Shopping with Toddlers

Eric loves to go shopping – especially to the grocery store. Of course, he doesn’t always like the way we do it, because he would much rather but running free around the store than sitting in a cart…even a super cool car-shaped one complete with steering wheel. Once in a while, though, we slip off to the grocery store just him and me and he gets to really shop.

I always forget how scary a prospect that it.

Eric loves produce. I’m a lucky lady that way; not far behind pancakes and french toast on his list of favorites are some lovely fruits. Let him loose in a produce department, though…

“Mommy! Mommy! Bananas!! We buy the bananas??” He launched away from me with speed only a 3 year old can hide in such tiny limbs, straight for the banana display. He grabbed a hand of bananas and held it up. “I want these bananas!”

Now, what mom can say no to that? It’s not cookies or candy, it’s nutrition in a yellow wrapper. I hold out the basket I’m carrying and tell him we can buy them. With a look of glee, he lifts them up above his head and tosses them full force into the basket.

That’s gonna leave a mark.

“What else should we buy, Eric?” I ask, gingerly shifting the bananas in the basket and wondering if I can sneak them back onto the display without anyone noticing. I decide against it and follow him as he started to walk slowly down an aisle.

“Hmm… What else we buy? I know!” He stops short and points. “Apples!”

Unfortunately, what he’s pointing to is actually a bundle of pomegranates, but I get what he’s thinking. Ushering him around the corner, he sees a display of (real) apples and claps. “Mommy, apples! I pick the apples?” He rushes over, grabs an apple in both hands, and goes to take a bite.

“Eric, no!” I call, taking a hasty step forward and freezing him. “We don’t bite apples until after we buy them.” We’ve had discussions about buying stuff before, and he knows we have to buy things before we open them. I figure this will work.

He gives me a sweet, innocent grin and starts licking the apple instead.

I quickly collected a few apples into a bag, placed them in with my battered and bruises bananas, and swept Eric out of the produce department before he could inflict any more damage.

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