Sometimes I’m Dumb and Take My Kids to the Grocery Store

I went to the grocery store the other day, and…made the mistake of taking all three of my kids Stupid move. We went to Trader Joe’s. Three days before Christmas. It was crowded.


I let my three year old, Autumn, push one of the little kiddie carts. Stupider move.

Really, we need to back up to the previous trip to TJ’s, alone with Autumn, when I naively set the precedent for allowing her to push the kiddie cart. Stupidest move. She did a good job with obeying and didn’t run up on anyone’s heels. It went great. It was nothing like the boys, who are no longer allowed to push the kiddie carts. They always chased each other with them, then crashed into people. Then I would get mad because I was embarrassed because it looked like I was raising hellions…which I am.

So, I thought it would be okay.

Before we made our way to the kale section, the boys were already playing freeze tag around our cart (I forgot their straight jackets at home). I hissed at them to stop. I turned to grab a bag of carrots and when I turned back, I found my seven-year-old holding a sack of apples over his head like he was Atlas carrying the celestial sphere. But, unlike Atlas, he dropped them on the floor. Which, of course, meant I had to buy them…because people were looking.

We got to the coffee corner and I couldn’t find any ground coffee, I would have to grind it myself. I didn’t know how to do that. So, I got an employee to help. As we stood in amazement at this magical thing, Autumn grabbed a container of cherry tomatoes to put in her kiddie cart, but missed her cart and dropped the container on the floor. A hundred little red marbles bounced all the way to the granola aisle. The woman who helped me with the coffee rolled her eyes and I gave an apologetic smile.

We moved on.

Autumn, trying to amuse herself, began to scream The Electric Company opening line, “HEY YOU GUUUUUYYYYSSSS!” I swear it was louder than the neighbor’s rooster at dawn. I tried covering her mouth and shaking my head no, but she yelled and laughed through my hand. As I was covering her mouth, I turned to see the boys on the ground wrestling, one on top of the other, kicking at the shelving for leverage. One of them ended up in tears as Autumn continued her PBS screaming. Then I looked up and saw a beacon of light shining like an angel in all it’s splendor at the back of the store.

The Free Sample Counter.

“Who wants a free sample?” The pandemonium turned into shouts of, “Me! Me! Me!”. I gave them each a sample of corn salsa with a tortilla chip, except my eight-year-old who doesn’t like food, unless it comes from the macaroni and cheese portion of the pyramid. Autumn decided she didn’t like the salsa and threw it on the floor.

We moved on.

By the time we got to the dairy section, three feet away, the boys were chasing each other again. One of them grazed a woman with a cane, who gave him the evil eye. I couldn’t blame her. I was just glad to have someone else trying to discipline my kids.

As we moved on to the frozen food aisle, Autumn attempted to turn her cart, but it was so heavy the entire cart tipped over, spilling all the items onto the floor. I righted the cart, and together, we placed the items back in.

They should just assign someone to follow us around with a mop and broom.

There are only five aisles in Trader Joe’s. Couldn’t we get through one freaking aisle without a major catastrophe or melt-down? No. Apparently, we could not.

Because as we moved into frozen foods, Autumn found it fun to ram her brother with her cart. That was enough. Time for her to be strapped down.

I placed her in the cart and she screamed. I wrestled her into the seat belt. And I mean wrestled. I yanked on each side of the belt, pulled them together and pushed her back against the seat. She bucked like a bull wearing a flank strap. I tried holding her arms up in the air while her brother fastened the belt, then I had him hold her arms, while I tried to fasten the belt. She bucked harder. After a few more kicks I somehow got her wrangled and clicked the belt into place.

Once she saw that I had “won”, she screamed louder. What I think she was screaming, if she had known the words, was, “KISS MY A***********!” (those are screaming S’s). But, what came out was a loud, enraged, “NO! NO! NOOOOO!!!” with a look on her face that was reminiscent of my childhood Bible’s depiction of Satan.

I focused on getting the remainder of my groceries, avoiding as much eye contact with other shoppers, as possible. I pretended that no one was looking at us, that we weren’t, at the moment, the biggest attraction in the shopping center. Because I know if somebody would have given me a judgmental glance, I would have lost it on them like I did that woman on the airplane that one time.

We made it to the register. I didn’t care if they found Tiki the Turtle, they were not getting any treats. We made it to the car and I vowed to never take all three of them to the grocery store again.

I think if someone asked me if I would rather have a toenail ripped out of my toe or take all of them to the grocery store again…I would think long and hard about considering the toenail.

This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday. Next week’s sentence to finish: “One of the most embarrassing things I ever did was…”

Finish the Sentence Friday


  1. says

    Seriously, could so relate to this. I hate grocery shopping with two kids. The car cart seems to alleviate some of our discomfort, but still I have to say by the end of each trip I ask why didn’t I just order the damn groceries online and save myself the misery!! So happy to be doing this blog hop with you and thank you :) :)

  2. Stephanie Sprenger says

    You and I were definitely on the same wavelength with this prompt… but I have to say, your post was SO much funnier! (Said in all honesty and without my usual shot of self-deprecation) I loved every second of it, and i’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t grind my own coffee! It’s going to be a successful first Hop, I think!

  3. Melanie Chisnall says

    Woah….you could right a movie about this little episode – or a TV show episode at least, LOL!! That’s very brave!! This blog hop sounds like fun. Of course my trips to the grocery store aren’t half as exciting as all of yours with kids, so I think I’ll wait till next week’s one with the embarrassing moment!

  4. says

    … on the few encounters with very small children in supermarket checkout lines, it is amusing to see if I can establish eye contact with the very young children, they seem to convey a sense of, an awareness of the mayhem they are (helping create) yet are still clearly not feeling bad about it. Great Post

  5. Dawn says

    I feel your pain–I had to go to TJs right before Christmas and it was such a zoo and both kids wanted little carts. I think they both injured a few people’s ankles. I remembered that I don’t like to take both but sometimes you just have to.

    I gave in yesterday and we went to Walmart since I hadn’t picked up any groceries since going to TJs and we really needed milk and a few other essentials. I can take one kid and control him but both are crazy and I end up buying more than I want just to get out of there quicker. I’m excited for school to start in a few days so I can actually get groceries in peace.

  6. Piper says

    Bahhaaa…. .I won’t be writing a post about my trip to the grocery store. Nothing funny about going in without a clue what to fix for supper and wandering the aisles for 15 minutes and coming out with nothing but two packs of frozen chicken breasts. Oh, and none of my children were with me…well except for my chauffeur in the van. lol!

  7. says

    I can’t link up because of the Mixer this week so I will finish the sentence here. This is a super cute idea by the way!

    I went to the grocery store the other day … and I got all the way through the checkout with my two year old and full cart when I realized that I forgot peppers for a New Year’s Dish I was making. It was super crowded what with the holiday. As I maneuvered my cart full of bagged groceries back to the produce section, a girl in the floral department asked if she could help. I asked if she could check me out at her register (no line) but she said that she couldn’t when I told her I was only buying a couple of peppers — because they needed weighed and she didn’t have a scale. But, lo and behold, there were prepackaged tricolored peppers there waiting–the upc code was calling my name. Sure they were prepackaged, which means they probably weren’t the freshest and they were price gouging me as well…but the extra $4 I paid was well worth the price of not having to stand in a checkout line for another 20 minutes. So the floral clerk checked me out and I was on my way.

    Of course I got all the way home and realized that I forgot the cabbage I also needed. UGH. I made my husband pick it up on his way home from work! ~ Christine

  8. says

    Hallelujah! He speaks.
    I always appreciate your honesty. I might be embarrassed to put the diet in, especially if it’s sitting next to those last 12 boxes of Twinkies.

  9. says

    I hear ya, it’s too much. We’re out of groceries and I’m scrounging to figure out what’s for dinner b/c I’m NOT taking them to the g-store today.

  10. says

    Well that’s saying a lot because I laughed out loud at yours. The hominy and corned beef hash! My mom always bought that stuff. Your husband must be from the south.

  11. says

    My experiences have definitely made me more sympathetic to others with kids and those little carts. I used to get all judgy, now I’m just like…Dude…I feel you.

  12. says

    LOL! I do crap like this all the time. Glad my husband passes a g-store on his way home. I used to super-coupon, but it was way too much stress with all the kids. I’d get so mad when I’d miss a dumb coupon. Had to stop.

  13. says

    I was going to say “thank god for those free samples” because I thought that would have remedied your “adventure” but I kept reading and realized your adventure was only half over. Ugh, I’ve so been there. I always used to say (and sometimes still say even though my boys are older) that I cause a scene wherever I go with them…I’m glad you made it out of there with most of your groceries intact…your sanity, well yeah I guess that’s another matter. Smart decision to never shop with them again, if possible that is.

  14. Kat Biggie says

    Yep, I made that stupid mistake one time too. NEVER AGAIN. Mine are a little bit younger, so I was able to confine two to the cart, but there was a lot of screaming!!

  15. dawns_disaster says

    GASP…You would consider getting your toenail ripped off instead of taking your kiddos to the grocery again?!?!? Just kidding, I would too, but I would have to insist that they knock me out before touching my feet 😉

  16. says

    Okay a couple of things… 1. Congratulations on such a successful first blog hop. 2. Your comment to DJ in the comments made me spit out my drink and laugh hysterically! 3. Great post!

  17. says

    AHAHAHAHA! This is exactly why I only have one monster at a time. I birth them, raise them in the woods like wild animals, unleash them upon the school system, then when I feel like they are able to fend for themselves (as soon as they can microwave mac’n’cheese), they come home to find all of their belongings that THEY purchased on the front porch with the locks changed. My first hellion is 21, the second one is 6. It works for us. 😀

  18. says

    LOL! It used to be my blogging life goal to get him to follow me on Twitter, then it became: get him to read my blog (at least once). I don’t even have to skip ahead to getting him to comment. Done!

  19. Josie Bisett says

    I’m not sure if the day will EVER come when I’m game for taking all three to the grocery store all on my tod!!! I bow down to your incredible courage (and cray-cray). This link up is FUN!

  20. Eli Pacheco says

    I love seeing this kind of action in the grocery store. We dads regard the store in the same category as Chuck E. Cheese – the kids can do anything, go anywhere, so long as they don’t go out the door. Potential mess, but minimal stress.

    Also, the bar is set pretty low for a dad in the market with his kids. Chaos is expected.

    If I’m ever elected to congress, I’ll create a bill to replace those kiddie carts with a MMA-style ring at the door where all kids are dropped off.

  21. Meredith says

    I would definitely be thinking about going the toenail route too 😉 Thanks for linking up with the #MTMmixer this week!

  22. Smack Of Ham says

    I feel for you. The biggest mistake we parents can make is setting a precedent, meaning letting a kid do something not so smart just once – it becomes the law of the land. My wife apparently let my two year old ride in the big portion of the shopping cart once, out of the safety and peace of mind of the seat with the belt/restraint. Now, both kids insist on riding in style in the back of the cart, fighting over precious inches of space while apparently sitting on everything Daddy puts in the cart, including loaves of bread, an iPad, and what was once regarded as a valuable Picasso. Don’t give them an inch….

  23. Meredith says

    I wrote (yet again) about the grocery store this week. I write about it way too much. But, taking all 3 kids with me is close to being my own personal hell. And, trader joes?? I did that once. On opening night (ours is kind of new). Needless to say, I decided it just wasn’t worth it. Too tiny of a place, to many ankles to run into. Fun re-living this experience with you! :)

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