The groceries. You cannot avoid them, and even online is a nightmare sometimes when you get someone else’s crappy brand of toilet paper as a product replacement…
So, with that in mind, just about every school day, you can find me at Coles after school, with the kids.
This is us…aisle two…Hayden often uses a kids trolley, but often pushes the big one or helps round up the trio. We have a system, and it generally always comes down to birth order! So the filling of the trolleys happens in turns. We have to be very careful who gets the grapes (they get eaten – ALOT) and the eggs (they get broken….a lot) so Hayden gets some of the ‘boring’ things because of this (and yep, I pay for them! I will have grapes weighed twice and eggs scanned twice if we break them). The sought after items are often apples (so they can eat them on the way – yep pushing one handed and chomping on an apple) anything from the deli (as they keep the ticket) and yoghurt. Simple things!
I have to say, we get many stares. And comments. But the staff know us as we have been shopping there for over 2 years and are amazing. They actually love saying hello! The staff are actually a little bit protective of them and always interested in them. They wait patiently for the kids to unload their trolley’s onto the conveyer belt (we never scan our own as it gets way out of hand with whose turn it is to scan, or normally because the kids have had an apple and a yoghurt during our shopping so the weight is not even and we constantly need assistance!). After they have loaded ‘their groceries’ onto the conveyer belt they march off after Hayden like little ducklings and put their trolleys away. It has some semblance of order!
In their defence, whilst their driving skills leave a lot to be desired (they are yet to clip any ankles or achilles); they actually love it. They are too old to sit in a pram, but sometimes still have to as it is a method of confining their nicking off. When they actually do run off, you have to gauge which one is actually stupid enough, or more daring I suppose, to actually nick off well and truly! So they are essentially triaged in order of – environment, danger and vicinity! Sad but true!
Hayden is so clever he can read all of the grocery list now (so I have to be careful about writing some things like – “more frigging milk” seeing as we have gone through 6 litres in 1 1/2 days) and he also is a great helper with the kids. Not that he has too help as I never ask him too – it isn’t his ‘job’ to look after them – but he loves helping, and more importantly, he is a wonderful big brother. They all dote on him, and admire him! If Hayden says its OK, suddenly a consensus has been made; there is silence, and clear approval and satisfaction with Hayden’s decision!
So, the mundane is actually a little bit fun ~ well mostly. I admit, I do get cranky with the kids when they don’t listen, or stay in line…(breaking the line we call it!!) but it is worth it. It takes just a bit longer to do the groceries, which is also a bit of a winner as they are that bit closer to tea and bed when we get home! I do occasionally get derogatory comments – and once a staff member even stuck up for me saying ‘the kids never wreck anything, and all they do is giggle and have a bit of fun’ which made my day; but at the end of the day, at least my kids are polite, and know enough to not say something if there is nothing nice to say! Not having a ‘little trolley’ is ten times more effective than the naughty corner – so if they are being belligerent at home – no little trolley! Thank goodness they have more than four little trolleys there is all I can say!!!