Take a Trip with Us Grocery Shopping…

Everyone stares, talks and points at us like I must have two heads and green children. Recently, I did take all of my children grocery shopping with me. It isn’t a normal occasion, however, my husband was doing some consulting work from home and we decided to run some errands. I had my grocery lists put together so I figured it wouldn’t be that bad to take 7 children in a grocery store. It actually wasn’t, but if you haven’t been in a grocery store with seven children under the age of 11, you should try it some time. So here are some grocery shopping tips for you to consider:

  • The first thing you do is give a STERN talking to about how if they do not obey…this…this and that will happen…
  • You praise their good behavior before it even happens and show overwhelming confidence in them.
  • You explain the strategic plan of exiting the vehicle to prohibit looking like a circus car with 32 clowns exiting out the window.
  • Locate two grocery carts, put baby number 1 in first cart seat and toddler number 1 in cart basket. Put baby number 2 in second cart seat and toddler number 2 in cart basket. If you have lots of groceries you will have to utilize a 3rd cart pushed by the 2nd oldest child because the first oldest child is pushing cart 2 and mom is pushing cart one. The remainder of the children are walking very nearby.
  • Check and make sure there are no dirty diapers before leaving the vehicle and loading up in the cart.
  • Check for keys, bag, and phone before locking the door.
  • Once in the store, gather the troops and explain the brief plan of action that you just explained before leaving the vehicle. Say no, once more to the request to switch buggies and explain to them that you understand the plastic race car carts really are more fun but just not practical for this trip. The moment they start making large family plastic van grocery carts, you will be glad to push that behemoth around the store because you love adventure.
  • Stop and threaten one especially active toddler that if he stands up in the cart or pulls items off the shelf again, the big man with a green vest and squeaky shoes will not like it one bit and will come find us!
  • Start finding the items on your list. Use this opportunity to interject math facts, explain quantities and measurements, explain why we just don’t buy what we want all the time, point out good deals.
  • Inform son that coupon blinkie machines are not to entertain children.
  • Stop in the cereal isle and watch the stock man rip open a box of cheerios with his very desirable box knife and fill up the empty shelf. Ask the stock man to explain his job. Where do the cheerios come from? Quickly move on when the child says, “Do you just fill up shelves all day……that’s all you do??”
  • Remind the oldest child who just read a book about dangerous sea creatures and what they can do to human flesh not to talk so loud.
  • Remind smaller children that if their hands want to pull things off the shelf, that they better hold their hands tight so they don’t get away from them.
  • Quickly move to the next aisle and remind the free children to mind their extremities because glass jars could go crashing to the ground and shatter. (I remember things like this happening when we went to the store with my mom as children and didn’t realize that it was most likely our fault–I just assumed that jars broke and apples stacked on an incline regularly fell to the ground at a grocery store!)
  • Down the produce isle now. We make this fun. I ask what certain fruits and vegetables are. They shout (softly as possible) what they think it is. We saw soybeans, brussels spouts, hot peppers, sprouts, artichokes and I got a laugh at what the toddlers thought different produce items were. No, ginger root is not drift wood!
  • Don’t mind all the people staring at you. You probably made them smile for the first time today.
  • Last stop. Free cookies for kids. Don’t feel guilty about causing the bakery lady to go through a pack of cookies. They should make packages with more than 6 cookies anyway. Gather seven cookies, be sure to say , Thank You Maam.
  • Answer the 11th question of, “Are they all yours?” again and be amused that the bakery lady walks to the back to get her co-worker to show her …us… They talk a while about how they can’t believe it.
  • Listen to the elderly man tell you that he is the youngest of 13 children and watch him smile at the babies while he remembers his younger years.
  • Quickly head to the check out before the cookies are eaten.
  • Educate the children on the self-checkout scanners. Remind them, again, not to lean on the weighted scale because the lady is getting a little irritated at us because she has already reset the machine 8 times.
  • Finish up and head out…watch for cars, quickly load up, buckle the babies, get the groceries loaded and carts put away and head home pondering how rich of an experience grocery shopping with 7 children can be.

14 Comments

  • Sally says:

    “You explain the strategic plan of exiting the vehicle to prohibit looking like a circus car with 32 clowns exiting out the window.” hahahahaha….
    Great mental image ūüėČ
    Thanks for the tips!

  • Heidi says:

    As the mom of 5 I can relate. I don’t take the kids shopping anymore. Thats what dads are for afterall….
    Great explanation of a trip to the store with many youngins in tow.

  • sarah says:

    Without a doubt, YOU MUST WRITE A BOOK…. in your spare time…. ūüėČ

  • Bethany says:

    Haha! I knew you would enjoy that Sarah— Next time we get together, how about a trip to the grocery store with our children — 10 kids should be fun !!!! I know they would enjoy it at least! haha!!!
    Sal — really that mental image isn’t that far off !! haha!! Sometimes I wonder maybe I should just dress us all like clowns for added enjoyment!!

  • sarah says:

    ‚ÄúDo you just fill up shelves all day‚Ķ‚Ķthat‚Äôs all you do??‚ÄĚ
    Okay, we here in Ft. Wth. are debating which kid said that. Who said that? ūüėČ

  • sarah says:

    “Quickly move to the next isle and remind the free children to mind their extremities because glass jars could go crashing to the ground and shatter. (I remember things like this happening when we went to the store with my mom as children and didn‚Äôt realize that it was most likely our fault‚ÄďI just assumed that jars broke and apples stacked on an incline regularly fell to the ground at a grocery store!) ”
    This is another great example of the choleric personality. ūüôā

  • sarah walston says:

    Bethany – I can totally relate and I only have 4! I always take all of them shopping with me. Sometimes it is pleasant…sometimes it’s not.
    It’s a lot like life I guess!
    I have actually told the older children that they MUST be overly considerate to the other shoppers in the store because the #1 reason people shop during school hours is because they assume that all the kids are in school and they won’t be bothered by children running up and down aisles. We’ve talked about being a witness to the unbelievers, being a good example of home schoolers, etc. It helps to remind the boys that the world is watching how they, as Christians, are behaving in even the mundane tasks of day to day life.
    But I love this post. Reminds me of my, “How to make cookies with toddlers” email I wrote a long time ago!!

  • Carole says:

    I wrote a grocery shopping post a couple of weeks ago – so I linked you to my site. I hope that’s okay!

  • Monica says:

    I read this over lunch and nearly choked to death on my peanut butter sandwich I was laughing so hard. You could have been talking about my family. I am the Mom to six great kids and going out is always an adventure. Great writing!

  • […] Once I get a bit more settled, I am going to pick back up on my couponing for certain items¬†in a modified way (toothbrushes, razors, toilet paper, paper products, some food products, etc).¬†¬† In the transition, my food stockpile was a great¬†blessing to¬†me.¬†I still have a good stocked pantry of basic supplies that have been an invaluable resource from¬†which I have been pulling from.¬†¬†Because of the availability of bulk supplies like grain, local honey, local vegetables and seasonal fruits, I am taking advantage of my proximity to these items.¬† I found a wonderful country store¬†that I have done my shopping at and while it is nothing compared to a conventional grocery store, it provides us with fresh good food for a good price.¬† It has the added bonus of me not having to worry about getting the children dressed in¬†something other than overalls and rubber boots¬†as well as, not worrying about all the strange looks and stares.¬† So while¬†I did not have to give my “grocery shopping with 7 children speech”¬†¬†when we exited the vehicle, I did¬†give the¬†”Don’t ask me to buy any more animals…even if you have the money for it…we aren’t taking home¬†live animals today…” speech.¬†¬†¬†¬† […]

  • Sandra says:

    Hi Bethany,
    Talked to your dad tonight and he told me about your blog on grocery shopping and how delightful it was. I found it and he was so right! There were only 2 of us growing up, but I was transported back to childhood and seeing things from my mom’s perspective. Please tell Paul that I didn’t forget to send a card for his 40th – I’m just behind on everything. Thanks for this way of staying connected. Love to all/sc

  • […] Just another, “Hey…..Mom….did you know…..” statement I can see us having at the grocery store one day.¬† Maybe since the turtle blood was dealt with at home, some poor elderly lady in the grocery store won’t have to worry herself sick that she passed cultists in on isle 7 and save me explaining that it was just the survival cards they were reading. […]

  • […] Just another, ‚ÄúHey‚Ķ..Mom‚Ķ.did you know‚Ķ..‚ÄĚ statement I can see us having at the grocery store one day.¬† Maybe since the turtle blood was dealt with at home, some poor elderly lady in the grocery store won‚Äôt have to worry herself sick that she passed cultists in on isle 7 and save me explaining that it was just the survival cards and Ballantyne books they were reading. « No Bunnies   Two Firsts for Vaughnshire » […]

  • […] Once I get a bit more settled, I am going to pick back up on my couponing for certain items¬†in a modified way (toothbrushes, razors, toilet paper, paper products, some food products, etc).¬†¬† In the transition, my food stockpile was a great¬†blessing to¬†me.¬†I still have a good stocked pantry of basic supplies that have been an invaluable resource from¬†which I have been pulling from.¬†¬†Because of the availability of bulk supplies like grain, local honey, local vegetables and seasonal fruits, I am taking advantage of my proximity to these items.¬† I found a wonderful country store¬†that I have done my shopping at and while it is nothing compared to a conventional grocery store, it provides us with fresh good food for a good price.¬† It has the added bonus of me not having to worry about getting the children dressed in¬†something other than overalls and rubber boots¬†as well as, not worrying about all the strange looks and stares.¬† So while¬†I did not have to give my ‚Äúgrocery shopping with 7 children speech‚Ä̬†¬†when we exited the vehicle, I did¬†give the¬†‚ÄĚDon‚Äôt ask me to buy any more animals‚Ķeven if you have the money for it‚Ķwe aren‚Äôt taking home¬†live animals today‚Ķ‚ÄĚ speech.¬†¬†¬†¬† […]

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