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How to Prevent Toddler Tantrums in the Grocery Store: Just Don’t Go

Maybe it’s the “terrible twos” but these days, the Little Monkey and I struggle to survive a trip to the grocery store without a meltdown.  We were fine in the grocery store while he was young enough to just sleep.  We were still fine once he graduated to sitting in the cart.  Which he loved by the way.  I’d spin him around and play race car.  We were all good until he became a confident walker with a fiercely independent streak.  Now, he doesn’t want to sit in the cart, he wants to walk around the store on his own.

We’ve tried this.  This sometimes works if I’ve got a short list of items to buy.  More often, it results in him running at full speed away from me down the aisles.  Then, as I gather him back up, this leads to him lying on the floor screaming in the produce aisle having a full on tantrum.  And god forbid there’s a long line at the checkout.

I try to stay calm, I try to let him have his tantrum, I try to reason with him.  But, I end up stressed out and frazzled.  And, on many occasions, my response to this has been to turn and flee.  I have abandoned a cart full of groceries just to get out of the situation rather than continue to have people in the shop stare at me and my screaming child.  This does not help me put food on the table.

Enter Ocado.  Ocado lets me order my groceries online and have them delivered to my house, to my kitchen counter even.  They’re not the only store that does this but I chose them because

  • they offer groceries from Waitrose (arguably the quality leader in the UK),
  • they price match with Tesco,
  • and, my favorite bit of all, they have a brilliant iPhone app (free from the App Store).

On the Ocado iPhone app I can create running lists of items I need, search the product catalogue, order and book deliveries.  It keeps track of my favorites and things I order regularly and it syncs all of this automatically with the web-based app.  But hands down my favorite feature of the iPhone app is the barcode scanner.  Just used the last bit of butter?  Simply scan the barcode of the container and it automatically adds that item to your shopping basket.  Brilliant.  Why on earth has it taken me so long to sign up to do this?  The amount of stress I’ve eliminated from my life by not having to do a weekly shop with my toddler in tow is amazing.

So does the thought of taking your toddler grocery shopping leave you in a cold sweat?  Get thee to Ocado (or any online grocer).

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2 Comments

  • Reply Matma November 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Is this another practical example of the best of technology?

    • Reply katlightner November 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Yes, a shining example of how applied technology can make a difference in your everyday life. Love it.

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