How I’ve Made Grocery Shopping into a Fun Outing

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Shopping at the grocery store
Shopping at the grocery store

Life with a toddler means constantly being on the go. Toddlers have an abundance of energy and are constantly looking for different ways to have fun. Now that we’re new residents of Kingsville, TX, we’ve found creative ways to keep our son, Maxon, entertained. Kingsville is a cozy town full of outdoor adventures and possibilities, but on a hot, Texas day, we have to be creative with what we can do indoors. Some of our favorites include heading to the local library to pick out a good book, thrifting, and grocery shopping. Yes, you heard me right… grocery shopping.

When Maxon was born, I immediately began to loathe grocery shopping. I probably only took Maxon with me to the grocery store in his first year of life a total of three times. The anxiety of taking a small infant to the grocery store was just too much for me to handle. Will my son have a massive blowout in aisle 3? Will he begin crying inconsolably, even though he’s been fed, in aisle 4? Could he pick up some new germs and get sick? All these questions were just too much for me to handle, so I signed myself up for a yearly grocery delivery subscription and called it a day. Grocery delivery was my go-to up until we moved to Kingsville and I came to find out our new address wasn’t eligible for the beloved delivery option.

At first, I was devastated. I didn’t think I could handle going back to grocery shopping the traditional way. I loved the ease and convenience of simply searching my grocery items and clicking “add to cart.” Now, I would have to walk through the aisles with a toddler and wait in the checkout line only to realize I’d forgotten a handful of items on the other side of the store. But I slowly eased into my new form of shopping. In the beginning, I opted for curbside pickup, but I soon realized my son was missing out on an opportunity for an outing.

As ridiculous as it sounds, we have now turned grocery shopping into a fun outing for Maxon. When he turned 2 years old, he was gifted a shopping cart which he immediately fell in love with. He would zoom through the apartment pretending his grocery cart was a race car. Eventually, his plastic cart started to give out due to his constant use and the tires would pop off until one day when they didn’t pop back into place. His beloved toy had been worn out too much and I knew it had to be replaced, so I searched the internet for a more durable, metal replacement.

Maxon’s new shopping cart is the 2.0 version of his original shopping cart and could pass as an H-E-B replica. This new cart is built to last, and he loves it even more. I now happily plan outings to the grocery store because I now see it as a win-win. I get my grocery shopping done while Maxon has a blast following behind me with his little shopping cart. He loves being able to help me pick out items and place them in his very own cart. It just brings him so much happiness and I’m more than happy to get off the car now so my son can have this fun experience. H-E-B is especially our favorite spot to go shopping because the cart is nearly identical to the H-E-B carts and Maxon really resembles all the other shoppers. Plus, at checkout, the cashiers always make sure Maxon gets his “Buddy Bucks” to play the games near the exit of the store. It’s a fun experience for Maxon while getting important errands taken care of.

Aside from Maxon having the time of his life, it’s so heart-warming to see all the local shoppers eyes light up when they see Maxon turn the aisle. It’s definitely an unexpected surprise that brings so many people joy. On one of our recent shopping adventures, an elderly woman stopped me to have a conversation about Maxon and told me these moments are the moments she lives for. We’ve had so many heart-felt conversations and it really brings me joy to know that our little grocery shopping outings are also putting a smile on the face of others. I guess you could call it a win-win-win. I get my grocery shopping done, Maxon brings joy to other shoppers, and yes, Maxon usually walks away with a toy because I just can’t say no.

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Katarina moved to the Coastal Bend area in 2014 to pursue her degree in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. She met her husband, Mike, her junior year of college while working as a resident advisor for on-campus housing. Katarina’s senior year was full of monumental life moments including getting pregnant, getting engaged, giving birth to her son Maxon, and graduating all in the span of 10 months. If it’s anything she learned during this time it’s how resilient women are through life’s ups and downs. Having suffered from postpartum depression, Katarina has made it her mission to shed light on perinatal mood disorders so that not one more woman suffers alone. During her free time, Katarina enjoys tumbling classes, blogging (personal IG blog handle @average.joe.momma), advocating, and teaching her son about all the wonders of the world.

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