Grocery Shopping. For some, the mention of it fills the heart with excitement. For some, drudgery. And for mommys with a few little ones, it often fills the heart with panic and depression.
When I only had my sweet Lydia, I felt like prime model of a shopping parent. Of course, what can really go wrong when you have an infant sleeping peacefully in her car seat with tiny arms that could never come close to touching anything?
When Bethany was born, I discovered the amazing secret power to successful shopping: The Aunties! Having another big person along to hold onto a little person brought much peace of mind.
When Havi was born, the auntie became a necessity! The only problem at this time was, my sisters were getting older, and with that came a much more responsibility filled life. As much as I hated to see it, they weren't available at my beck and call 24/7. ( They are still a tremendous help to me! It just takes a little more planning!)
Knowing that #4 was on the way and knowing that my help was harder to arrange, I started doing some careful considering. Why was I having these feelings of dread? What was this lie that had convinced me that I wasn't able to control my own children?
I sheepishly concluded what a bunch of bologna this all was. I am striving every day to raise obedient and self-controlled children. I love being with my children. I love watching them interact with other people. Why was I so afraid to bring them into a testing ground when I was right there to supervise the whole thing?
So we started laying the boundaries. We've done it two different ways; Ella in a front wrap with Havilah in the cart and Havilah in a back wrap with Ella in the cart. Lydia and Bethany have their set of rules. I just asked Lydia what the rules for shopping were and she said, "Don't touch anything. Don't be wild. Be friendly to people. Don't be grumpy." She missed, Don't climb on the cart and walk up by mommy so you don't get run over. Fitting since those are the two most often forgotten!
Now this might sound obnoxious to you, as if I have to be barking orders all of the time. But it's not like that at all. We simply review the "dos and don'ts" on the way to wherever we are going in a loving, fun manner. There usually have to be a few gentle reminder when we are there. There is no threatening or bribing. My girls know the importance of obedience, and also the consequences for disobedience.
Here's the key. There rarely is any middle ground. If I clearly lay the boundaries then my children are either obeying or disobeying. If my children will not obey me in public, than I have bigger problems than grocery shopping.
Once I threw out the myth of "It can't be done!", we have had a blast! I LOVE going grocery shopping with my girls! It is one of the highlights of my month .
While this arrangement has worked beautifully for us, I decided yesterday that it is about time to start training Havi on the fine arts of grocery shopping. A challenge? YES! A fear? NO WAY!!!