Parking in supermarket car parks used to involve a long walk to the door. Not anymore folks, as long as that child is in the car with you and there’s space you can get right on the front row. All that extra space means you can drive in forwards with ease. The days of arsing about worrying you’re going to scrape the car next to you are gone. It is so exciting you will want to take the kids with you whenever you go shopping (hold that thought)
Getting there and parking up
Picture the scene. It’s pissing it down and you are going to get soaked. You’ve already got muddy pants from putting the kids in the car, and they think it’s funny to make footprints on your legs. You spent that long strapping them in that your back is soaked and your front is bone dry. By the time you get to the supermarket you already look like a fool and a shopping trip with one or more children is ahead. You pray to the parking God that one of the fabulous, front row, middle-finger-at-the-rest-of-the-world parent and child spaces is free.
There are of course, the idiots in flash cars (or just general prats) that insist on parking in these spaces with no kids. They will fill you with rage, especially if they take the last space. Be sure to unleash hell given the opportunity, questioning their morals and whether or not they are really human.
You arrive and are in luck. There is a space. They’re so easy to get into you are still doing 30mph into the space.* Parking up is a breeze and you successfully transfer the kids from the car into the shop.
Shopping with children
Ok so shopping with children is a bit like Russian roulette. The number of trips I’ve had where I’ve been constantly on edge, having bouts of supermarket anxiety because it feels like PG is about to have a full blown strop in the middle of Tesco is going up monthly. Thankfully she likes to ‘help’ with the shopping (she particularly loves trying to use the scanner when we do scan-and-pack), but we have had our fair share of shopping trip meltdowns.
The time she threw herself down in the drinks aisle and blocked little old Mary and several other shoppers from passing because she – a 2 year old who think she’s bloody Popeye – couldn’t carry six 2-litre bottles of Evian, is perhaps the most memorable.
To try and make your trip as easy as possible, here’s a list of dos and don’ts!
DO pick your shopping time carefully. Mid-morning on a Saturday is really not an ideal time to try and navigate your way around a supermarket with a whingeing child in tow.
DO stop at the free-fruit-for-kids stand and let your child pick some fruit. If you’re fast enough at shopping you might just make it to the till before that banana is finished.
DON’T give in when your child repeatedly tells you they want to walk round the shop and they’ll be really well behaved. It’s probably bullshit and you’ll be there all day.
DON’T make your child too presentable. Really young children in particular have this strange old lady magnetism and the cuter they look, the more old ladies you’ll attract. “Oh isn’t she lovely. How old is she?” type thing. Piss off Doris can’t you see this is hard enough without you interfering. You might have all day to shop but we sure as hell don’t
DO try to at least make an effort to make the shopping experience fun for the kids. We sing songs at the moment as we go round, thought don’t sing too loud otherwise Doris will hear you. PG loves paying contactless and helping load the conveyor belt from the trolley!
So there we have it. A crash course in supermarket shopping with little kids. If in doubt, go by yourself!
*Please DON’T drive round car parks at 30mph and then try and blame me when it goes wrong