Running Errands With 2 Small Children

Since we now have 2 cars the grocery shopping and general errand running has mostly shifted to me.  That means I have to bring both kids with me where ever I need to go.  Not the easiest thing to do with a 2 year old and and 8 month old. Into car seats.  Out of car seats.  Into cart/wrap/stroller/arms.  Shop, pay.  Out of cart/wrap/stroller/arms.  Into car seats.  Out of car seats.  Rinse and repeat with each errand stop.

Here are my options for when we go to the grocery store:

1. Big Ive in cart kid seat + me wearing Little E in the Moby wrap

This is not a bad way to work it.  Big Ive is contained and can’t easily run off or escape or wreck havoc on too many people or product displays.  Little E is out of her car seat carrier and happily seeing everything I see.

The bad part is that I have limited ability to pick up products and anything I grab Little E tries to grab and then put in her mouth.  If something falls on the floor it is difficult for me to bend down and pick it up.  Case in Point: Big Ive was being a little stinker one grocery trip and purposely kept dropping the 50cent coin I gave her to hold.  After picking it up about 10 times I just left it on the floor.  Some other kid probably was in heaven when they found 50cents on the floor.

Also, we get A LOT more looks from EVERYONE in the store when I have a baby strapped to my person.

2.  Big Ive in car cart + Little E in the Moby wrap

You might think this would be a great idea.  It is the OPPOSITE of a great idea.

I tried this on Big Ive’s birthday and she was content to sit in the little car for about 3 minutes — the amount of time it took us to go down one aisle.  With a fully ambulatory child with her own free will and her father’s genetic wandering off-ness this option is a complete No Go.  She tried to run up and down the aisles, trying to get away from me.  She would place random products into our cart.  I gave her one bottle of soap to put in there and she thought we needed 3 more and proceeded to pick out her own.  Needless to say, this shopping trip ended very quickly and before all items could be procured.

It was impossible to get her to stay in the cart, let alone get back IN the cart once she had gotten out.  She managed to squirm out while I was pushing the cart down one aisle.  She didn’t seem to care the cart was still in motion.

3.  Big Ive on a child leash + Little E in the cart kid seat

I haven’t tried this one, yet, because I’m afraid of the looks of my fellow Germans when they see I put a leash on my child.  LOML told me I shouldn’t do this.  My mom said it might work.  Maybe I’ll try it some day when we only have a few items to get.  In theory, Big Ive would be happy to have the freedom to walk around, but not be able to just run off and Little E would be happy to not be in her carseat and I would have my arms free to pick up objects.  I’ll report back when we try this.

4. Big Ive in the cart kid seat + Little E in her car seat carrier in the big basket

We tried this today and it works really well.  Except that you have almost zero cart space available for products.  I was able to stuff a few things between Little E’s seat and the edge of the cart basket.  The bottom of the cart doesn’t have a small enough mesh with the bars so you can’t throw small objects down there.  I carried a large canvas bag to place my products into.  It got rather heavy by the time we were done and I didn’t purchase any canned good items this trip.

Also, Little E gets fed up at being in her carrier for so long so that generates a new time constraint.

5.  Put the kids in the stroller

This is good if I only have a few items to get that can all fit in the under seat basket of the stroller.  It doesn’t work for large items or lots of items.

6.  Leave both kids in the car

Just kidding.  I’m sure the Polizei would not look lightly on that.  I did leave them in the van when I went to the ATM, though.  It was quick, not hot out, both kids were happy, and I locked the doors.

7.  Leave both kids with dad / have dad do the shopping / hire someone to do the shopping / eat out every night

a. Not that he’s not fully capable of caring for both kids, I just don’t think he’d like that.  Especially since it limits our already limited time together as a family.
b. I’m sure he’s tired of being the grocery shopper.  See limited time argument above.
c. We didn’t win the lottery.
d. That doesn’t take care of cleaning supplies and paper products.
e.  A combination thereof just might work, though.  : )

Any one have any other ideas, combinations, iterations, of ways I could try to better grocery shop with the kids?  I’m open for suggestions.

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One thought on “Running Errands With 2 Small Children

  1. Courtney says:

    You’ve pretty much covered the bases. I also dread grocery shopping with the kids in tow. The last option is to meet a kind neighbor who will watch one or both of your children while you spend no more than 1 hour running errans.

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