Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Grocery Stores and Toddlers

In the days before I was a mom, I used to listen to my friends who were moms talk about grocery shopping with kids. Inevitably someone had a story to share about their little one's epic meltdown in the bread aisle. These stories kind of freaked me out.

A few week ago, Jack and I had our first difficult shopping experience. He did great during the shopping part, but struggled with the checkout part. He wanted out of the cart. He didn't like sitting still. There wasn't anything to look at, etc. He cried and wanted to be held. Unfortunately I can't hold him and unload groceries. There were people in line behind me and I started to panic. 

Anxiety is an evil thing in a new mom. I really wasn't sure what to do. I mostly wanted to cry. Instead I finished the checkout and hurried out of the store as quickly as I couldmy blood pressure felt sky high. I'm sure some people in line were annoyed with me while others probably had empathy for the situation.

The next time we went to Walmart, we had a similar experience. Jack had a hard time checking out, but this time I was prepared with snacks. I also talked to him about why he couldn't get out of the cart. He still cried, but this time I didn't panic. I was in control and didn't let it bother or overwhelm me that he was crying or that people might be staring.

Sometimes I cope with offering a "toy" like a straw. Sometimes I have a snack pack in my arsenal to distract my busy toddler and I recently let an older gentleman give Jack a sucker as we made our way through the grocery aisles. My parenting is nowhere near perfect and I continue to learn how to cope with and teach my child, but I am thankful that I have managed to set aside my anxiety and deal with the combination of a potentially fussy Jack and grocery shopping.

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