Have you ever heard a complaint or maybe just a comment that you just can't relate to? For me it is someone who is complaining about shopping with both of their kids in tow. Don't get me wrong it is as much of a pain in the rear end to me as it is for anyone else, I just never have really had another option.
See my husband has always worked pretty crappy shifts since he has joined the military (for the past three months it has been roughly from 2pm til at least midnight and usually later than midnight). It is either long hours or a deployment. He is just not around much when I need to get the shopping done. Back at the old base I could leave the kids with him on the weekend to do the shopping, even though that is breaking the first of the cardinal rules for grocery shopping the military. Do NOT shop for groceries on the weekend. The second rule for grocery shopping in the military is do NOT shop on payday or especially pay day weekend. At this base shopping on the weekend is a bad bad bad idea. Have you ever seen a line all the way from the cashiers to the meat department in the back of the store? I have. It just seems that the path of least resistance for grocery shopping is to just grab the kids and go during the day.
Now that LaLa is in school it has actually become a lot easier to get my shopping done during the day. One less kids to deal with. However, I usually have something come up during the day and don't get to the commissary on time. So that still leaves me shopping with both of the girls in tow. It really isn't that big of a deal because they both know the drill now.
See the last time my husband was deployed (to Guam) we came up with a system. Back then, KiKi would ride in the basket seat (she was around 18 months old at the time) and LaLa would help me pick out the items. It slowed my trip down, but it eliminated my problem of LaLa trying to wander off, run down the asiles, or the dreaded lollygagging. I hate lollygagging more than anything in the world. Not to say that we didn't have our problems, but we had a system*. Now we (I) have refined the system to incorporate both of the kids in the shopping. I will say "Hey we need juice." Then I will give them choices and they get to pick on of the choices for the juice we will get. Then one of them will drop it into the cart. It usually works pretty well**.
I guess what I am saying is sometimes I have more in common with single parents than I do with married ones. Not that I don't have the most awesome and helpful husband in the world when he is home. He helps out as much as he can around the house and I have absolutely no complaints about him at all when it comes to being helpful with the kids. It is just that he is gone a lot. It is the nature of the military beast. We just have had to learn to adapt and overcome for an activity that a lot people would try to avoid.
* We also had a system when LaLa would misbehave and I would ask her "Hey LaLa, who's the boss?" and she would say "You're the boss." and then I would say "Ok then listen to me"...it actually worked. Of course that got muddled the moment The Man got back from Guam. Then it was like "Hey LaLa, who's the boss?" and she would be like "Ummm well....." Thanks kid.
** The there are also time when I have to have a pow wow with them in the middle of the produce department and say through clenched teeth in a really low voice "So help me God if you two do not stop acting like heathens I will leave this cart right here and we will go home."***
*** Yes I have left a full cart of groceries in the middle of a store before because my kids were acting up. Sorry people at Wal-mart in Warrensburg, MO. My bad, but my kids were acting like heathens.
MAN! Its so funny, because when people think about having kids, they dont think of Tantrums in the store lol, I DO! Im still debating whether to have them at all! lol
I remember shopping with my parents when I was a kid. My mom would walk ahead of me and my brother and father who had the cart and would be screwing around non-stop. She would take things she wanted from the shelves and leave them in the middle of the aisle for us to pick up.
I hate shopping with my kids and I avoid it like the plague.
We've decided not to take our kids out in public until they reach school age. I'm just kidding, kinda. Grocery store is about as public as they get. A sit down meal in an actual restaurant....forget about it.
My dad used to do the food shopping on Friday evenings and my sister and I would want to come with him. It only took a few trips for him to ban us from his excursions.
While it's not as extreme as the military (and now my oldest one is old enough where I can trust him to stay home safely by himself for an hour or so), I can relate to what you're saying about operating like a single-parent household a great deal of the time. My husband is sometimes gone three nights a week, and if you don't get some kind of system in place for when it's just you and the kids, it sometimes becomes too hard to operate some days. We have definitely had moments where I have left a store with a half-full cart because part of holding onto our rank as the boss means carrying out on the threats, as they were!
The third cardinal rule is no matter when you go, there will be zillions of elderly folk there (bless 'em of course).
I used to hang out with two brothers when I was a kid, these two were a nightmare. I remember once I was with them and their mum, and the older brother tipped the younger one into one of the freezers!
My mother refused to take us to the store, she would pawn us off on almost anyone.
My dad was working full time and also getting his degree in school at night. Finally, they worked out a deal ... she just needed 2 hours on Saturday. JUST TWO HOURS. She didn't care HOW he managed it. (There were four of us kids)
In generally one of us was injured during that two hour time period, and I'm pretty each one of us had to go to emergency at least once.
But Mama got two hours off for grocery shopping, and that was a GOOD thing!
LMAO! I'm so happy to see that I'm not the only one who "So help me's" at my kids and not the only who calls them heathens.
I've never had to leave a cart full of groceries, but I have threatened it. Fortunately the threat of having to go home and sit in the "bad chair" was enough.
I, being a military (semi-single) wife, cannot relate to non-military wives when they complain about their husband being gone overnight. I try to by sympathetic, but I really just can't. I know that's mean, but come on.
I try to schedule when without Max, and definitely in the week, not at the endeth.
Have you considered shopping online? All the major supermarkets do it.
Bribery and gentle throttling! Always worked for me, but then I only have the one kid.
We have left quite a few full carts in the grocery store!
I completely relate to dealing with things on a "single parent" level to simply due to my husband's work schedule too!
I've started giving Cat a list too..it works!
(I am having a MONSTER giveaway for my 100th post today! It's seriously huge! I wish I could enter my own giveaway! Wanna come see???)
I'm sure this makes me totally strange...but I don't mind shopping with mine all that much and I have the ability to leave them with their Dad even. We have a few mishaps here and there but then I just make them get on opposite sides of the cart and each one has to hold on with one hand so they can't touch each other. We take up an entire aisle but they aren't yelling, "gotcha last" and running all over the place either!
Gahh...do I remember those lines. I always hated the Commisary. My idiot ex-to-be always insisted on us shopping on Saturdays. Like he was the one shopping! It was like having an overgrown child. I do believe I left him in the store once, but the groceries I kept. ;)
When my kids were young (eons ago) they always were in tow and I never thought it was that big of a deal.
that key idea of yours....pure GENIUS!!!!!
lollygagging should be outlawed. That and fiddlesticking. Which just sounds filthy and also maybe i just made it up, but I'm not sure.
I've never left a grocery store, but I have left a birthday party due to a kid acting up.
I love that both of my kids are in school all day for when I have to go grocery shopping!!! They have the worse case of the "Can I Haves"
And I have left a shopping cart or two back in the day.
LOL ok now you made me feel really bad about all the supermarker muttered cussing of kids and mums I've done in my lifetime! Profuse apologies my friend.
I understand the single parent thing as my bff was an army wife for many years with two little ones. I know it's not easy from watching her cope.
I JUST said this to my husband yesterday...that I am like a single mom. No doubt about it. I do EVERYTHING with the kids and for the kids because of his work hours. It can be exhausting.
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