Grocery shopping Saturday mornings with Babykahuna has become a sort of tradition. I save my coupon inserts from the Sunday paper, print out the best deals from feedyindy.com,
make a list and away we go. I’m armed with a sippy of water, two or three small containers of Cheerios, etc, my phone (she dances to the ringtones) and whatever else is of interest to her in my purse.
Today when we entered Meijer, something sort of scary caught her eye–a car shopping cart with a TV! She seemed the like the car part of it, and I thought, “What the heck?” and let her get in. There was a sign above saying that it cost $1 to watch TV while shopping and I figured what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her, right? Yeah, well the cart doesn’t move unless you pop in $1, so that was bust. Once she got out, I quickly shut the toddler-proof door, said, “all done” and away we went in a boring old traditional cart. Mind you, there are 2 cup holders and a little tray for snacks/wallets, ect., so it wasn’t that boring.
As we shopped and chatted, I got to thinking what a load of crap those other shopping carts were. Yes, shopping with my 17 month old is exhausting, and it can be exasperating. I don’t always finish what I set out to do, but it is an experience. We chat as we go along. She points out what she sees. She says “Hi!” to everyone. She recognizes her favorite foods. We sing along to the music on the loudspeaker (Meijer, by the way, has GREAT speaker music).
If I was pushing one of “those” carts, she’d be in a little compartment, by herself. Maybe looking ahead, more than likely looking at the TV, watching the Wiggles or something like that. The shopping might get done faster, but we wouldn’t have gained anything from the experience. She wouldn’t have bopped along to Van Morrison’s “Moondance” on the loudspeaker. She wouldn’t have been wowed by the aisle of sippy cups or milk. She wouldn’t have pointed to all of the blue price drop signs (“balls” in her world). She wouldn’t have said an audible “hi” and waved at every person we walked by. She wouldn’t have gotten probably 25 kisses from me as we journeyed through the store.
Ok, the entire trip wasn’t all roses. There was the dumping of the Cheerios in aisle 6. The distress at sighting aforementioned TV cart being driven by another child in aisle 10. The disappointment that she couldn’t open and dive into the 32oz jar of applesauce right now. The repeated request for “Out!” once we got into the check out lane.
But at least she was engaged in reality, interacting with me and other people, not just staring at a screen, cut off from the rest of the world.
**disclaimer: this is not a post to suggest that I am, in fact super mom. I have one child. She only goes shopping with me once or twice a week, at a good time of day for her. If I really wanted to, I could go shopping some other time without her, which I know is a luxury some people don’t have.