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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Grocery Shopping

Uploaded: Apr 26, 2014
It is a rare occasion when I go grocery shopping alone. I almost always have my son in tow (in my arms, in a carrier, in the cart, pushing his own cart, in his stroller...whatever works on a particular day).

Most of the time he makes the experience more enjoyable...we sing songs on the way over (or the same song over and over again) and talk about the different foods we see. He spots every Elmo in the store (there are many) and tries to swat at the low-hanging signs in the frozen foods sections.

I used to get stopped all the time when people wanted to sneak-a-peak at my sleeping newborn. But even with a toddler, we still occasionally get stopped by strangers - a brand new grandfather, a very excited grandmother-to-be, or a mother who just sent her youngest child to college. My son loves saying "hi" and "bye" to these other shoppers and the checkout people (and anyone else who will listen).

I was touched by a story I read earlier this month about how two working parents turned grocery shopping into a very special experience for their son. Ours is special in it's own ordinary way, I don't go out of my way to entertain my son, we do what comes organically to us on that particular shopping trip. But these parents have cleverly turned grocery shopping into not only a way to buy food but also a storytime, a restaurant, and a scavenger hunt. What precious memories for all!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Anonymous1, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

As a non-parent, I do enjoy reading your blog. I recall as a child, enjoying trips with my mother to the grocery. I remember a lot of 'no's'. "Don't touch", "no you can't have that", and, "put that back."

Reading the blog post linked here, I shudder.

The child carts.

Having been blindsided by so many wayward children at Piazza's, my feet have been run into, and my shins. The mother seeming blissfully unaware, each time I would say aloud, "Ow", either they would glance or ignore. Never an apology or did I hear her ask her child to stay closer to her.

I am there to get the necessary items in the day, and go home, without injury. The grocery store is difficult enough to navigate with the 'specials' in the middle of aisles, along with the narrowness of aisles, and amount of people in the stores.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 26, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Anonymous1 - Thank you for being a reader and for commenting. I'd love to get more readers' opinions about the child shopping carts. You bring up some great points. I agree, there is definitely a time and a place to use them. During peak hours and in stores with narrow aisles, it's usually best to steer clear of the child carts.

Personally, we save the child carts for a special treat, such as those rare occasions when I have three items on my list and it is mid-morning on a Tuesday. It's sad when some parents' fail to properly supervise/discipline their children or don't apologize for their accidents. I'm sure that most people want to get in and out of the grocery store as quickly as possible (and definitely without any bumps or bruises).

Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 6:53 am

Your piece stirs up memories of being the kid on the shopping trip. Thank you for blogging, Cheryl!

Before you know it, your son will be pushing the big shopping cart and as your family grows (or grows up), you may need him to push a second cart. In the "olden" days, $50 filled two carts with groceries -- no disposable diapers back then, giant boxes of detergent instead. No microwaves either so the only frozen items were the vegetables (fresh not available) and ice cream.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Thank you for your continued support LJ. I remember grocery shopping with my dad and pushing the second cart. Teenagers eat a lot of food! And there wasn't an option to get the non-perishables so easily online. I'm sure the days of my son pushing the child shopping carts will go by in the blink of an eye. Thanks again for sharing your memories.

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