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Six lessons learnt from shopping with a toddler

There are so many activities rendered impossible when you are accompanied by a toddler, but I really didn't expect shopping to be one of them. It's not just picking up the groceries, which is a real challenge, but every other kind of purchase that you decide to embark on.

Just give up now, because your wardrobe will be stuffed with mismatched, ill-fitting clothes that you just didn't have time to give a second look, because you dumped them into your trolley without losing eye contact with your toddler.

Little Dude is becoming very active when out and about, so here I share some important lessons I have learnt from our trips to the mall.



1. It's never going to be fun again
Who doesn't reminisce about when shopping was fun, relaxing and even therapy? Well, you should come to terms with the fact that it's never going to happen again. Not when they are in school, and especially not when they are teenagers. Sure, it's fun for your toddler running about madly, but not for you chasing after him.

2. Malls are dangerous places
With all the automatic doors, escalators and shopping trolleys, I'm surprised they don't put up warning signs everywhere. Even people are dangerous in malls, because they are too busy looking into the shops to notice little kids about to crash into them.

3. Candy shops are evil 
The sight of a candy shop now induces panic in me because it's the harbinger of a meltdown. Sheesh, why do they even have candy shops in malls? Can't they tuck them away in the corner? To make things worse, toddlers can see them miles before you even realize what the excitement is all about.

4. Toy stores are a never-ending maze
Or, as I think of them - 'the caves of no return'. Once your kid enters them, he's never going to come out. Unless enticed by candy, at which point you're wondering why you decided to come to the mall in the first place.

5. Eating out can be stressful
There was even a time when dining out was a good thing. With a toddler who refuses to sit still, it's not worth it. Takeaway is your friend, parents. Because of course, the kid will ask for the meal with the toy...and ice cream.

6. Things can get dirty
I don't know why I even bother dressing up to go shopping. Minutes into the mall, everything is out of place, the toddler is messy and of course, he has a dirty diaper. Now I know why there are so many moms shopping in their track pants on the weekend.

I never thought I'd say this, but I really don't look forward to another marathon around the mall. Most importantly, no shopping gets done, and I'd rather do my running in the gym!

What are your experiences of shopping with little kids?

Toddlerisms 2102649687714804094

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34 comments

Kero Pinkihan said...

I had a big smile while reading your post. I felt exactly like that when my son until he went to school. I can bring him along for grocery but clothes shopping and toys is just a nightmare i have to do it alone.Nowadays, i do the shopping while he is at school.
They say it gets better with age but haven't tried it =)

Cristina Ramirez said...

Anyone that shops with a toddler should get a medal. period.

GossipMoms said...

imagine doing that with 5 kids, i did befoe but with hubby and boy it was crazy, now i only take 1 or 2 of my kids with me

Vida Marie said...

I chuckled when I read your post. Shopping with my toddler is certainly an adventure to say the least. To make things easier, I strap her in her stroller so she is forced to stay put. She doesn't like it, but I make sure she has healthy treats to snack on, which helps a bit.

thepinterestedparent said...

This is far too relatable. I laughed out loud with number 3. My daughter is not 2 yet but she knows all about candy already, thanks to dad. Grrrr. Shopping has been an impossibility since the day she was born. Even as an infant, I watched as other mothers pushed their sleeping babies through the stores, while I pushed my daughter's stroller with one hand & was bouncing her in the other.

Tarana Khan said...

So what I suspected is right, shopping will never be fun again!

Tarana Khan said...

Well said, Cristina!

Tarana Khan said...

Kudos to you, then!

Tarana Khan said...

Mine wants to get off the stroller the minute we get into a store, and then run out! It's maddening!

Tarana Khan said...

You're not alone. My kid has never slept in the stroller and I used to watch those moms shopping with sleeping babies, with awe!

Jessica Shaool said...

very cute!

Bismah Abdelgawad said...

Great post! The only way I can get through shopping with our toddler is to have hubby come along. Even then it can be a struggle at times. Especially when he wants out of the shopping cart to walk around. He can be very naughty at times :)

Tarana Khan said...

Yes, I go shopping only with the hubby. Otherwise, it's just impossible!

Jackie Law said...

Love this! With teenagers it can be fun so long as pockets are deep ;)

Meredith said...

I hate eating out with my kids too! It's so exhausting!! Thanks for linking up with me! :)

Tarana Khan said...

Haha, that's a little unsettling!

Hannah said...

Very true! It's definitely not as fun anymore!

#PoCoLo xx

Jaime Oliver said...

OMG this is fantastic honey ... i thought i was the only one that felt this way about shopping with a toddler .. in fact these days we dont shop!

Orlena said...

So true! I remember loosing my toddler shopping once. I couldn't see him behind the rows of clothes. He wasn't far away but I was so scared. Shopping for enjoyment is a distant memory now. Online shopping, however, still remains dangerous!

Victoria Welton said...

It's funny because when I first had Grace I found shopping with a baby tricky but thats nothing compared to a toddler! Complete nightmare!! Thankfully Grace wasn't too bad - I was lucky. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

Tarana Khan said...

Yes, it's very tiring! Thanks for stopping by.

Tarana Khan said...

Can you believe it? I actually try to avoid shopping myself!

Tarana Khan said...

Oh dear, mine gives me the scare by running off, too. That's why I take the hubby along!

Tarana Khan said...

Good for you! Toddlers are quite a handful, really.

Kyle Wiley said...

So true. However, it might be more enjoyable if you change your expectations on what you want to get out of the trip.

Tarana Khan said...

I try to limit shopping to one store a trip!

Orli D said...

My kids are used to going shopping with us, and there are a few tricks - bribery, electronics and McDonalds.
Each child gets a small toy if he behaves nicely, nowadays each child gets an iPhone so mummy can try on things, and if everyone behaves they get McDonalds. It's a winning system.

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks for the tips - I must put them to use!

Alexandra Mercer said...

I haven't been to a supermarket in many years, I do all my shopping online, with six children who could blame me! :)

Tarana Khan said...

I completely understand why! Thanks for stopping by.

Louise Fairweather said...

Very funny! I find clothes shops a nightmare as they like hiding in the clothes and if I try stuff on they like opening the curtain!

Tarana Khan said...

Haha, I can definitely relate to that!

Bryan Jones said...

Your experiences triggered memories of when my two were toddlers (they're now 19 and 23). I always refer to it as the phase of 'mobility without sense'. Happy days - at least in retrospect!

Tarana Khan said...

Happy days indeed...I'm not looking forward to the teenage years!

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