Ever since my kids grew out of those little seats at the front of the trolley, I have avoided having them with me in the supermarket unless I have had absolutely no choice.
Why? Because supermarkets are set up to trap your little cherubs in a waist-height wonderland of shit. Bright colours, animal characters, appealing crunchy treats and mountains of surprise ball landfill. They even have magazines for kids with toys stuck to the outside of the bag. Right at the checkout…..the last hurdle after you’ve navigated the gauntlet from hell.
I know, regardless of what time of day it is, my kids will both turn into the World’s Biggest Asshole™ with a capital W for what-the-fuck-was-I-thinking. They get grabby, they get greedy, they get hungry and they get really fucking annoying. It happens EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME.
Today was extra amazing because it’s the last day of term. And that can only mean one thing. My kid is super duper tired and hanging onto her sanity by a thread. So when I found myself unable to get to the shops before the school and daycare pick-up, I simply had to take them both into Woolworths alone.
The fun started as soon as we walked in and they argued over who got which bit of free fruit. Then the next thing they saw was donuts. And cupcakes. And pineapples with the little blobs of glue that are just too damn exciting to walk past without playing with.
Next up was the first of the half price aisles. Now, they don’t give a fuck about the cheap Dynamo or the Moccona jars, they go straight for the bright boxes of Cocoa Pops, Fruit Loops and Nutri Grain. I’m now going to battle with two entranced kids whilst balancing my bags on either arm, and we’re only two rows in. I’m starting to sweat.
We then bump into some daycare and school Mums and I am hoping to hell they are going to save the performance that I know is coming for a few aisles north of that conversation. I smile. My eyes are watering. I nod as if to say “I’ve got this”. But I don’t.
Because next up comes the half price chips. Chips are meant to be cheap. Cheap as chips, right? So usually I am suckered into buying a few bags because salt is clearly better than sugar.
It’s at this point they are grabbing stuff off the shelves and begging me LOUDLY, much to the other shoppers amusement, for absolutely anything crunchy, sweet, cheesy or chewy. I stay focussed and divert their attention elsewhere while I toss the packets back on the shelf and command authority.
But I’m weakening.
pricks professionals at Woolworths mix things up a bit at the ends of the aisles, so at some point you will be forced to be the voice of reason regarding how bad Cheezels and lemonade are for you, while you toss a few litres of cheap body wash into your hand basket. This isn’t impulse shopping kids, this is survival! I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up like those of my ancestors during a hunt.
Mamma bear ain’t done yet.
The freezer food is right opposite the toys on the very last aisle. So you will get the pleasure of denying your little ones Shopkins, L.O.L. Surprise Balls and Grossery Gang toys as you also wrestle with your own emotions over chips, pizza and crumbed fish fillets.
We do not usually eat this shit, but when you’ve waded through the bowels of Woolies on a Friday night with two kids 6 and under, you are not fighting in your prime.
Fuck You Woolworths. Fuck your cunningly laid out aisles messing with our senses and fuck your free fruit which starts to taste like sand when the kids see the breakfast cereal bargains and discounted LeSnaks. Fuck your Grossery Gang and your Shopkins and your L.O.L. Surprise Balls.
And an extra long, warm and moist middle finger goes to your magazines aimed at children. My kids can’t even read properly yet and they want this shit. It’s wrong.
But don’t stop putting Pantene on sale, as my dried up pubic-like hair needs a miracle. Like shopping with kids, I’ll get those silky locks back eventually. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
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