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Casey's Toddler Tested Shopping Tactics

Well, that's one way to do it.

So, shopping with a toddler in tow, that’s super fun right?

As I pushed a full cart out of store 1 of 2 today, I looked at a tired new mom with a tiny new baby in a car seat propped on top of her basket. I stared longingly at her tiny baby, then noticed the sleep-deprived look on her face; a look that I was all to familiar with at one point in time. I saw the the giant stream of spit up down her back. I’d like to think that when she saw me, spit-up free and rocking pants without an elastic waist, that she saw a light at the end of the newborn tunnel. Chances are all she saw was the wriggling and sobbing 16-month-old in my cart, screaming about the injustice of having to be snapped in when there were SO MANY THINGS she needed to displace.

There are two tactics when it comes to shopping with Vivi. Today I employed the later tactic, meaning I got what I needed, but I left with a sobbing child.

You see, tactic one involves some lollygagging. I push a cart, Vivi toddles behind me touching and screaming at various objects. Every once in awhile she’ll pick up a random bath towel to hug or a bottle of body wash to drop on the floor. I’d say 90% of the time she simply follows behind, listening to me when I tell her no and smiling at all of her admirers. I’m able to get what I need, perhaps even browse a little, albeit at a very, very slow pace. At store 2 of 2 today she decided to ride the stroller/shopping cart like a scooter, only she insisted on being pulled, not pushed, which meant I walked backwards through an entire department store pulling Vivi behind me. Things went really well until the end when it’s time to go. I can’t check out and keep Vivi out of trouble so she gets carted and buckled. The tears of injustice are real, people.

Sorry kid, it’s for your own safety. (And mom’s sanity.)

But tactic two, oh tactic two. It involves strapping in Vivi from the beginning, despite rebel cries of betrayal. You then speed RIGHT TO WHAT YOU NEED, throw it in your cart and hope to heavens there’s a checkout lane wide, open, and ready for you on the way out. This tactic usually ends up costing you less money, that is unless the store you’re in is so well laid out they put everything you think you need and everything you want right on the endcaps, on sale, and looking lovely. (I’m looking at you Target.) Before you know it, in a mad dash to get a gallon of milk, suddenly you have Oreos, a festive Halloween lamp and some super cool sidewalk chalk and you walk out (of Target) $50 lighter.

Either way I choose to approach my shopping, there’s going to be some struggles. Oh well, this too shall pass. If nothing else I’m reminded of just how delicious it is to go to the store alone. (My shopping buddy is pretty cute, so that helps too.)

Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr, Instagram and Disney Baby. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.

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