The supermarket shopping. Sigh.
I think it would be fair to say I dread supermarket day. It's just so... boring. I'm not one of those people who wanders for ages through every aisle in the supermarket. I'm more the type to race around, only entering the aisles absolutely necessary, and grab only the things on the list.
This may be a genetic thing. My Mum has always been the same, with the mantra 'If it's not on the list, it's not going in the trolley'. But when the supermarket shopping became Dad's job, we were all very keen to volunteer as helpers. Dad would wander around, looking at various things, but the first task was always a trip to the chocolate aisle, and we were allowed to eat a chocolate bar as we walked around (we'd keep the wrapper and pay for it!).
The best thing about food shopping since I've had Abbey is being able to go mid-week. No more weekends battling supermarket car parks and busy checkouts is a relief, especially with a little one in tow. Although, going to the supermarket with Abbey has been very simple... until now. As a baby, I'd put her in a trolley with a baby seat and when she could sit by herself she was propped in the front of a normal trolley. Easy.
The last few weeks, she's decided she'd rather 'help' me. This 'help' comes in the form of pushing the trolley and grabbing things from the shelf to put in the trolley. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
To be fair, she's been pretty restrained with this and will generally listen when I explain that we don't need that particular thing and she needs to help me push the trolley to get the next thing. Usually, a toddler is pretty willing to go along with things if they think they're actually helping and the adult involved couldn't possibly push a trolley without their help!
This week's trip to the supermarket was made even more interesting by the fact that I decided not to get a trolley. We didn't need much, so I grabbed a basket instead. But Abbey desperately wanted to carry it, so I gave her one as well. That way, I figured, I could give her a few light things to carry in her basket and I'd take all the heavy items. Simple.
And it was simple - to us. Even though the baskets were quite large, Abbey managed really well. She had to stop every now and then and put it down, and she almost tripped over it a couple of times, but that isn't something she's fussed by (her bravery and pain threshold is a whole other post!). I offered to help her a couple of things, but that was the only thing that upset her. I think she was actually quite offended by my offers! so I stopped doing that. We were going along quite well, if very slowly.
Until other people decided to stick their noses in. They started glaring at me, saying things like 'That's mean, making her carry that' and 'She's struggling, you know'.
Never one to take those sort of comments well, I responded with a simple, 'Mind your own business and don't be so rude'. But the remarks really upset me. Why on earth did people feel the need to judge me? (As an aside, this is becoming a regular occurrence everywhere Steve or I take Abbey - every outing lately seems to gather rude comments. Whether she's walking, in the pusher, in a carrier on her Dad's back, carrying things, not carrying things, whatever it is, someone feels the need to tell us we're doing the wrong thing.)
Is it because they have no knowledge of toddlers and their absolute need to feel some independence and copy the actions of adults? Is it because they've forgotten what it was like when their kids were little? (for the life of me, I can't imagine ever forgetting these toddler years though!) Neither is any excuse - it's just simply not their place to comment.
Or do they really think I decided a fun outing would be to walk really, really slowly around the supermarket, bringing my toddler just to make her carry all the stuff? Clearly, having her be my slave and carry three items barely even weighing a few grams was my plan all along (she says with an evil chuckle).
Perhaps I should go back to the genetics of supermarket shopping. I remember when my younger brother was little and throwing a tantrum in the middle of the shop, Mum gave him a little smack. A woman walking past gasped in horror and told Mum she shouldn't smack her child. Mum turned around and said, 'If you're not careful, I'll give you one too!'
Perhaps I should have told the people to keep their opinions to themselves or else I'd make them be my slaves too! Next time...