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Stuttering Shell: there's a baby in there?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

there's a baby in there?

a quick stop into target influenced my desire to write this post. at first, i wanted to write about how important i think it is to give people some s-p-a-c-e at the checkout counter. i mean, i don't want some joe schmoe all up in my bidnass while i'm paying for my purchase, ya know? just because i'm not standing rightnextto the person in front of me does NOT mean that you need to stand rightnextto me. no way, jose.

however, as i observed the woman in line behind me who was standing rightnextto me, i noticed something. buried underneath her bounty of tank tops, swim suit coverups, face wash & other target finds was a baby. a baby in one of those infant carrier/carseat combos.

oh, my word.

so, seeing as how i am an expert {a.k.a. know-it-all} experienced in the art of shopping with children i figured i would share some of my knowledge with y'all. besides, a lot of my friends are parents or are having children & this will probably cause some giggles & laughter with the parenting set.

first & foremost, if you are fortunate enough to shop alone, please do. do not pass up the opportunity to hand the kids off to someone while you run out for 15 minutes or for a couple of hours. who cares if you're just going to the grocery store or the corner mart?! trust me, shopping alone is so much easier & so much more enjoyable once if you have children. i mean, have you ever had to calm a screaming toddler while wrestling to get out of a super cute dress you found on the rack that is obviously three sizes too small for your post-baby body? yeah. i rest my case.

but, if you can't shop alone, take my advice*:
  • if you can, enlist a 'helper.' it could be your hubby, your bff, your momma...whoever. like the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
  • if you DO have a 'helper' with you, use two carts {that way you don't have to bury your child underneath layers of your new wardrobe, housewares & other miscellaneous crap}.
  • if you are shopping sans helper & with children in tow, learn to use every bit of your shopping cart wisely. if that means hanging stuff on the handle or over the side, please do. or, if you do find yourself needed to put things in the cart, please be strategic about it. but, don't be ashamed. it's okay if your purchases are nearly falling out of the cart or hanging over the sides haphazardly. back in the day, i was THAT GIRL who needed a "wide load" sign as i was coming down the aisle {and it was not because my ass had not returned to it's pre-pregnancy size}.
  • if you are not using a shopping cart, i hope you have a stroller. use it. even if it's to dash into the store. sure, it might take more time to wrestle that thing out of the trunk than it would to just zip in an buy milk, bread and eggs, but your sanity will thank you later.
  • keep your kids corralled - in a cart, in a stroller, in a sling/carrier {but not on a leash...i have nothing nice to say about those kid leashes}. it's not fun having to chase after your child in a crowded store or a busy parking lot.
  • stock up your purse - there is a reason why use women-folk have ridiculously ginormous handbags, fill 'em up with goodies that will keep your kid or kiddos happy, satisfied & occupied while you shop! to this day, you can still find candy, gum or a transformer in my purse {my youngest child is 6}. really.
  • if you're not stocked up, there is no shame in taking a box of crackers or gummy snacks off the shelf & opening them. just remember to pay for them. the cashier will not look at you like you're crazy. trust me. i've also done this with tissues when little snotty noses need wiping and i have no tissue or extra mcd's napkins in my purse.
  • if you feel silly about the whole "grab & open" thing, just make sure your cell phone is locked & you have insurance for the sucker. more often than not, my cell phone has provided hours {okay, minutes} of entertainment for my children.
  • if you are with a baby or toddler who is stroller-bound, you will suddenly find just how much that sucker can carry...even those umbrella strollers. and, if your baby isn't in the stroller or even if your baby isn't with you, do not be afraid to use the stroller as your very own personal shopping cart. i have.
  • definitely invest in a seat cover for shopping carts {they are also great for restaurant highchairs, too!}. they are a life-saver because you're protecting your kid from the icky unknown of the many hands {or butts} that have blessed that shopping cart. and, if you find yourself shopping with a drowsy child, the seat cover at least provides *some* comfort for a little head.
  • it is okay to leave a store in a huff. go ahead & grab the screaming child by the wrist or power walk that stroller right out of wherever you are. after a while, you learn to ignore the points, whispers & stares. it's okay to leave a shopping cart full of groceries, too. i've done both. you can always come back later...preferably, alone.
  • if you find yourself in a situation where your kid or kids are screaming and you are simply unable to let go of that pretty blouse that finally went on sale, don't fret. it becomes easy to ignore a screaming child, too. {this is usually the case after child #2, 3 or 19 {in the dugg@rs' case} comes along.} and, as for the points, whispers & stares, just take the blouse that's on sale & the screaming child and go stand rightnextto them.
  • if you have an infant/young toddler, use a baby carrier. i had a baby bjorn that i used all. the. time. with aidan. i am not ashamed to admit that he went to the bathroom with me more than once while strapped to my chest. we also took many laps around the mall together that way. of course, just make sure that if you have the baby facing out that you pay attention to what he looks like {imagine my horror when i sat down to take him out of the carrier only to find that he had spit up all over himself, the front of the carrier and onto my pants...not cool}.
did i forget anything? i am sure i have. i mean, that whole sleep-deprived, pregnancy brain thing seems to stick with you well after your babies are born & semi-raised. and, as for my advice, well, i still heed it. my children are now 9 & 6 years old; however, i still find myself in a bind from time to time {a.k.a. temper tantrums are never fun}.

mommas out there - what else would you add to the list??

{the reason i am experienced - malia & aidan, june 2003}

*remember, these are just my opinions. not words to live by. this is all in fun & not meant to be offensive in any way.

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Blogger Rachel said...

As a non-parent I have nothing major to add....but I do want to say I want to clap, applaud, give gold stars, to moms who are willing to take a screaming child out of the store or actually discipline them. I wouldn't point or stare, just be very impressed.

Apr 8, 2010, 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Girl, I am cracking up...really a baby under all that!!!! WHAT????

And I HATE those kid leashes too, who ever invented those things should be horse whipped with one of them!

I am always in aww when I witness strange parent behavior in public...nothing ever seems to shock me now a days!

Apr 8, 2010, 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I just have to second the whole space thing! my word, we were at the wild animal park last week standing in line and if i had a dollar for every time the lady behind us rubbed up my behind i would be a VERY wealthy woman. and teach your kids to give people space as well!!! i am constantly telling my girls this when we're waiting in line somewhere. it's no fun to have other people's children bumping into you (i get enough of that from my own thankyouverymuch!)

Apr 8, 2010, 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

haha this is so funny! I cannot believe she had the baby covered!!

Apr 8, 2010, 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Kaitlin said...

So even though we have no babies (and I know puggles don't count), and we don't plan on having kids for a few years, I have to tell you I found this post completely fascinating. So much in fact I just pasted it into a word document and saved it for future research use. :)

Apr 8, 2010, 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Brittany Ann said...

Good tips! Very good tips!

Apr 11, 2010, 1:47:00 AM  
Blogger Lee-Ann said...

LOL Those were great and pretty much everything I follow to a T. Especially the shopping alone! Now that we live in town I shop alone all the time! I jut run out after bedtime when hubby is home and get everything done. Or when one of the older 2 is being good then I'll take one of them with me to run errands and double it up as some 1-1 time. :)

Apr 11, 2010, 9:51:00 AM  

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