In My Own Words

Writing and Images from the heart...

In My Own Words

Writing and Images from the heart...

Mom Life | Shopping with Kids

B.C. (Before children) I would often fantasize what my life would be like. I’d imagine cute children wearing plaid and argyle, clean faces, and nicely done hair. We would all get ready on the mornings I was home. They’d listen intently to all my directions with wide eyes and excitement when I tell them we will be going out for the morning. I would put the kids in the car, go do some errands, they’d talk sweetly to me about their favorite toys and friends as I pushed them around the store in a cart. On our way home they’d nod off to sleep and I’d carry them to their bed once we returned. I myself would also lay down, being ‘exhausted’ from a ‘hard days work’.

I don’t think I could have been more delusional about how it REALLY goes.

Instead of outlining my entire experience that inspired this post, I thought instead I would highlight the three main pressure cooker points that erupt while running errands with children.

Pressure Cooker Point 1: Leaving the house

No matter what I do or what tactics I experiment with, I am never able to get my children excited about getting dressed and leaving the house. We could be going to see Mickey Mouse in Florida, and still it won’t matter. What normally happens? I end up chasing them around the house as they blissfully laugh while I enter into respiratory distress. If you’ve ever CHASED a child you can relate. Like, full on, legs burning, chest heaving chased. Have you found that the harder you run the faster they get? I certainly do. I usually end up chasing them at full speed until they finally surrender. I am not ashamed to say that I do whatever means necessary to clothe them – including but not limited to – sitting on them (simultaneously if needed), tickling, straddling, clotheslining (only at the shoulders), tackling, blowing raspberries, bribing, or even the sneak approach of playing dead then CAPITALIZING on their empathy.


Pressure Cooker Point 2: The shopping

In the past, I would wander aimlessly down the isles of Target while sipping an iced coffee. Touch all the fun fabrics in the women’s clothing section until I find one that’s agreeable – daydreaming about which would make a nice lounge outfit. I would read the ingredients of the lotions and potions making sure I found one had just the right chemical combination for my sensitive skin. Sometimes I’d even head over to the office supplies, picking up each and every fun knick knack justifying why I needed printed binder clips. (I’d be SO much more productive if I had these!)

Add two mini people into the mix and it’s an entirely new ball game. Don’t get me wrong, on a good day there are two adults (one for each child), electronic devices to play with, and a bag full of drinks and snacks. But on a bad day, when there’s nothing to distract, I must prepare myself for the battle for Middle Earth like no other. This generally consists of experimenting with new undiscovered abilities of the vocal chords, tasting foreign objects such as the handle on the shopping cart, adding sharp and unnecessary objects into the cart, and a constant railroad line of questioning that is repetitive, unproductive and usually result in giant alligator tears when the object gets put back on the shelf.  This battle, though it sounds enticing, is more of a mentally draining one, while dodging questions like the following:

  • Why we can’t buy a new train
    • It’s not your birthday, and you already have 50
  • Why THOSE necklaces are only for big girls
    • Simple policy – we break it, we buy it. And you tend to eat rocks. Trying to save us a trip to the ER today 
  • Why we can’t eat at the restaurant
    • Because the pizza isn’t gluten free and you’re out of your MIND if you think I’ll let you try a frozen ICEE at 3 and 4
  • Why we can’t go down the nut isle
    • You may go into anaphylactic shock – again – trying to avoid the hospital today
  • Why we can’t buy that fuzzy blanket
    • You’re allergic to wool. See previous statement.

Usually by the time we get through the entire store about 50 to 75% of us are crying, and the other leftover percent are starving. Generally my shopping experience is done full throttle, while grabbing random things down the ‘safe’ isles, puffing on an inhaler, and giving the ‘mom nod’ to the other women who are fighting the same battle. I normally leave the store forgetting about half what I went in for, and leaving with $200 in things that I didn’t KNOW I needed. Word of advice – don’t forget the electronic devices. It’ll help keep the focus on the list and not the never-ending slew of questions from the peanut gallery. I usually leave there feeling like I’ve shot a double header weekend, but my outfit is way sloppier, and I have a TON more stuff with me then I ever do when I shoot a wedding. (Mom, I don’t know how you did it.)


Pressure Cooker Point 3: Keeping Kids Awake

After the FUN experience of shopping for the items I didn’t know I needed, I usually get everyone back in the car (hopefully it isn’t raining) Kids are crying, wanting food, attention, or bathroom breaks. Once all those fires are put out and we are on our way – the next mission is to keep the children awake. If they fall asleep now, as SOON as I put the car in park at home they will wake up and nap (aka break time for mom) won’t happen. They will be up for the afternoon. Unlike other kids, there is no transferring our children to their bed. They’re far too aware of everything. When I meet people who are able to transfer their kids, I think to myself ‘They DO exist!’. So on goes the movie, down go the windows, and loud is the music. I have resorted to singing (yelling) the Frozen soundtrack in animal sounds JUST to keep them entertained. At the end of the day and after this experience we ALL need a rest. Myself included.

So there you have it. The three pressure points of the shopping experience with my kiddos. As much as I poke fun at my life, I wouldn’t change a thing. Life with them is always an adventure. Besides, who REALLY wants to wander around Target in complete bliss anyway?



Circa 2014, Home Depot, Average Saturday Morning

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© Trish Kemp 2024