Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grocery Shopping, Here We Come!

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!!!


Melanie said...

Good for you for taking this on! If it were me, I think I would switch to only cooking things that could be bought from Azure and grown in my garden.

Charlene said...

This is great. I often think about how I will go grocery shopping with my kids. However, my coupon binder will have the front seat (at least when there's only 1 child), & I'll carry the baby. (when the babies start coming that is.)

Aly sun said...

Good for you! I feel like I can leap buildings in a single bound after returning from a morning a errands. I have 3 and it is a huge challenge to be out and about, but one that I am more than willing to take on. I have no alternative other than staying home and being hungry. My girls are very good in the store after much training. I passed a single lady in the store the other day and she stared at me wide eyed. She said, "I would NEVER attempt grocery shopping with my kids and I only have 2."

amandavital said...

I love it!!! this spells out my grocery shopping trip to a "T" I can hardly remember ever going without all four of mine. Baby in the moby, toddler in the cart, two older ones walking behind mama, "like little duckies, just be like little duckies and stay close behind mama" I tell them. I learned early as a mother that I wasn't going to be getting any help when it came to grocery shopping, i was always going to have my little ones with me, so I've always trained to that extent, just like you seem to be doing.

Keep up the good work, You are an amazing mother. Such an encouragement to see that there does exist good moms still :)