One of the things I find extremely therapeutic is to push a trolley down supermarket aisles. Before I had kids, I looked forward to that quite a bit every week.
Now with three kids in tow, grocery shopping is a whole new experience altogether. When we do lug the kids along, there’s just so much to do. I can no longer zone out and just look at things. I gotta strategise and plan my shopping route. Get the items on the checklist. Check out the weekly offers to stock up. Dettol, detergent, toilet paper, tissue boxes, frozen food, wet wipes, fresh milk, tofu and Sakura chicken – grab these standard items every trip and stock ’em all up if they are cheap. I gotta make sure all bladders (mine included) are emptied before the kids are chucked in the trolley. I gotta make sure they keep their fingers to themselves and have enough entertainment to last about an hour while I push around at breakneck speed.
Sometimes, I break up fights and end up pushing two trolleys, a mean feat if I’m alone; a meaner one if I’m alone and wearing the baby. Some days I abandon all groceries and flail my arms like an insane woman if one of them has to poo or pee. But now with experience and tricks to avert disaster under my sleeves, I’d get them some ice-cream or finger food to eat so they’d sit quietly in the trolley for a good 15 minutes.
Going to the supermarket is spelled F-U-N for Ben and Becks. They’ve had much fun sampling all sorts of finger food, melting aunties’ hearts by cheekily waving and saying hi to random strangers, pinched and stabbed their fingers into tomatoes, carrots, apples and mushrooms, squealed at live crabs, butchered frog legs and fishes awaiting their deaths in the tanks, and playing with plastic bags, using them as gloves, socks and helmets. Yes, apologies to my tree hugging friends, but I’ve resorted to giving them plastic bags to play with to keep them out of mischief.
Yesterday, everyone who saw them in the trolley did a little giggle and gave me a sympathetic nod.
These two alien coneheads made their day, I’m sure. They made mine too. I wouldn’t say it’s therapeutic now but I’m certainly laughing a lot more bringing them out grocery shopping.
P/S: We know the risk of giving a plastic bag to a child and have explained to the kids about the danger of suffocation. Which is why they did a “Look Ma, it’s on our heads and not over our faces – duh!”.