Adventures in Grocery Shopping

It has officially happened, darn it. I unfortunately feel like I can now say I was “that mom” in the store. The one who clearly has either only half a brain or simply no idea how to take a small child to a public place.  The one who lets her child run around in the store and attempts (but fails at) bribery. The one whose child makes everyone laugh, as long as the audience only has to be around the situation for a minute or two.

And you know what? It was actually a bit fun. Granted, I have no plans to attempt that fiasco anytime soon, but it was an exciting adventure nonetheless!

A quick trip inside Hy-Vee turned into my exercise for the day. I somehow (stupidly) thought I could get by with carrying Jessa and grabbing a basket. I only needed two or three items for a get-together we were going to, so this would be a five minute trip at most (yeah, right). It was only a minute or two before I realized that, although I can carry J when she is cooperating, she is heavy when she squirms!  I also discovered a little hand can slip through adult fingers very easily. I discovered that children running in a serpentine pattern (Land of the Lost remake anyone?…Anyone??) really can get away from you! Finally, I discovered how quickly those small hands can grab every item you DON’T need when you are debating between two kinds of potato salad.

As annoying as these discoveries were at the time, I also realized some other things while being “that mom”. I realized that somehow my little baby is now a big kid who can run around in a store! I realized that a quick trip into the store is never quick enough when you have an 18-month-old in tow. I realized that, after multiple “no, no, no!” responses, a strategic “yes” can make an unfortunate situation a bit better. I also realized that it is fun to see my little girl act like a “big kid”, whether I am ready for it or not!

What was my “yes” this time around? After forcing Jessa to put back a few containers of salsa and realizing that our potato salad choice was too heavy for her to carry, I finally said “yes” when she picked up some pitas.  My whining, upset little girl suddenly looked proud to be helping Mommy. She very easily followed me away from the cooler and took my hand to walk through the store. Jessa let me help her put the pitas up on the counter so that we could pay for them.  I only wish I could say she was so cooperative when being carried out of the store and through the parking lot!

For those of you wondering about these magical pitas that we DID buy, here you go! Jessa won’t take a bite, but I will gladly gobble them up! 🙂 IMG_3751


While I don’t plan to make running through Hy-Vee a regular occurrence, there is something reassuring about knowing a trip like this, although not ideal, can be done. My child CAN make it through a store without being a (complete) terror. I CAN get over the looks from people who think I am crazy. I CAN enjoy the smiles from those who find an 18-month-olds antics to be a humorous break in their shopping trip.  For now, though, I will likely stick to using a cart.

Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


  1. What an adorable story! I actually remember how rewarding it is to see your baby growing up right before your eyes even if it may look chaotic to those around you. You are teaching her big people skills that she will use for the rest of her life!


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