Are your pantry shelves bare, except for the lone box of pasta? Is your fridge full of condiments and little else? Tired of ordering pizza or carryout? Face it, Mama. It might be time.
To grocery shop.
With your 2 toddlers.
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In a perfect world, this is how to grocery shop with 2 toddlers:
1. Arrive at grocery store. Find shopping cart that seats 2, load up kiddos, and off you go!
2. Leisurely browse through the aisles while children giggle and amuse themselves by looking at all the things.
3. Check out in a neat, orderly fashion.
4. Leave store with blue bird landing on shoulder and music playing in background.
Here is what shopping with 2 toddlers ACTUALLY looks like:
Wake up. Attempt to feed toddlers breakfast. Toddlers take two micro bites apiece. Begin the hour long process of getting ready to leave (including but not limited to: nursing, diaper changes, letting dog out, changing outfits, extracting younger toddler from window ledge, getting self dressed, and loading up car.)
TIP #1: Make sure all basic needs of children have been met PRIOR to shopping trip.
Arrive at grocery store. Load up kiddos into bright blue firetruck shopping cart. Head towards store armed with hope, love, and positivity. FEEL like you know how to grocery shop with 2 toddlers.
Immediately upon entering the store, the crew is beset with massive hunger. Younger toddler begins crying. Pull over to the smoothie/juice station, where she is appeased (for now) by the green smoothie. Older toddler takes one sip.
TIP #2: Feed the children while in the store (making sure to pay for all opened packages and half-eaten produce, of course).
Zip through vegetable section while chucking produce haphazardly into cart. Younger toddler begins to fuss again. Peel a banana and split into two. Older toddler begins eating with gusto while younger toddler carefully inspects before mashing banana into shopping cart grates.
Head over to hot bar section. At this point, younger toddler is crying and plotting her escape, with one foot hanging out the side of the cart. Quickly order pizza and begin shoving bites into her mouth. Older toddler eats too, Hallelujah!
TIP #3: Call in reinforcements if needed (i.e., cellular devices)
Power walk through meat section while grabbing random packages of seafood and meat. Younger toddler begins process known as “meltdown”. Remainder of pizza flies out of cart. Out of desperation, cellular device set to YouTube, Little Baby Bum is thrust into sticky hands. Older toddler also wants cellular device but Mothering Unit explains that there is only one. Older toddler is then distracted by a 30-pack of string cheese. Fumble with package and release Dairy Happiness Stick into eager toddler hands.
TIP #4: Time is of the essence. MOVE IT! Also, feed the children.
Smoke shoots out of the cart wheels as Mothering Unit heads to the front of the store like her pants are on fire. “Oh, your babies are so cute!” and “Are they twins?” are met with a terse yet polite smile and a head nod, signaling, “I acknowledge your compliment/question but GET…OUT…OF…MY…WAY!”
Pull over to first available check out (which happens to be self check). Begin the tedious and painstakingly long process of checking out while rearranging items in cart. Make it through 85% of items before hearing ear-piercing screams. Younger toddler is yanking on older toddler’s pigtails while older toddler has acquired cellular device. Make mental note to try new deodorant.
TIP #5: Do not use the self check out!
Quickly scan the premises for signs of Helpful Life Forms. Feel the judgment and amusement emanating from downturned eyes with feigned interest in gum and tabloid magazines. Decide that help is not to be found today. Unstrap and release younger toddler from the clutches of the cart. Place her on floor while scanning remaining 3 items. Tell older toddler that no, she may not come out.
Put younger toddler back in cart, inducing crying and arm flailing. Search entire cart for cellular device that older toddler has dropped.
Wipe dripping wet forehead with pizza-stained top. Slowly push cart to the exit while looking at patrons. Hold up two fingers while yelling, “Deuces!” at top of lungs.
What Mama may end up using next time: