I am extremely frustrated with the fact that my days of leisurely shopping trips with my son are over. Forget the fun shopping, I’m even talking about the random errands that need to be done through out the week. At this point it’s been almost impossible to get things done with out some sort of scene being made by my son. I am sure this is age appropriate and I am sure most of you out there can commiserate with me, but it doesn’t make it any easier. It is still extremely frustrating and I am not sure how to fix it or make it better. How does one shop with a toddler?

Those of you with more than one kid may scoff at my frustration, and I am sure it just gets harder, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. My son used to be my best shopping buddy. Whether it was a trip through target or around the mall he used to take it all very well. If I gave him some food and drink to munch on I could always make it through my errands. But not anymore.

Now even the quickest of errands is tough. Take today for instance. Today my plan was to quickly run into Banana Republic, then go to CVS for 2 things, then to Trader Joes. I know full well that I can’t “shop” anymore at a store. No more trying things on. It doesn’t work, but I met a friend at the store and was looking at a few sweaters. Nothing too serious. I didn’t have my son in a stroller because he won’t sit in one unless we are constantly moving, and I knew I’d get him in the cart in CVS and Trader Joes. So he was looking at the jewelry and playing with it and when I turned around bumped the stand, so the worker said something. I apologized (thoroughly embarrassed) and said we’d leave. That’s where the fit started. He darted through the store so I had to catch him then threw himself to the ground screaming while I pried the jewelry from his kung foo grip. I had to carry him out under my arm as he screamed. I wasn’t going to let him win so we went to CVS. Here he calmed a bit in the cart. That was until check out when he wanted candy (mind you I have NEVER bought him candy in the check out), and he tried to throw himself out of the cart and screamed. I physically held him in but of course the skew didn’t work and it all took forever. As he threw a leg over the cart I yelled “I’m bigger than you I WILL win” to the nice onlookers in the store. So I paid and we left. Onto Trader Joes where he screamed the entire time. Again trying to throw himself out at check out. I let him out this time because he was a bit settled. That’s when he darted for the stacked boxes of cake mix. I caught him, he screamed and pitched a fit on the store. I was exhausted. The poor check out man and bagger looked at me in pity. I was spent.

I have heard “if he is bad then leave the store”. That sounds all nice and good in theory, but I REALLY needed the stuff in those stores. It’s not too much to ask. I can’t be house bound. One of the best things of being a SAHM is being able to run my errands as I please. How do I teach him to behave? Some will say give him my iphone. To that I say thank you for the suggestion but no. At this point I am extremely anti giving my little guy electronics to keep him quiet. To each their own, but I don’t like it. Food doesn’t work anymore, and strapping him into his stroller doesn’t work either. Someone recommended lolli pops which COULD work. He does love those. At Target I let him out of the cart to walk and help me put stuff IN the cart..that works pretty well, but he can’t be trusted all the time.

Keep in mind this isn’t EVERY time we are at a store. But do I start bribing him when he’s bad? So I am at a loss and need help. I need my kid to learn to behave in public places. I am the boss and at this point he doesn’t realize that one bit. In his little mind he wins. So how do I teach him that I win? My cute little shopping partner is here no more and I need to accept that. But he does need to learn to take a grocery shopping trip and behave.

But how?