Doing the shopping in the school holidays is as painless as having your fingers slammed in the car door. I know this for a fact because I experienced both of these things during these school holidays and the memory will possibly scar me for life.
Shopping with kids in tow can pretty much go either way.
They can behave like angels, helping you and speaking nicely to each other and generally acting like those beautiful children who usually belong to someone else.
You know the perfect kids who you want to corner in the soft drink aisle and force feed red cordial to so that they go completely wild and wipe the smug smile of their parents face...
OMG did I just say that out loud?
They can behave like escaped animals and run riot racing up and down the aisles, playing a handball championship right in front of the shelves holding bottles of salad dressing and hiding on an empty shelve and grab at your legs when you walk past. They can have a punch up over who gets to pick the breakfast cereal, use each other for target practise with the fruit and veg hose and hide in the freezer and scare the beejezus out of anyone who tries to grab a packet of peas.
This particular day my boys chose the latter.
As I hauled two of them out of the freezer on my way to the checkouts, I literally had steam coming out of my ears and was THIS close to tears when I heard a deep belly laugh from behind me.
I spun around ready to eyeball whoever was daring to make fun of me, and came face to face with a fierce muscly looking bald dude.
"Ahhhhh you got your hands full there lady" he said to me and I prepared myself for the lecture about how I should have better control of my children and how in 'his day' that behaviour would not have been acceptable.
Only it didn't come.
Instead he smiled at me and chuckled "You gotta love kids. Watching them has just made my day - thank you".
"What?" I stuttered in disbelief.
"Those kids have spirit, I love it" he said "I bet they are a barrel of laughs"
"Ummmm I guess" I replied in shock as I looked over to where they where they were shaking the bottles of soft drink at the checkout.
"I can remember driving my own poor mum nuts" reminisced the bald muscly dude with a big smile on his face. "Kids will be kids right?"
I liked this guy.
I liked him very much.
So much so that I chose to tell him about the time the older two boys dared the younger one to stick his tongue on the freezer at Aldi and he roared with laughter.
"ha ha ha" he guffawed with tears "They are great, you have some fantastic kids there lady. Enjoy" And with a ruffle on the youngest boy's head he walked off with his cat food and toilet paper.
I SO did not expect that.
I was so busy losing it at them for not being perfectly behaved that I somehow forgot they are just kids being kids and that kids generally aren't perfectly behaved when grocery shopping are they?
Have I become so scared of what other people think that I am trying to stop my kids from just being kids?
I mean, I'm not saying that it is OK to let your kids run totally wild like a bunch of freaky delinquents, and sure, the freestyle trolley gliding was probably them taking it a little too far.. but were they really hurting anyone?
If it were other peoples kids, would I be laughing?
Has being a parent made me lose my sense of humour?
Thanks to the fierce looking bald dude, my boys had a reprieve that day and when the lady with the little baby in her trolley quietly sucking on her rusk gave me the 'Oh really" head shake as my kids rode the Guide dog money box, I did what any respectable adult would do...
I poked my tongue out at her and then winked at the muscly bald dude two checkouts over.
Do your kids go wild in the supermarket?
What sort of mischief do they get up to?
Ever had a stranger tell you off because of your kids?