Parenting and lifestyle blog

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Shopping with daddy


Hayley asked me to write a blog about when I take our boys, who are two and a half and three and a half years old, food shopping as it is often met with amazement as to the way I do it. 

Firstly a little background, as Hayley may have mentioned in previous posts I am a long distance lorry driver and I work away all week and live in my lorry. This means that I have only have the weekends to spend some quality time with our boys, consequently to maximise my time with the boys I take them with me to do the food shop and as an added bonus it gives Hayley a rest from them and have some peace and quiet.

Almost every week without fail I will get a comment of "you're brave" or "you've got your hands full". 

The reason as I suspect most dads are, I'm more cavalier than Hayley is in my attitude on what the boys are okay doing. So the boys are out of the trolley and allowed the freedom of the whole supermarket! 

Yes they are free to cause as much havoc as they choose to, but don't. Hayley doesn't cope well with the way I shop with the boys and worries endlessly each time she comes along as a consequence. 

Until recently going about doing the shopping this way seemed normal to me and then I noticed that most other kids up to the boys age and even older were confined to the trolley or pushchair or were causing chaos.

It all started when our oldest was about a year old still only able to walk with a walker. To help him with his walking we let him assist with pushing the trolley. It turned out he was really strong and was able to push it unaided up to about half full, he would initially run out of energy about halfway round the supermarket and need to be put in the seat. This seemed managable and what he could do slowly increased over the following weeks. 

Once he was able to walk by himself we progressed to handing him suitable items, telling him what they were and he would carry them from the shelf to the trolley. 

Then along came child number two and the usual problem of what one does the other wants to do too! By this point with the oldest, I could ask him to go and get daddy a cucumber and he would run off down the aisle and bring one back for me, then launch it into the trolley. So for about 6 months the little one was never happy and cried a lot because he was stuck in the trolley and couldn't follow his big brother about.

Once the little one was a confident walker I started the process again, handing him suitable products to carry to the trolley. By this point I was also able to ask the oldest to show the youngest where a given product was e.g. a bag of pasta. 



One problem I currently have is that the youngest is so keen to please that duplicates of products appear and occasionally stuff that isn't on the shopping list (generally whatever takes his fancy that day).

Now toddlers being toddlers they do at times try to disappear in opposite directions which can be fun. However most of the time I can get the older one to go and get his little brother, who seems to suffer from selective hearing at times of his choosing. He almost made it out of the shop the other week but was stopped by a member of staff who recognised him, so that I could go and retrieve him. 

To discourage naughty behaviour in the shop they know that they get put in the seat of the trolley if they don't listen or they run off, which they hate as they are so used to running about and as a result works quite well. I just have to put up with all the looks from other shoppers because said child is now doing his best to scream the shop down because they've been put in the trolley.

The boys also like to try and help unload the trolley onto the till. This can also be a mixed blessing as their current stature in relation to the height of the till means that if items weren't damaged being put into the trolley they are once again at risk being launched onto the conveyor belt.

Finally we like to encourage the boys to be polite, so the boys will say hello and goodbye, (and are prompted if needed) to the checkout operators, who find it quite charming. 

Then it's home to help unpack the shopping and show mummy what we bought at the shops.

Massive thank you to my husband, Alan for writing this blog (his first ever blog too!) - the boys absolutely love going to do the weekly shop with him, and showing me all the food when they get back home!

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