Friday, November 14, 2008

Three 3 and Under--Mega Shopping Event

On Monday I did a big shopping trip in a nearby town with all 3 little munchkins. I found that it is lots of work, but not impossible!
The night before I made up lunches and snacks.
I also sorted out my lists, looking through sale ads, checking and printing off internet coupons. I sorted my coupons and lists according to stores in different recycled envelopes.
I made sure to fill my pockets with Sweet tarts and kleenexes. I packed my Ergo with extra wipes and pacis. I packed the diaper bag, the snack bag, and made sure to have drinks on hand. I made sure I had my Ergo, our stroller, and all of our coats.
Then, we were off! The baby was fed before we left and the kids were kept entertained on the car ride by children's worship music. We got through Walgreens with Justus riding snugly in his Ergo, then I nursed the baby in the van while rewarding the older kids for good behavior with a fruit snacks. Then we headed to another store and I filled little hands with Cheez-Itz crackers and put a toy mobile on baby's carseat. I then proceeded to push two carts filled with kids throughout the whole grocery store (getting lots of stares) as I filled it up with tons of great deals. Close to the end the kids were getting a little squirrely so I whipped out the sweet tarts in my pocket and told them if they could just hang on for a few more minutes and be good through the check-out they would get a treat in the van. They were game! The bag boy helped me out to the van (3 carts between us!) and I got all the kids re-loaded in perfect timing to head to the airport to get my brother!
The key to this successful trip was being ULTRA prepared! It always seems like if you aren't prepared, that's when your kid has an accident, a blow-out, or starts screaming because they are hungry and thirsty and over-tired! Being prepared is one of the biggest keys to mothering well. If you aren't prepared and always thinking ahead, you will become overwhelmed and frustrated and angry as life happens. Having 3 kids isn't hard if you are organized and plan ahead. Granted, it's a lot of work and these shopping trips happen a lot less frequently now that I have 3, but they aren't impossible!
I mentioned above that we ate cheese crackers while we shopped. This was such a help to all of us as we saw tons of food everywhere and were starting to get hungry for lunch. I highly recommend you bring little baggies of snacks for the kids when you shop if you are going to be a while.
Candy. In our house, we don't give our kids lots of candy or sugary-snacks. They don't scream for candy in stores and they don't expect that they will get anything (toys/candy/ or other things). However, we do use candy for rewards at times. When Ali was potty-training she loved to go potty for a Skittle or a chocolate chip. Often over the last year Daddy will offer her a small piece of candy after lunch if Mommy has said she has been very good (consequently she only gets one about every 10 days). So, in using candy for rewards in the store, I'm not trying to be one of those parents who bribes their kid continually because they won't obey otherwise. I have found it to be a useful tool in rewarding kids. And we happen to have a big bowlful right now thanks to the neighbor kids sharing their Halloween candy with me. My kids will do just about anything for candy (must have inherited Mommy's sweet tooth!)
All in all, it ended up being a fun day! I had a ton of unloading to do after we got home, and the kids got down for naps a little later than normal, but it was an adventure and we accomplished our main goals of fetching my brother from the airport and taking advantage of some mega-good deals on stuff we needed to stock our pantry!


The Three 22nds said...

Wow. That sounds like a lot of work-

Makes me thankful to be less than 5 miles from my target, walmart, cub, kohls, Michaels, home depot, Sam's Club and about 5 walgreens!

I only go one place at a time and if someone has a poopie diaper or a melt down we are close to home and it is no big loss!

Way to be prepared!

~Laura~ said...

One question Linds... how on earth did you manage all those carts by yourself in the store??? :)

Lesley said...

I'm with laura and was wondering about how you pushed two carts. :) I've tried that before and it's difficult.

Anyway, good planning and way to e organized and have a successful shopping trip! I STILL have not attempted shopping with all three kids yet. I've done short little trips to my mother-in-law's here in town but that doesn't really count. Oh, and I have taken all three to church by myself a few times and that was hard!!! But I'm finding that things are getting easier and easier as time goes on.

You inspire me - keep up the good work! :)

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