I used to have a fear of grocery shopping, but over time it's softened into mild anger, displacing the panic attack it used to induce. As such, I always wondered who the hell was mentally deranged enough to take small children grocery shopping. Unless I suppose you are a military family and your spouse has been deployed overseas or similar. But if you have an able-bodied partner or family member residing within an 80-mile radius, why you'd choose to bring your kids along on such an already unpleasant task is beyond my wildest imagination. Really, isn't grocery shopping a big enough ass-paining without pushing around kids who are hollering for a big bag of Skittles or want to tear into a box of Cap'n Crunch?
In Alabama, the kids had their first Publix (the Jewel equivalent for Chicagoans) AND Walmart experiences. Before that, I guess they thought food magically appeared in our house. The Walmart in Birmingham, Alabama is NICE. Shockingly nice. I could have wandered around there all day long in a discount-shopping tizzy, unlike the time I went in Chicago and almost stopped at a gas station on the way home to take a French shower in the public bathroom.
So in addition to learning this month that Southern mothers need a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy critiquing of their toddlers, I found out it IS possible to take kids shopping. Possible, not pleasurable.
PS -- What is the etiquette regarding letting toddlers eat bananas you haven't quite paid for yet? The cashier seemed a bit put-off when I introduced two empty peels along with our groceries.
PSS -- I don't recall supermarkets having bribes such as balloons and carts masquerading as cars when we were little. When did this trend start?