Grocery Shopping with Kids: A Tale of Two Ladies

The other day, I took my 2 boys grocery shopping at Aldi. The second we got in the car, R announced, “I don’t want to go to Aldi!”

“Sorry, Bud,” I said. “We have to.”

“Nooooo!” he wailed from the back seat. I simply drove.


Grocery shopping with kids

When we arrived at Aldi, I grabbed my purse and my shopping bags, pulled the baby from his car seat, and stood by the open van door waiting on R. “Come on, Buddy. Let’s go.”

“I’m not going!”

“You have to,” I said.

“No I don’t!”

“Fine. Come on in when you’re ready.” A power struggle with a 5-year-old isn’t really my thing, so I walked off toward the store. And just like I knew he would, R followed me. (At a distance. He had to save face, obvs.)

After I got to the front of the store and put my quarter in the little shopping cart slot, I dumped all of my stuff in (don’t worry, not the baby. I only drop him on accident.) I peaked over my shoulder, and there was R, pretending he wasn’t with me.

He was just hangin’. He was gonna meet up with his peeps. Chill. Maybe post a snapchat with him and the quarter cart. Aldi is tope.

Since I know my son, I also knew that there was no way he closed the van door behind him. But lucky me, I have a key fab that will close it from a distance, so I pushed the baby and the cart over to a spot where I could get a clear shot to my van. As I stood there clicking the door button, this lady came walking toward me, looking bewildered and concerned.

“Is that your son?” she said, pointing at R.

For the love of doughnuts, how many people are going to ask me that? Yes, I pushed his enormous head out of my hoo ha, so he damn well better be mine.

“Yes,” I said.

“And is *that* your son?” she said, pointing at baby G, who looked like he might have been contemplating a poop.

“Yes,” I said. And thank you for playing Guess Whose Son Some Random Lady Has in Her Shopping Cart. You’ve won the rare opportunity to wipe his butt in the bathroom with no changing table. (Be careful, he might ask you to blow on his butthole.)

The parking lot lady seemed unsure where to begin. After twitching and shaking for a minute, she directed her consternation at R. (Of course. Poor kid.) “He just walked through the parking lot!”

Isn’t that how most people get from a car to a store? Maybe she’s learned how to float. I wish she would teach me.

“OK,” I said.

She put her hands on her hips and pecked her head at me like a chicken. “He was walking in the parking lot!”

chicken dance lucy

“Yes, I know that,” I said.

She shook her head, clearly flustered. I obviously wasn’t getting her subtle attempt to disguise her superiority as concern for my son’s safety. Suddenly, she had an idea for how to really dissuade me from ever allowing my son to walk in a parking lot again. “And did you know,” she said, “that he left your van door open?”

“Yes, I know,” I said. “That’s why I’m standing here. I’m trying to close it with the key fab but I can’t really see it.”

“No, no,” she said. “I closed your door.” She pointed at her own chest. The chest of a brave, parking lot floating, van door closing patriot.

“OK. Thanks for closing my door,” I said.

She shook her head and flung her hand at me. I was beyond help. She couldn’t get through to me with her subtlety and innuendos. She’d have to try straightforward criticism. “You need to be careful. There are cars in the parking lot.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I’m aware of the parking lot situation. Have a nice day.”

Jeezy peezy! She wasn’t quite fire ant lady, but I do have a bit of advice for her.

Fortunately, a few minutes later, I met another lady who restored my faith in grocery store ladies.

Following our encounter with the parking lot police, R still wasn’t ready to admit that he was shopping with me. I told him to come inside. He told me no. I said “fine” and walked in anyway. It’s a little dance we do.

As we walked through the automatic doors, baby G asked me repeatedly if his brother was coming. “Don’t worry, he’s coming. He just doesn’t want us to know he’s coming,” I said.

Sure enough, as soon as I walked through the first set of doors, there was R, standing right outside them. Then I walked through the next set of doors, beyond the little vestibule, so I was actually inside the store now. I pretended to consider buying whatever food it was that Aldi had on display just inside the door. R walked into the vestibule and pretended to consider his shoes.

As I stood there, reading the back of whatever product I had no intention of buying, another lady walked into Aldi. This one looked at R, then looked at me, and burst out laughing. “Who’s going to win?” she said.

I chuckled. “I don’t know. We’re both pretty stubborn.”

She sighed. “Ah, I’m a kindergarten teacher. This is making me miss my kids.”

Really? I could loan you a 5-year-old for the day.

The moral of this story is, if you see another mom struggling to get her child under control, who just wants to get her grocery shopping done without a tantrum, and she’s maybe trying a method you wouldn’t use yourself, don’t be like my first, judgmental and obnoxious parking lot floater. Don’t pile on more stress to a mom who’s already having a rough day. Come on, people. Just don’t be a jerk. And if possible, say something kind to the mom. You might help ease her frustration a little, like the second lady did for me.

Besides, nobody has seen more 5-year-olds than a kindergarten teacher, so she must be right. Right?


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Grocery Shopping with Kids_ What do you do when your child throws a tantrum at the grocery store? You need your groceries, you need to parent your kids, and dozens of strangers are judgi


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17 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping with Kids: A Tale of Two Ladies

  1. I’m laughing so hard my sides hurt , that’s funny right there , isn’t there always a hater wherever you go , you can’t get away from these people , but you handled it like a champ ,kept cool and calm which pisses them off more (hehe) and then the second lady was laughing and good spirited kinda made up for the first crossing guard patrol woman ! Thanks for the great blog 😂😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is so nice! I was going to say, “Please tell me where I can find this magical place where I don’t have to bring my children to the store!” But then I saw that you’re on the other side of the world. Boo boo! Well, at least I can still order wine online. I REALLY don’t want to bring them to the liquor store.


  2. I loved this post – just shows how much people need to stop and check themselves before they talk. You were patient with her though, something I need to work on when approached by someone like that while I have all 3 boys who don’t want to shop with momma.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Depends on my level of frustration with my boys.. they have a tendency to push me over the edge in public. If I am calm, I would just smile and nod while tending to my kids. The polite way, I think, to give her the message that her comments are not being well received without being ugly about it. I tend to give the “evil eye” (or so I hear) or be a bit sarcastic, so if I’ve had enough and she’s not taking the hint I would probably say something snarky and walk away ignoring her. But I try not to release my “crazy” .. too often 😉 You handled it beautifully!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Arg grocery shopping! I’m the mum at the entrance of the store trying to get my two year old (who has turned into a stiff unbendable plank of wood) into the trolley seat whilst he’s screaming because he’d rather run around the store grabbing everything and not go in the trolley, by the time I’ve managed to bend him and get him strapped as tightly as possible into the seat (otherwise he’ll climb out), he’ll then scream the entire way round the supermarket 🙂
    I just ignore everyone else who is looking or who dares to make a comment – that’s probably the best advice I can give! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfect response. Just ignore the busybodies! Do you also have to position the cart *just right* every time you stop it so that the baby can’t reach the stuff on the shelves? Mine will grab at whatever’s on his right, then I swerve and maneuver him out of the way so he grabs at whatever’s on his left. I’m practically doing an obstacle course all the way through the store!


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