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Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Shopping with kids isn't for the weak

I'm not stupid. I try to do my grocery shopping without kids whenever possible. Sometimes it just isn't.

I don't want to sound like a complainer, but those so-called "kids carts"? They drive me crazy! Every single store has a different cart option. My 3-year-old has memorized them all.

If I go to Fred Meyer she blurts out "Red car!" Then I brace myself for a workout. The front of the cart looks like a Maserati. The back of the cart is loaded with groceries. I'm huffing and puffing just to push the darn thing around.

Those carts require a very large berth. They're like driving an RV through the Edmonds roundabout. Veer too far in one direction and I knock over Starbucks coffee. Too far to the right and Mexican food goes flying.

"Don't mind me," I feel like saying. "I'm just steering a land yacht through Albertsons." Other shoppers never seem to understand this. They glare at me when I get stuck in front of the dairy case.

Miniature grocery carts are no better. They're just a different kind of awful.

Even when my preschooler is being careful, she pushes her little cart around Trader Joe's like a maniac. It's a constant battle to keep her from banging into shins.

Other shoppers don't understand this, either. Older people are constantly telling my daughter, "Well aren't you precious! Are you helping Mommy?"

"Helping me lose my freaking mind!" I always manage (not) to reply. I'd much rather strap her into the big cart next to my purse so I can concentrate on shopping.

When I do finally make it to the checkout line, the person in front of me is writing a check. It takes flippin' forever. My older kid starts bugging me for candy.

That's when I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I try to remember. This is bad, but it's not so bad. Because I remember that the absolute worst type of Mom shopping is grocery shopping while pregnant.

In the first trimester I walked around aimlessly. All food looked and smelled disgusting. In the second trimester I was ravenously hungry, but already gaining too much weight.

Then in the third trimester I started to feel dizzy at every checkout line. "Please God," I would think. "Please don't let me pass out at Top Foods!"

So yeah, shopping with kids is annoying and all, but at least when I get home tonight I can have a large glass of wine.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybaby
Story tags » Parenting

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