This is why I don't like the supermarket: a toddler's viewpoint

 Photo: Getty Images

Dear Mum,

I love you very much and I don't mind going shopping every now and again. BUT please do not take me shopping on a regular basis, and when we do can we please keep it short and snappy.

I really want to touch everything because that's the way I learn. I want to pick up everything, explore their texture and the sounds it makes when I shake it, and I am always curious about how it smells.

I also really want things that I see. Isn't that what shopping is all about? Buying things?  And I know that if I cry and whinge loud enough and for a really long time, that sometimes you will give in to me, so no time is too long when I know I could get what I want.

It is especially hard when we are going through the cash register and all those chocolates and lollies and Kinder Surprises are staring me in the face, calling out my name. I don't understand why you can't hear that.

It's also good fun to play hide and seek in the clothes because I am small enough to hide and no one will ever find me. I'm not really sure why you get so angry with me, I was only playing.

When we go shopping I have to be so good and not touch anything, sit still, and behave like an adult. I really do try hard but after 45 minutes I have reached my absolute maximum time to do so. Did you also know that unless I'm in a pram it could possibly be 4km of walking from one end of the mall to the other, and my tiny legs get oh so tired.

When you tell me exactly where we are going and what we are doing at least I know it shouldn't be too long and I just have to learn to be patient. I love it when we can talk and not rush and stop to look at lots of different things. I do get very sad and cranky when I have to run after you and try to keep up and everything feels like a rush and then I'm exhausted and I have to tell you about my exhaustion. Yes, here comes a tantrum

Could we please go out and ride a bike or feed the ducks or just run in the park for an hour before shopping and please when you say 'just one more thing' - three shops ago - it makes me really sad.


So here are my requests, Mum, in my simple words:

  • let me play first
  • explain where we are going
  • tell me how long it will take and stick to your word
  • please bring water and maybe a couple of healthy snacks
  • give me some jobs to do whilst we are shopping because I really want to help you. I want you to be proud of me and know that I am learning.

But most importantly ... when all goes to pot, get out! Leave everything and abandon ship. I won't mind at all.

This post was first published by Back on Track Consultancy. Sydney-based Donna Sheppard and Angela Hadzipasic are passionate about educating and empowering parents, childcare staff and nannies with the everyday challenges they are experiencing with their 2 to 6-year olds.