The other night I went grocery shopping by myself. Yes, you read that right–by myself. No babies. Alone. Solo. How did I accomplish this amazing feat? Well, I thought I’d write you a little “how-to” manual just in case you’d like to try it sometime.
1. Climb into your vehicle with only your purse, shopping list, grocery ads and a water bottle.
- put shoes, a hat or jacket on your toddler
- change two diapers
- pour a sippy cup full of juice
- stuff a baggie of raisins into your purse for a toddler snack later
- pack two diaper bags and throw them in the car
- strap two babies into their car seats
2. Drive to the store.
- comment on every police car, firetruck, motorcycle, truck, or car
- sing This Little Light of Mine or Jingle Bells
- pass snacks and juice to your toddler
- explain that “Red means stop.” or “Green means go.”
3. Park the car and walk into the store carrying only your purse, shopping list and grocery ads.
- park near the cart corral or a random cart left in the parking lot
- ask a passing shopper if she is done with her cart so you can use it
- unlatch your infant’s car seat and place it in the front seat of the cart
- unstrap your toddler and place him in the cart
4. Grab the first cart you see at the front of the store and push it into the store.
- search for a cart with the child restraint straps intact
- sanitize the front of the cart with the store’s disinfectant wipes
- insert the shopping cart cover into the child seat
- strap your toddler into the seat
5. Place your purse in the seat of the shopping cart and pull out your shopping list and pen.
- try to hide the paper and pen from your toddler in case he decides he would like to “color”
6. Shop with ease. Try to pretend that this is how you normally shop. Realize that your children often serve as your security blanket and that you feel “naked” without them.
- pull out raisins from your purse to feed your toddler throughout the shopping trip
- check on your infant to make sure he’s still sleeping
- peer over the infant car seat to make sure you’re not running over anyone
- park your cart in the middle of the aisle where your toddler cannot reach the shelved merchandise
- arrange your groceries so your toddler cannot destroy the bread, eggs, chips, etc.
- stop at the bakery counter for a free kid’s cookie
- pick up the parts of your pen from off the floor since your toddler was “coloring” and dissected the pen
7. Check out
- try to keep your toddler happy while explaining to those around you that he’s missing his nap right now
- rearrange the bags in your cart so your toddler cannot get into them
8. Push the cart to your car. Unload the groceries and return the cart to the cart corral.
- unstrap your toddler, fasten him in his car seat and give him juice and a snack
- transfer your infant’s car seat from the cart into the car seat base and make sure the sun is not in his eyes
- leave your cart next to your car
(P.S. Don’t be like me and assume that anyone who doesn’t put their cart in the cart corral is a jerk. Maybe–just maybe–they are a frazzled mommy who just survived a harrowing trip to Wal-mart with two little needy humans in tow.)
9. Drive home in peace.
- keep reminding your toddler that we will be home soon and THEN he can have lunch and a nap
- sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas or My God Is So Big
10. Park the car in the garage and carry in the groceries.
- unstrap your toddler and take him directly to his bed for a much needed nap
- unlatch your infant’s car seat and take him inside trying not to wake him
Congratulations! You have successfully gone grocery shopping all by yourself! Eat a cookie.