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Why I get a Naked Juice or Odwalla every week

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Let it be said...I have no idea how you moms of more than two manage. Especially when it comes to grocery shopping.

Last Saturday I headed off to Giant Eagle with Elnora and Emmitt in tow. Giant Eagle has those new shopping carts where the front is like a little car so your kid can strap in and pretend to drive while you use all your strength to keep from smashing the cart into the obstacle course that the grocery store so lovingly creates with their center of aisle displays.

These work well for us (in theory) because Elnora can ride in the cab and beep the little horn while Emmitt's infant carrier clips into the seat area. The problem on Saturday was that the trip went something like this...

Elnora is thrilled to see the car cart, we MUST get in the car cart, please can I drive the car cart, oh boy! The CAR cart!!! (bearing in mind, these are actions, not words...heaven forbid we actually speak anything intelligible.)

So into the car she goes.

NO! Nora will strap the lap belt herself!!!

We move five feet.

HELP!!!!!! I can't strap the lap belt!!!

I help. We move 10 feet.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want the lap belt strapped!!!!

We unstrap the belt, I explain that we must have it one way or the other. The response is that Nora would like to ride in the cart without a lap belt strapped.

Rinse and repeat the above scenario.

Pretty soon the cart comes dragging to a halt. Why? Because my two year old has climbed out the window and is being dragged alongside the cart.


So I show Elnora how to help me push the cart...except now I'm forced to reach way over to push the cart without stepping on her. At this point I sort of look like I'm shuffling along with a really bad case of hemroids or something. Of course anytime she notices that I'm pushing the cart instead of her, she's upset.


We stop and have a talk about grocery carts and busy stores and we talk about simply holding on to the cart while mommy pushes. This seems to work for awhile...until I discover that mystery items are being added to the cart. Apparently Elnora has a shopping list of her own.

So me, being the brilliant woman that I am decide that it might be a good idea to simply carry her, after all, she only weighs 20-some pounds.

Ever try to carry twenty some pounds of squirming two year old while pushing a grocery cart that looks like a dump truck and requires a linebacker to turn it? Yeah...exactly.

Suddenly I realize that something reeks and it's not the quickly wilting produce in my cart. No, Elnora has just filled her pants with the foulest excrement known to man. So now, I'm carrying a rancid two year old while knocking people and displays askew as I drive this monstrosity of a cart down the aisles toward the nearest rest room.

This entire time Emmitt stays blissfully asleep.

We change the diaper, load everyone back into the cart and Miss Nora decides to try driving the car again.

That actually gets us to the point where we can head to the checkout. I won't even go into the details on that...let's just say it involved no less than THREE broken checkout machines, a very confused old man, Elnora on TOP of the grocery cart car and a freaked out store employee who seemed convinced that Elnora was about to die at any moment.

Today we went to Meijer...there were no car grocery cars (ha! like we would have tried that again anyway!) so Elnora sat in the basket of the cart. Every time I turned to get something out of a dairy case or freezer case she would stand up slowly spin in a circle and sing "ohhhhh-eeeeeee-ohhhhhh-eeeeee" over and over again.

And THAT my friends is why every time I go to the grocery store with both of my children I feel perfectly justified in spending $3 on the tiny little bottle of fruitopian goodness known as Naked Juice or Odwalla.

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  1. Blogger Jennifer | 11:50 AM |  

    I am expecting another one in May and I'm terrified as how shopping trips are going happen! This didn't help :)!! How do people do it??

  2. Blogger Judy | 12:25 PM |  

    Haven't you seen the news? Kids DIE from sitting in the baskets of carts!!!! ;)

  3. Blogger Jennifer | 12:52 PM |  

    LOL...Greg tells me that he used to ride on that shelf undernear the cart.

    Can you even imagine the liability freaks if you tried to pull that one today?

  4. Blogger K | 12:59 PM |  

    Ha!! I laugh now, but someday when there is Another One I will not be laughing.

    Those car carts are brutal.

  5. Anonymous amygeekgrl | 1:04 PM |  

    LOL - You so deserve that $3 drink! :)

    This is exactly why I refuse to go shopping with both kids. I wait until my husband is home from work, make sure my babe has a full tummy, then make a mad dash to the grocery store ALONE. Gives me a little bit of peace and quiet too, which I desperately need most days. ;)

  6. Blogger Leah | 1:42 PM |  

    EEEK!!! That sounds so tough. I joke that the only way I get any shopping done is because I have the baby in my Ergo carrier. Have you tried something like that with Nora? She might enjoy the back carry, and it works well with my 19lb six month old and is supposed to work up to 40 lbs. Granted, she might hate it too - I guarantee nothing. :)

  7. Blogger Elizabeth F. | 1:54 PM |  

    I am a mother of three. I can take them all to the store if it's a quick, only picking up a few things trip. FOr the big shopping trip, I leave them at home. I finally had to give in to that idea. When I had 2 I'd still brave it. With three...don't even do that to yourself!!

    BTW, those car carts are evil. When you need one, there are none available. Tantrums begin. OR if you have two, they fight over who's driving, and the actual cart is smaller on those kind of buggies too. You run out of room. I do like the carts that have toddler seats attached though. Grocery shopping in general is a workout! I hate it! I've been tempted to try the Grocery Stork where they deliver!

  8. Blogger Jennifer | 2:13 PM |  

    Funny that you mention that Leah! I've got an Ergo on the way to try out and review for the site. That's one of the things I'm looking forward at testing it for. (The other is a trip to NYC for the week in April with Emmitt and a friend.)

  9. Blogger MamaBean | 2:22 PM |  

    I shouldn't even post since I only have one 6 month old girl but I will attest to the Ergo carrier - I throw her in front or, if she is really awake and wants to look around I'll put her on my hip (something I never thought I'd do - it looks so awkward but is surprisingly comfortable and easy with a small baby!).

    I love my Ergo and look forward to your review. Please do try it several times before writing about it - it takes some getting used to!

  10. Blogger Ashley C aka Kitten | 3:06 PM |  

    First of all, whoever invented those car carts is PURE EVIL! My 4 year old always wants to ride in one, but then 5 minutes into shopping he wants out, rinse and repeat. Or he's fighting with my 2 year old about who gets to drive/honk the horn. Argh!
    If you like the idea of an ergo, check out Mei Tais (asian inspired baby carriers). Kozy Carrier is an awesome one. They're VERY useful for carrying a toddler on your back (and you can carry a smaller baby on your front). Good luck with the shopping!

  11. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:05 PM |  

    i do it with three AND they sit under the cart. that way i can pretend i'm by myself. fingers and hair pulling be damned.

  12. Anonymous Suzi | 4:18 PM |  

    Ok, I am laughing SO hard at your post that tears are streaming down my face and I'm doing that whole body jerk thing cuz I'm trying not to wake my almost 2 year old son who fell asleep on me. I have taken my 2 babies to the grocery store ONCE. I wore my daughter in a Maya Wrap who was only a few months old and my son rode in the cart seat (they are just shy of 15 months apart). I had to bring my sister for support cuz hubby was working. At the end of the trip, I was EXHAUSTED. I feel your pain! Thanks for the awesome laughs.

    OH! A GREAT baby carrier that I love is a Mei Tai. I got mine from Nurtured Little One. My daughter LOVES it... and she usually gets so relaxed after staring at everything around her, that she falls asleep. Plus, I love all the weird looks and comments about it, like I'm some sort of alien wearing my child!

    I also tried on a friend's Ergo and now I'm frantically scouring Ebay for one. I LOVED it!

  13. Blogger Meg | 5:14 PM |  

    This too shall pass! I go to the store with a 4.5, 3 and 1.5 year old... It is actually easier now than ever, even with all three kids along! (the girls can be given tasks and the little guy is just a mellow third born) This was not always so. When my little guy turns terrible 2 and we have another newborn, it will be my exciting errand away for the evening. Replete with a Haagen Daas purchase.
    Just remember that everything changes every few months with kids under four.

  14. Blogger Meg | 5:18 PM |  

    Oh...I used to use my Sutemi Pack in the grocery store till my babe got to 25 lbs. It is very similar to the Ergo, but for people with long torsos you can buy a version with longer straps.

  15. Blogger Amy | 9:35 PM |  

    Pardon me, while I wipe the giggle tears out of my eyes. I only have one, yet. But I've been there with the squirmy not quite two-year-old who'd rather be on top of the cart than riding in it.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  16. Blogger DebbyG | 8:39 AM |  

    Hi - mom of 3 here, in the Columbus area. Check out the new TV carts at Meijer. It makes you feel a bit - BIT - guilty for plopping your kids in front of a TV at the grocery store, but it's so well worth the $1 you have to pay for the cart. My baby goes in the top, the two older kids go in the "driving" part, but instead of fighting over who drives, or jumping out of the cart (and yes, being dragged on the floor) they sit tight and watch Wiggles, Barney, or Bob the Builder. And as an added plus, the doors only open from the outside. I know, I know, it all sounds kind of cruel, but it DOES work and I can actually get shopping done!!!! :-)

  17. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:31 PM |  


    The car carts CAN rock, although you constantly have to apologize to people for your wide turns and for practically mowing them down. They're like driving a big rig.


    1. Buy bananas.

    Grab a car cart, keep the kids out, and give each of them a quarter instead. Steer them to the bananas. Allow them to choose their very own. Take them immediately to the checkout lanes, and either have the checkout girl do it or take them through the self-check and let them purchase the bananas with as little assistance as possible.

    The rule is that they can sit in the car cart to eat the bananas.

    BONUS: This teaches them (A) the basics of commerce, (B) a tiny bit of independence and (C) that you are not entitled to consume anything you haven't paid for yet. (AKA, The World Ain't Your Oyster, Kid.)

    This should get you through the produce department.

    The rest of the trip is simply strong-arm tactics...they are allowed three transgressions, on the fourth incident, the person being the most obnoxious gets to sit up front with (horrors!) Mom.

    Other successful ploys:

    Pick out easy-to-identify items from your list, pull out a clean sheet of paper and draw them. ("But I can't draw!" In your child's eyes, you are Leonardo freaking Da Vinci. Draw a carrot. Draw an apple. If you're buying seafood, draw a Jesus fish. It's light years above your child's drawing level, they will think it's totally professional.) Give them them the drawings. This is their list. Allow them to identify the desired object and look for it from the comfort of the Car Cart seats.


    Depends strongly on the child in question (age/strength/maturity/etc.), but if they can handle it, buy your own tiny shopping cart (Costco carried them once) and take it along. Load it with light items, like produce. They get to push it and Be Big. This is a position of privilege, authority, and responsibility. They must see it this way, too.

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