Have you tried grocery shopping with a toddler? The constant redirection in the face of so many temptations is enough to make anyone’s head spin! I try to get the bulk of my shopping done while the kids are at school, but before they were old enough for 1st grade, this was a weekly (sometimes twice a week, even!) ordeal that I never looked forward to. Luckily, my kids knew better than to create too much of a fuss, but it was nearly impossible to get through a single shopping trip without someone whining for this or that. This story hits too close to home!
A man observed a woman in the grocery store with a three year old girl in her basket. As they passed the cookie section, the little girl asked for cookies and her mother told her, “No.” The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Monica, we just have half of the aisles left to go through – don’t be upset. It won’t be long now.”
Soon, they came to the candy aisle and the little girl began to shout for candy. When told she couldn’t have any, she began to cry. The mother said, “There, there, Monica, don’t cry – only two more aisles to go and then we’ll be checking out.”
When they got to the checkout stand, the little girl immediately began to clamor for gum and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there’d be no gum purchased. The mother said serenely, “Monica, we’ll be through this check out stand in 5 minutes and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”
The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Monica,” he began.
The mother replied, “I’m Monica – my little girl’s name is Tammy.”
That punchline got me! You don’t even need to be a parent to appreciate this funny story! This poor mom must have been so terribly exhausted, I bet she was even more ready to leave than her daughter was. This is why grocery lists are so important. I used to be confused when my mom would get mad that the store “changed where everything goes.” Now, I completely understand it. I write my grocery list like a treasure map – the fastest way to get in and out of the store without having to double back, hauling the kids all the way! I get it now, mom. I totally get it.
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