What's that? Well, you probably have one. . . somewhere. . . or perhaps you intended to write it down but never did. You know you definitely need bread, or maybe not, but it was for sure something to do with the bread aisle, right? Kids have a way of inducing temporary amnesia in grocery stores, and also life.
6. They Want ALL The Things
This is a pretty obvious and well-known way kids can completely derail the shopping experience, but in case you don't know, your child will literally want everything in the store. People also may or may not think your child hasn't eaten in days by the way they are desperately pleading for even a morsel of sustenance.
7. They Make You Our To Be The "Bad Guy"
There just isn't any way around this one, unless you give in to all of your tyrannical toddler's demands. But most parents will stick by their guns and remind their child that, no, cookies are not a necessary part of a balanced diet but it's different when mommy eats them and they should just stop asking questions, OK?
8. They Turn The Checkout Line Into A Finish Line
Do you see that? It's the light at the end of an inexplicably sticky, noisy tunnel. You've managed to gather the essential items, put them back into your cart after they are thrown out, taken out stashed junk food, and didn't lose your wallet. So for you, your child has turned what was once an ordinary check out line into a glorious indication that your trials and tribulations are nearly over. And then you remember you still have to put both your child and your groceries back into the car. Sh*t.
9. They've Left You With Zero Energy
You would think that since your kids resisted going into the store so much that they'd be thrilled to leave and more than happy to oblige to getting into the car without a fuss. But those kinds of things only happen in movies, right? Once you've finally buckled everyone in and remembered to grab your purse off the roof of the car, you barely have the energy to turn your car on. Actually, you might just get drive-thru instead of making dinner with the groceries you bought.