Our story of how we survived the dreaded supermarket trip with a toddler
Going to the supermarket, grocery store, or any shop for that matter, with a toddler (or any child) is best avoided if possible, but needs must occasionally. This fateful trip started out well. Then all hell broke loose and Ava lost her shit over me not allowing her to eat the pink peppercorns because ‘everything pink tastes like unicorns and rainbows, daddy’…yes, obviously. I tried to reason with her, explain they really weren’t pleasant to eat, momentarily thought about letting her learn for herself but decided this experience was best for home where no one can call Social Services on me for feeding my daughter peppercorns, so her shit just kept being lost.
Lots of people staring at this point, me fake smiling, happy clappy words ‘ooh, look beans, how exciting’. Ava having none of it. Declaring ‘daddy, I am not impressed’, no I don’t suppose you are. (This is something I say to her…need to watch what I say from now on!)
The 4 types of judgemental people in this situation:
1: The ones without kids:
Trivial Pursuits refer to them as DINKY (Dual Income, no kids yet). These score the highest on the Judge-ometre. They look at you and think, and often say out loud to their partner, ‘my kids won’t do that, I will bring them up properly’. Because of this they also score highest on my Smug-ometre as I can look at them and think just you wait (cue Ava’s soft play evil laugh mwahaha).
2. The pregnant ones:
These score slightly lower than above on the Judge-ometre as they look at your child crying over pink peppercorns and still think their kids won’t do that while rubbing their belly, but there is a small, nagging doubt at the back of their mind saying ‘oh, shit, what have we done?’. They don’t score that highly on the Smug-ometre as I feel sorry for them…just you wait!
3. The ones whose kids have grown up:
I find these the most annoying, as they should know! They know what it’s like. They probably had it worse as they couldn’t use the 3rd parent of the household, the tablet, to babysit. And yet, here they are judging away. However, they are similar to the pregnant ones on the Judge-ometre as somewhere at the back of their mind there is a glimmer of recognition they are trying to repress. They don’t want to remember the bad times. They score very low on the Smug-ometre as what have I got to be smug about when they no longer have to deal with tantrums? Unless they’ve got teenagers, then they win the Smug-ometre top prize.
4. The non judgemental ones – the ones with toddlers too:
In the split second that they are walking past, the ‘if I could hug you I would’, the ‘we’re in this together’, the ‘we got you’ thoughts and looks are all encompassed in a simple nod, a nod that is reciprocated, a nod that means everything in that moment, the nod that means you are not alone and your toddler isn’t the only one in the world that is losing their shit. And by the time they reach the next aisle you can hear their toddler losing their shit over wanting Thomas the Tank pasta so you rush over to give them the nod.
How did we survive the judgemental people?
So this was us, last week, contemplating abandoning the shopping, and all hope, but we stuck it out. And in the end, a rude, briefcase laden man saved the day. He was busy pushing past everyone leaving behind him a chorus of tuts, trying to get to whatever important job he had with his important briefcase full of important things, but he ended up hitting the fresh custard with said briefcase and covered himself in it (now known as custard gate). Ava found this hilarious, hysterical even, pointing laughing, and given that he sort of deserved it, and it meant my life was instantly easier, pink peppercorns forgotten, I’m ashamed (not ashamed) to say that I didn’t tell her off and we finished our shopping in relative peace reminiscing custard gate over and over.
We went shopping the other day. I love shopping as I get so many treats. Although for some reason daddy calls them bribery to be quiet. Mummy says he gives me too much but Rafe gets milk on demand so I want chocolate on demand, it’s only fair. There are bribes to be quiet going on in most shopping trolleys. The kid next to us is on his 4th punnet of strawberries, good luck to whoever has to change his nappy later. But the trip took a turn for the worse, daddy picked up some yummy looking pink sweets, which of course I wanted to eat. But he said no, tried to say they were too hot but as she uses the too spicy excuse a lot I’m starting not to believe her. I started to cry, then shout, then I just lost it.
People were looking at us, some were looking disgusted, some were weirdly rubbing their bellies looking worried, and some older people were shaking their heads but shivering as if remembering a familiar time. There were so many people nodding at us. Daddy was nodding back, trying to get me excited about beans, I don’t even like beans. I could have stopped, as by then I couldn’t even remember what I was upset about…I ran through mummy’s usual checklist…am I tired? Am I just 2? Did someone from nursery teach me? Am I really a gremlin or a zombie? No, so what was it…it doesn’t really matter though as for toddler-kind everywhere I need to stick to it, stand my ground. There are toddlers all over the shop nodding at me, letting me know that they would ‘fist bump me if they could’, that we’re ‘in this together’ and ‘we got you’ and so my tantrum had to continue, for them, for all the times daddies say no! Which, according to mummy, isn’t that often. I disagree.
And then…ooh that’s funny, that man is covered in custard. He looks so angry. This is so much better than pink sweets. Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah, custard daddy, mwahahahahahaha, that man daddy, mwahahahahahah, man covered in custard daddy. Even Rafe started laughing.
Ok, you two, ssshhh and you can have some ice cream.
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***If you want to read another family’s supermarket tantrum experience, check out this amazing blog post by Candid Mumera. Give her a follow***