In my younger years, if I’d overindulged on the wine on a Saturday night, I could spend Sunday curled up on the sofa, eating junk food and watching back-to-back episodes of ‘Murder, She Wrote (mainly wondering why the baddies ALWAYS give Jessica at least 20 minutes to tell them how they committed the murder before shooting her – I mean, they bloody did it, it can’t be news to them…) 

These days, I get to nurse my hangovers at a farm, or soft play, or if I’m really unlucky, the supermarket…


As a rule we do our weekly shop online – man delivers 30 items in 30 different shopping bags, Miss O upends anything she can get hold of onto the doormat and hurls a couple of onions under the sofa, I stab uselessly at that electronic pad thing and scrawl something that looks nothing like my signature – job done!

However, sometimes (OK, often) it completely slips my mind, which means dedicating an entire morning or afternoon to surviving the supermarket shop with a toddler. Here are some top tips for getting in and out in one piece (ideally with at least half the things you meant to buy):

  • You’ll need to grow a thick skin, because if children see an opening to show you up in front of strangers they will definitely take it, and any pensioners in the immediate vicinity WILL tut at you (they can’t help it, it’s some kind of octogenarian reflex reaction). It’s hard not to lose your sh*t when every other child in the building seems to be happily munching on the free fruit they’re giving out, but yours has collapsed in a sobbing heap at the patisserie counter because you won’t let her have the giant chocolate lollipop covered in sprinkles…
  • Following on from the above, a steady stream of snacks will be required to keep the tears at bay. So yes, you will essentially be wandering around the shops to replenish the food that your child is eating… at the shops. But can you really call yourself a parent if you don’t catch yourself doing something completely  pointless at least once a day??
  • It’s important to remember that the majority of children are thieving gits. Only last week I had to give chase in Boots when Miss O legged it towards the exit clutching a handful of eyeliner pencils and a pack of incontinence pads (neither of which I needed, just to be clear). Sometimes though, they leave you no choice but to suck it up and buy their ill-gotten gains – apparently it’s difficult to resell chocolate lollies with teeth marks in…
  • You know when you go to Waitrose to buy fancy cakes you pretend to have baked yourself (might just be me) and they have those ‘Community Matters’ boxes that you put your tokens in at the end to give to a good cause? Some children (naming no names) LOVE putting the tokens in, but aren’t so crazy about not being able to get them out again. Nothing says ‘I don’t give a crap about this poxy community’ like a wailing toddler desperately trying to claw their token back out of the Marie Curie slot…
  • DO NOT split up to save time – not only will it take you far longer to find each other again then it would have taken to do the shop together in the first place, but when you do finally locate your husband, your screaming toddler will be hurtling down the aisle towards you in a revolving trolley (“but she LOVES it”“I can see that, but this is Morrison’s, not the bloody fairground!!”) AND he’ll have bought her that sodding giant lollipop… which you’ll no doubt be seeing again on the car journey home.
  • No matter how well prepared / good at distracting them you are, there inevitably comes a time when the whining ramps up as soon as the trolley slows down, meaning you’re now frantically running about the place like ‘Supermarket Sweep’ contestants:“Grab the milk – not that one, the small one, the blue one, the SMALL BLUE ONE!”
    “Don’t we need tomatoes for the…”
    “Just LEAVE the tomatoes!”

  • Supermarkets are crafty – they know that you’ll be nearing the end of your tether by the time you reach the checkout, so when your child reaches out for the ridiculously over-priced Peppa Pig comic that’s coincidentally RIGHT THERE, at toddler height, you’re not going to put up much of a fight. “Oh look darling, it’s the summer special, complete with 20 tiny pieces of plastic shrapnel for us to scatter all over the living room floor” – how absolutely fecking fantastic.

Which reminds me, I really must put my order in this week…


9 thoughts on “Surviving the supermarket

  1. My twin girls are always in a trolley but I think they’re getting a bit big. I’m dreading taking them when they are walking around next to the trolley. I think I’m going to need to grow some extra arms. #triumphanttales

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, yes, yes! You see this is why the grocery shop is now the husbands task on a Sunday morning – yes, with Little Man in tow! Whilst I sit and do this kind of thing! 🙂 He’s a braver man than me and hats off to him, he must have a way with him that I don’t in the supermarket! It works for us so I’m rolling with it! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This really did make me laugh, especially about splitting up and hubby buying treats you said no to! Luckily, we don’t have a lot of tantrums or tears anymore, but I remember them all too well!

    visiting from #Blogstravaganza 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha hilarious! That milk/tomatoes bit sounds like me without the baby 🙈 I try to shop alone, but I know it won’t be long before I have to take the little one, I’m not looking forward to it if this is what a typical trip looks like! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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