Dear Dads, I have something to tell you. Nothing is safe when you shop with a toddler…..

shopping mallShopping in our house is always a challenge, not like a rubix cube challenge but more like how are we going to get man to the moon challenge. You see it even comes down to which car we take to fit everything in, the car seats, children, stroller, back packs full of goodies and essentials like nappies. The car can be full and we are only pulling out of the driveway. Then there is the entertainment for the 45 min trip, phones, books, teddies, DVD player, music, and basically anything that is shiny makes noise and can’t be swallowed for Jade. When we load up to head for the shops for the day, it looks like we are going camping.

Once we survive the trip to the shops with constant mum mum mum and a dad thrown in occasionally to mix it up, we unpack our load and head off into the shops. Our toddler is now Miss Independent and wants to walk everywhere herself, this means that the rest of the family move at snails pace while said toddler inspects everything from the breakables (why oh why do shops place this stuff at toddler height, I am sure it is to torment parents) to the sticky stuff stuck to the floor. Also means that both the wife and I have grown another pair of eyeballs in the back of our head as BB gives Houdini a run for his money with her disappearing acts.

Once at the shops it’s a constant procession of “please come here” ”please don’t touch that” ”where did you get that from” ”sorry sir she doesn’t know any better” ”why is she laying on the floor in the middle if the store?” Sigh. This seems to provide endless amusement for passers by who smile and nod, giving me the universal “I know what your going through and you have my sympathy” look. We always said before we had children we would never bribe them, we would get down and explain to said toddler why she needed to “come with us/put that down/no you can’t have that shiny object”. However now having a 1 year old and a 2 and a half year old it’s bribe central. We would shell out more bribes in a single shopping trip than Soccer Australia did for the whole World Cup (too low???). Our whole “this is how we are going to parent when we have kids” has gone completely out the window come shopping time. It’s just a mad rush of darting through shops and isles, putting random items back that our darling daughter has sourced from somewhere and food, lots and lots of food…..

Food is the one thing we can count on to ensure a fairly pain free shopping outing. Bickies in the car, water bottle on the run and chips or Vegemite sandwiches when we stop. This also has the added bonus of distracting our toddler enough to prevent south west special chilly powder or a left handed cork opener ending up in our basket. We have a cupboard full of useless items that we have come home with and no idea how they got in the trolley, ok well some idea……

Sometimes we like to make things fun for ourselves and head to the toy store. Any parent knows this ends up with a barrage of “no you can’t have that/that won’t fit in the car/where is your sister/you don’t need another (insert any toy name here) you have 20 you never play with at home” however if the girls are good, they do get little treats, I love seeing the smile on there faces as they pick out what they would like.

Only for them to fall asleep on the way home and their little toy to go into the toy box and never to be seen again………

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