As you can guess, a trip to the grocery store becomes an adventure with three young children. I have sat, strapped, draped, velcroed and buckled my children into those carts in many strategic and creative ways. Recently they have reached the age where they can walk along beside me if it is a quick trip in and out. Unfortunately, C thinks it is hilarious to dash off across the store from time to time, which forces me to make the decision: run after her, effectively abandoning the twins, or yell maniacally across the bread aisle that she'd better get back here right now. Neither is really a good option, so it is better to just have her ride, therefore eliminating her chance of escape.
HOWEVER, we recently visited a different grocery store. Not only did they have the nifty carts with steering wheels and the double buggys, but they had tiny miniature little carts. The perfect size for a preschooler. With adorable plastic signs that read "shopper in training". So cute. If you have one little kid. If you have three, it is a parade short only one horseman of the apocalypse. I watched my three little shoppers push their individual little carts through the sliding doors and said a quiet prayer. Simultaneously, I felt the claws come out, ready to lash at whatever stranger would undoubtedly make a snide comment.
The key, I told myself, is take it slow. The chances of taking out a fellow shopper or a large display reduce significantly if our little caravan proceeds slowly and carefully up and down the aisles and around corners.
I collected a few items here and there, alternating putting non-breakable and non-crushable items in the three mini-carts. I was thinking how smoothly everything was going as we made our last stop...the prepared food. I was looking over various entrees and salads to bring home for dinner when hell broke loose. I heard B yell "vroom vroom" and I knew it was on. Within a second they were racing their mini carts around the display of fresh breads. The giggling erupted into fits of laughter as they circled the olive bar, and absolute hysteria ensued as they crashed into the large island full of various barebequed items.
There is no calm way to fix this situation. There are three mini carts flipped on their sides, with various spilled items rolling along on the floor. Many of which I do not ever remember putting into a mini cart, so obviously my kids were adding to their spoils on the sly. I know I had no need for flaxseed oil or Rave hairspray.
The next few minutes were kind of a blur. I know there were various department managers involved, and I know everyone was doing their best to be extremely helpful and expedite the rest of our trip. I am pretty sure they opened a register just for us. And we had about 4 people offering to help us out to our truck. We made it out without injuring anyone or causing major destruction. So I guess it was a successful trip, even if I didn't get everything on my list and ended up with a few groceries I didn't need. And the kids had a blast.