When a Big Win Blossoms From a Little Shopping Trip
Taking my 11-year-old Angel, Juliana to the store with me is a trip that always has the potential to lead to an unexpected or unwelcome adventure. However, I received a pleasant surprise when we headed to the store on a recent hot summer day.
We made it through the entire visit without any hiccups. There were no meltdowns. She didn’t damage anything or toss a carton of blueberries as she did a few years ago. That was a shopping trip I have yet to forget.
Instead, I got a calm, happy girl who seemed pleased to run around the store with me. She was patient as I went up and down the aisles searching for items I couldn’t find. This was a far cry from past store visits we’ve had that saw Juliana fuss so much that shopping was almost impossible. It would also take a lot of work to keep her occupied. As she got older, the challenge became getting her to walk beside me as I tried to hold on to her and the cart.
However, if I’m heading to a store that provides a Caroline’s Cart, much of this wrangling is solved. Unfortunately, for this outing, we were at a store without one. Still, Juliana walked with me and even helped navigate the cart a little. I know that my husband helps Juliana practice her cart skills when they are at the store. This is also a skill that she has practiced during community-based instruction at school. It looks like all that practice is finally paying off.
For many parents, being able to walk calmly through a store with your child isn’t a big deal. But it’s a huge deal for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I really brace myself for mishaps. Secondly, there are so many things to manage during most outings. And those first two things have shown me that any trip is likely to take a little longer, which adds stress.
Because of this, I try to plan longer errands when Juliana can stay home with her dad. But on this day, my husband and 10-year-old daughter, Jessa were at a playdate, so Juliana and I were flying solo, and I couldn’t put off a trip to the store. I took a chance and braced for the worst. However, I got a nice surprise on that beautiful summer day. I was also reminded that an unexpected win with my Angel can pop up anytime or anywhere — even at the grocery store.
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