If It Takes Junk Food Bribes To Get Through A Shopping Trip With Toddlers, So Be It

by Clint Edwards
Clint Edwards

On the left of this photo is my toddler eating a Fruit Roll-Up in the produce section.

On the right is her eating a cookie in the bakery on the opposite side of the store.

So here’s the strategy:

I take this adorable little handful to the store each Saturday. We get the pink car cart because that’s the one she insists on. Not the black car cart or the blue car cart — that would get me killed.

Only the pink one.

Next to the apples is a display of Fruit Roll-Ups. I give her one, and it becomes a ticking time bomb. I have until it’s finished to get all the groceries on my list between the produce aisle and the bakery section (where they give free cookies to kids). If she’s scraped that plastic liner clean of mashed fruit before we make it, she turns into a screaming sticky-faced A-hole.

And 95% of the time, this strategized routine works like a charm. If you know anything about shopping with toddlers, you know these are unbeatable odds.

I’m not sure exactly when this started, and I don’t care because it works — very well.

Now, I’m sure there is a sanctimommy or daddy out there reading this, ready to chime in with some amazing advice on how to make my kid behave at the store without employing some elaborate Fruit Roll-Up/cookie strategy. If you are that person, stop reading now. This isn’t for you — because you’re a punk.

It’s for those of you with some absurd routine that makes going to the store with a toddler — one of the most irritating things in the history of ever — just a little easier. It’s for those of you who feel a little more confident, if you have a plan.

I get you. I understand. Kids are wacky. They like consistency and they like treats, and if getting through the store without a fit means a pink car cart, slapping the wrapper of an open Fruit Roll-Up on the checkout stand, and a toddler with sticky, cookie-mashed hair, then so be it.

Because although it all sounds crazy, you survived another trip to the store. And that my friends makes you a champion.