A few weeks ago my parents gave us a van, and we were a two-car family finally. That lasted two weeks, then I wrecked our first van, so we’re back to being a one-car family until Josh has a saturday free to work on it (that should happen in about 5 years). Having a second car makes life so much easier, but we’ve shared one car for so long, I don’t mind it–much. The one thing that’s stressful about it is having to compress all of our errands into one day.
We left the house about 8:30 this morning trying to have good attitudes. Honestly, the kids are pretty good sports about errands. After several embarrassing grocery store meltdowns (and that’s just me), I’ve learned a few tricks to cope with grocery store stress.
1. Bribes. This morning it was McDonald’s sausage biscuits and orange juice for breakfast. It’s a lot to ask a 4-year old and a 21-month old to spend three hours running errands, so I figure they should get something fun out of it. If they go into it feeling like they’re being punished, then the whole morning is shot.
2. Rewards. If they obey they get to pick out one treat. This also stops Emmeline from asking for every single thing on the shelf. Today she picked ice cream, which we ate for lunch as soon as we got home.
3. Involvement. Emmeline gets into trouble when she’s bored, so I try to find ways for her to help.
4. Low expectations. This is the most important one for me and also the most difficult. I tend to get upset about every little thing. Then I get wound up and lose my temper, so I have to constantly remind myself to let things go. I try to go in expecting Gareth to scream and Emmeline to run off a couple of times. But as long as no one gets kidnapped or run over by a car, and they don’t pull all the food off the shelf, it’s probably not a big deal.
5. Avoid the juice aisle.