I’ve been at this parenting gig for nearly four years now. And only yesterday did I realise the power of food.
Since I’ve had the two kids I have hated going grocery shopping. I used to love it, and I had no problems doing it with just Mayana. But with two kids, man, what a nightmare. We’d get through half of it okay, but then inevitably by the time we got to the register one of them would lose the plot. We’d have screaming or arguing or nagging, and annoying Aldi checkout person who doesn’t wait until you’ve got your trolley around before they start scanning… (seriously, what is their problem! It’s not like they even have to pack the bags! A little bit of patience for a poor woman with a screaming baby in a sling and a whinging pre-schooler in the trolley goes a looooong way – oh sorry, I’ll save that rant for another day). Suffice it to say I am NOT a fan of going solo grocery shopping with two kids. Yesterday though, we were in a pickle. We were running out of food and other necessities (like baby wipes – and Reuben needs baby wipes a lot. The kid does number twos about 16 times a day *le sigh*). So I had to face it. I let Reuben have his sleep, spent some time playing with Mayana, and fed them both before I left the house.
When we got to the shops, I put Reuben in his trolley mate, and enlisted the help of my very big girl Mayana to be my very special helper, armed with her own shopping list. As we walked around the shops, I slipped Reuben pieces of cruskit. He loves the things… absolutely devours him. And you know how they get kind of sticky when they’re sucked on (trust me, they really do), well he enjoys exploring his arms and hands and trolley mate to find the bits that have stuck in places other than his mouth. They occupy him quite effectively.
Mayana lasted well until the checkout, where she had a mini-meltdown over who knows what. I calmed her down with the promise of blueberries. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before but I’m not above bribery, and at the end of any successful shopping trip Mayana is allowed a treat. She generally chooses a ‘sausage’ (twiggy stick/salami) or little packet of nuts or sultanas (they have them near the register at Aldi). Even in the face of lollipops and chocolates, these are her treat of choice. Love that kid. Anyway, she usually gets to have her treat once we get in the car. Yesterday, I had a stroke of genius. I asked the lovely young cashier (oh I’m going to line up for young Joshua every time I go to Aldi now. He waited until I had the trolley around and the children settled and went slow enough for me to pack my trolley properly as I went… the perfect Aldi specimen) to scan the blueberries first. I sat Mayana down on the floor next to the trolley and opened the punnet. I handed Reuben his last piece of cruskit. Aaaaand I didn’t hear a peep out of either of the children the entire time my huge load of groceries were being scanned and packed. The lovely Joshua even commented on how well behaved my children were. Mayana ate nearly the whole punnet of blueberries but meh, a good hit of antioxidants isn’t gonna hurt her, and they were only $2.49. $2.49 well spent if you ask me!!
I survived shopping, with two kids. There were no tears, no hair pulling, no arguing, no whinging. Pure, pure bliss. My lesson is learned. From now on, there is always, always, going to be food in my bag.
And that my friends, is the story of how blueberries and cruskits saved my life. Or at least my sanity.