Shopping with a toddler

The other day I needed to pop into Kmart. Ok, so needed is probably a strong word – I more accurately WANTED to go to Kmart as I had a few things I WANTED to buy. The experience got me thinking about when you go shopping with a toddler and the few rules you should you adhere to if you want your shopping trip to be even vaguely pleasant and/or successful.

I have devised this list after many tried and tested trips to the shops with my ‘adventurous’ toddler – let’s just say he likes to ‘explore’. But I digress, that’s a story with a whole different set of rules! My shopping trips with toddler rules are as follows:

  • While on the toilet earlier in the day (hopefully by yourself), devise a list of things you intend to buy.
  • Take the above list you’ve prepared and now divide it in two – those items you MUST come home with and non-essentials. Because you’re dreaming if you’re going to be able to get everything you wanted in one go – you’ll either forget some or the toddler will hijack the trip by any number of means – pooplosion, accidental wee because toilets aren’t within the 7 seconds notice you get, massive melt down, projectile vomit, escaping from trolley/stroller, refusing to walk, spilt milkshake etc etc.
  • Scratch off some items so that the list can now be achieved within half an hour – this includes buying toddler bribes along the way.
  • Keep a spare $7 minimum handy – $5 for a milkshake to keep them occupied while you rush around (which you’ll either wear or end up finishing) and the other $2 for the crappy ball they’ll no doubt spy and want.
  • Finish shopping within allotted half hour and sprint to car before toddler knows what’s hit him/her. (Come to think of it, trolley racing should be an Olympic sport)
  • Make no eye contact with fellow shoppers at any point in case there are Judgy McJudgy eyes going on at toddler’s behaviour or you see someone you know (no time for small talk, you can Facebook message later)
  • Get home in one piece, hopefully not wearing any milkshake, then promptly remember the item/s you forgot in your panic and realise you’ll need to go to shop again as one was for tonight’s dinner.
  • Once toddler is asleep take a few moments of peace and quiet to unpack your goodies so you can enjoy them, unless they’re groceries of course!

Disclaimer: These guidelines are strictly recommendations only. I am in no way responsible if there’s milkshake all over the floor of the shopping centre and you find yourself cowering in your car wishing it was wine o’clock at 10 in the morning. But hey, happy shopping mums – we’re all in the same boat!

Let us know your suggestions for surviving the shops with kids!