Some more, please: Trolley time and strategies for keeping the peace

2010-11-25 07:25

The toddler gives the cheerful woman at the Woolies check-out a suspicious look.

As the unsuspecting woman reaches for the yoghurt, the toddler couples the look with an ear-splitting scream that leaves us both red-faced (her from the performance, me from embarrassment).

There’s nothing quite like shopping with the toddler – as often as possible I trick her father into staying with her while I wander up and down the aisles, luxuriating in the freedom of feeling up the produce.

Usually I have to stick to the familiar, which I can chuck speedily into the trolley as I count down to the meltdown I know is coming.

The art is in getting through the check-out, wrestling with the dreaded pre-payment parking thingy and get back to the car before this happens.

Usually my time’s up while I am dithering over whether to buy pork or chicken sausages. Or worse, in the queue in front of a person who has either forgotten or has never experienced the T-A-N-T-R-U-M.

I do find though sometimes getting the toddler to help with the shopping holds the meltdown off. The trouble with this method of shopping is that she chucks everything you hand her into the trolley with a sickening THWUMP.

The apples get bruised, the broccoli is concussed by the washing liquid and the milk ends up bottoms up. Don’t hand her the eggs!

The other thing – which I read in one of the thousand or so helpful but smug books I’ve read – is to always write a shopping list. This way the toddler realises that you don’t just willy nilly grab anything you want off the shelf – instead you have a grand feeding plan for the family.

An excellent idea because it teaches the toddler not to grab stuff off the shelves either. Hard to execute though if, like me, you have a pretty good idea of what you might want to cook for the family but are easily swayed by two-for-the-price-of-one promises and weird imported mushrooms you have no idea what to do with – yet.

So, in short, when I don’t have the wherewithal to make a time efficient list and I have to take the toddler with me I either appeal to the toddler’s helpful gene (which she may capriciously turn off at any time) or I open up a punnet of strawberries/a box of ready-cooked sausages/a packet of crisps on our way around the store.

The other last-ditch deal for peace is to let her hold something she loves – which brings us back to the poor woman trying to ring up the yoghurt.

» Find me on Twitter.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.