Independence: Aisle 4

Just look at the joy on this child’s face. She LIVES to shop, but the poor kid is saddled with a mother who detests shopping.
However, I have to wear clothes (in public anyway) and feed my family, so shopping is a necessary chore. I’ve tried pawning it off on my spouse, but he can’t shop himself out of a paper (or plastic, or cloth reusable) bag. I sent him to the grocery store one morning for apple juice, bread, and milk and he came home with grapefruit juice (what kid drinks grapefruit juice??), bagels, almond milk, and a pie. Close, but yet so frightfully far.
I’m coming to embrace the whole grocery delivery thing. I fought against it at first, concerned it would it cost more. Turns out I spend less since I don’t end up with $50 worth of impulse purchased potato chips, too good to pass up deals, and whatever else I might have a craving for in the moment.

When I’m organized and on the ball, I plan ahead and get groceries delivered.

Other times, I hit the supermarket so Avery can revel in her shopping happy place. She and I both push our own carts. Let your child command their own cart and watch the smile break across their face (and the sweat break across the face of the old lady dodging your enthusiastic child’s runaway cart).
The grocery store boasts educational opportunities galore. From reading the list and product names, to planning a route and itemizing, to basic math concepts like categorizing or adding, to social skills of all kinds—it’s all there in front of you.
Avery seeks out certain things for me, empties the cart onto the conveyor belt and “pays.” It’s like Wonderland for her, but with less rides, and more canned goods.
Avery has started bringing her purse with her every time we go out just in case we stop at a store. I have to stop telling her how “cute” it is. This is serious business for her.
A few weeks ago at the Dollar Store check-out I suddenly realized I didn’t have my Interac card. I’m a loser baby. So while I rifled through my purse, sweating and looking for loose change, Avery pulled out her pink plastic pretend debit card and said, “S’okay mummy. I’ll pay.”
Last week she brought her purse, pretend debit card, and real birthday money to Mastermind Toys to shop. She browsed and selected a few items. Then when she lined up to pay and she couldn’t be more excited.
The items she chose to buy were sweet (a butterfly finger puppet, Hex Bugs to race with her brother, and a box of magnetic sand). But it was the look of sheer pride on her face that really got me. It wasn’t the toys she bought that made her puff up with pride, it was that she did it on her own. Like a big girl. Priceless.

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