Why is it children leave their almighty meltdowns until you are in the middle of an aisle in the busiest super market? It’s as if they know we’d die of embarrassment and give them anything to keep them quiet. You know those meltdowns when other parents with toddlers look at you with that “I feel for you broseph” look. When pregnant moms look in horror with that innocent thought “my child will never have a meltdown in public” which we ALL foolishly thought during our pregnancy days. Meltdowns in public are hard, not only because you need to sort out whatever the heck is going on with this devilish child of yours but also because you feel like you need to apologise to all of those around you. For the inconvenience of a crying child of course.
Now, I’m afraid there is never a way to cut out those meltdowns completely. You’ll have to do the supermarket walk of shame every now and again. It makes life with a toddler that bit more lively (like you need that) and keeps you on your tippy toes. BUT, I can try and save your cheeks going bright red at every supermarket visit. If toddlers had a phone and could text their friends they’d be texting them like “just heading into meltdown manor, see you in five with my new toy”. For reals. They’re good aren’t they? So good. I’ve recently tried a new tactic with little E and so far so good, it keeps her entertained, I get my shopping done AND there are zero meltdowns! W i N N e r R R r !!
I take a list for myself and I give a list to Esmé asking her if she’d help mommy with her shopping. She normally responds with “yeaaaah” and then a load of jumbled words while tearing, scrunching and sucking on parts of the paper which I can only understand as she wants to play the game? I’ll take what I can get.
Now, the most important part of this little trick is to let the children think they are doing all the deciding. They have meltdowns at the supermarket because they are bored. Get them involved and I can promise you there will be less walks of shame in that dang supermarket. I let Esmé help me pick the fruit and pop it into the bags, sometimes she tries to get a sneaky bite in so I have to be quick to distract her with the next item of food we need. She loooves trying to throw the snacks in to the trolley like it’s a ball being thrown into a basket. Who would have thought shopping could be so fun? The week previously she was hating life.
I get her to help me pack the food on to the till, she’s so little that I hold her as she does it. Note: this takes a LOT of extra time so probably best not to do this when the supermarket is super busy. She absolutely loves it. Her favourite part? Giving the money to the lady or fishing for mamas card out of her purse. It’s these little, easy changes I’ve made to our shopping schedule that has saved my life immensely. She’s learning as she does it and I really cannot argue with that.
Also, in some lovely, obvious please don’t let your child have a meltdown attempt, shops display free fruit for kids. They do it at our local farm shop and it keeps little E entertained for a solid five minutes. Shopping bliss my friends, shopping bliss.
IF they have gone through the whole food shop malarkey without a meltdown make sure to reward them. Sometimes we’re quick to tell them off but not so quick to praise them. I try every day to make sure Esmé knows that if she’s a good girl then she will get alllll the praise she deserves. She gets ridiculously excited and hugs me really hard which is very cute. Happy child = happy mama.
Now, I can’t promise you that this will save you from on any future supermarket meltdowns but I really hope it’ll reduce the risk. I hope this works as well for you as it has done for me.
Happy leaving the supermarket without the walk of shame babes ♡