Mom Humor: Grocery Shopping with a Toddler in 25 Easy Steps

Once you are a mom, you will experience so many little joys with your child. Grocery shopping will NOT be one of them. Any toddler mom will tell you that this ranks on their list of least favorite activities, right up there with getting a root canal without pain medication, and getting a pap smear in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. I have put together a list for grocery shopping with a toddler, so you know exactly what your trip will entail. Enjoy!

Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

Step 1

Before leaving the house, make sure everyone is wearing clothes. Spend 30 minutes arguing with the toddler about what clothes are acceptable, then finally give in. If they want to be seen in public wearing a tutu and rain boots, that is their prerogative. Just one of the joys of grocery shopping with a toddler.

Step 2

Spend an additional 40 minutes arguing with the child about wearing shoes. Yes, they have to wear them. Tell them to put the shoes on. Watch impatiently while they do everything BUT put the shoes on their feet. Argue some more. Be overcome with frustration and shove those little feet into the shoes.

Step 3

Fill your purse or diaper bag with enough snacks and beverages to supply a small army for an entire week. After all, you will be gone for 45 minutes. Wouldn’t want your dear darling to starve, right?

Step 4

Locate your purse, your wallet, and your car keys. If you are anything like me, these 3 items are never located together. I blame the dreaded mom-brain. I have found my wallet in the refrigerator, and my keys tucked into my shoe. No idea why. Must have been one of those days.

Step 5

Lug your toddler out to your car quickly before they have a chance to remove their shoes or any item of clothing.

Step 6

Buckle your sweet angel into their car seat. They will typically be squirming, twisting, and flailing, because it is physically impossible to remain still for the 30 seconds it takes mommy to snap them in.

Step 7

Unbuckle child from the seat and take them back into the house. It seems they have a sudden and urgent need to poop immediately. Even though you asked them 50 times before walking out the door.

Step 8

Spend the next 20 minutes pacing in the bathroom asking your child if they are, in fact, done yet. Of course, they say they aren’t.

Step 9

After another 10 infuriating minutes and no poop, drag the toddler back out to the car and buckle them back into their seat. Time to go grocery shopping with a toddler.

Step 10

Argue the whole way to the grocery store about a variety of toddler problems, including but not limited to: they are too hot, too cold, too windy, the harness is too tight, they’re hungry, thirsty, itchy, sleepy, or bored.

Step 11

Finally pull into the parking lot at the store! Hooray! You are a third of the way done grocery shopping with a toddler!

Step 12

Argue again with child regarding the need to hold hands in the parking lot, as they repeatedly try, unsuccessfully, to pull away from your grasp.

Step 13

Once inside the store, confine your toddler to the shopping cart immediately, before any hijinks can ensue.

Step 14

Watch in horror as they immediately touch and lick every single park of the shopping cart within reach. Why? Just why?

Step 15

Hastily give the cart a quick wipe down with a baby wipe. Probably too little, too late, but at least it helps you feel marginally better.

Step 16

Rush quickly through the aisles of the store, praying you magically pass the cereal, toy, and fruit snack section without your child noticing.

Step 17

Listen to the whining, complaining, or full on tantrum because they spotted one (or all) of the above-mentioned sections and didn’t get what they so desperately “need.”

Step 18

Once you have collected all the items from your list (you hope, since you left the actual list on your kitchen counter), head for the check-out line.

Step 19

Deal with another freak-out as you stand in line for what seems like 12 years, and your child begs and pleads for a candy bar that you’ve said “No” to 1000 times already.

Step 20

Rush out of the store, and to your car as quickly as possible, before someone calls CPS because your child is screaming like someone is murdering them.

Step 21

Stash kid in the car, securely buckled into car seat. Yell and cry all you want, kid. Mommy is loading the groceries.

Step 22

Stuff all the bags into the back of your car and hop back in.

Step 23

Get into the car and close the door. Quickly detect the odor wafting up from the back seat and realize your toddler finally pooped… in their pants. Ugh!

Step 24

Briefly debate on letting let sit in the mess until you get home, then gag on the scent, and realize this “code brown” must be dealt with immediately.

Step 25

Once “Poop-gate 2018” has been handled, drive home as quickly as you can safely manage. Get your toddler in the house, and pray that its almost nap time.


And that, my friends, is how to go grocery shopping with a toddler. Not for the faint of heart now, is it?

This may not be your exact experience every time, but I promise at least 5 of these things will occur on each outing. Have kids, they said. It will be fun, they said. Yeah, right. Just never ever take them out of the house.

What has been your funniest experience grocery shopping with a toddler? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

For more humor, check these out:

A Guide to Cleaning for Stay-at-Home Moms

How to Properly Do Laundry

Things You Never Thought You’d Say as a Parent

You Know You’re a Parent When…

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About Lisa Wingerter

I'm a 32 year old, married, stay-at-home-mom from the Metro Detroit area

View all posts by Lisa Wingerter →

39 Comments on “Mom Humor: Grocery Shopping with a Toddler in 25 Easy Steps”

  1. Very funny! 90% of the time I try to go grocery shopping without my twin four-year old boys. Last week, I was brave and took them. It was some sort of miracle because they were so good and actually helpful!

  2. This is too funny and so true!! Grocery shopping with kids is an interesting feat no matter what the age is!

  3. My toddler use to be obsessed with belly buttons, and when we would go shopping anyone who talked to her she would ask to see their belly button! HAHA Now at 2.5 years old she doesn’t want to sit in the cart and we had the talk about there being bad people n the world now she yells “you don’t take me away” to everyone. Embarrassing but she makes me proud.

  4. This couldn’t be more true! I too always try to pass through the snack section unnoticed but at the end I give in just to keep them quiet. Once I let them eat the apples before I paid for them and the cashier felt so sorry he told me I can keep the whole bag for free and he didn’t charge me. He must have through this poor woman needs a break lol

  5. Haha! I’d forgotten the licking part! I have a 4 year old and she still goes to the supermarket in various fancy dress up clothes (Ariel the mermaid, Elsa, tutu and wellies) but I love it!

  6. Seriously Hilarious! I’ve gone grocery shopping with my toddler. I now have shipt or amazon prime deliver my groceries. Saves me money and stress!

  7. Haha that picture of your son is wonderful! And wonderfully encapsulates the experience of shopping with a toddler. I love how our grocery store has a fruit stand that contains free bananas and clementines to keep the little people happy. Works like a charm!
    -Laurel @

  8. Very funny! Yesterday we arrived at the store and realized the three year old had no shoes on. We had groceries delivered instead. Hahahaha

  9. Sooooooooooo true (and so hilarious . . . since it’s not happening to me right now this very second!). Thanks for the really real depiction, and the laughs!

  10. I’m not even ashamed about the number of times I’ve just straight up opened bags of snacks in the store and brought up empty bags to the register.

  11. Truth! All truth. I think the shoes and rain boots are the most truthful for us. We actually just had to force my son to wear shoes to the airport because he wanted rain boots. He was dressed in underwear, rain boots and a coat ready for his airplane trip. Lol. Couldn’t agree to that one.

  12. This is all true. And then, when they’re teenagers and can actually be helpful, you’ll want to buy them a shirt to wear to the grocery store that says, “I’m only here for the donuts.” (But you’ll still be glad they want to go to the store with you!)

  13. 🙂 I remember those days. The only thing that changes when they get older is that you have to do the arguing about what they are wearing/not wearing and to get them in the car EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY for the school run. Sigh.

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