Friday, April 9, 2010
I am no night time shopper. Night time is my time. Not even the prospect of dragging three kids kicking and screaming (bickering), to hunter gather shopping supplies, can convince me otherwise. These holidays, it presents a real challenge – honestly, you should hear the collective sighs. So, I turned it into a kid challenge.
Limiting our first two challenges to the fruit and vegie shop, I wrote out the shopping list on 24 strips of paper. The eldest and middle kid each took turns choosing a slip...
Did their best to fathom their task...
Groaned if it involved cauliflower...
Chuffed to bits if it didn’t...
With minimal coaching from me and the small, snack-eating kid, there were big grins, NO WHINGES (except for the cauliflower bit) and NOT A SINGLE SIBLING BICKERING ARGUMENT.
I high fived myself.
(THE NITTY GRITTY)
On the Up Side
• A whole heap of incidental learning (the reading, the learning not to squeeze the living daylights out of an avocado, the understanding that tossing the melon into the shopping trolley from the three point line is a bad idea
• The sense of kid achievement, the feeling capable, the awareness of, interaction with and good behaviour around other shoppers
• The fact that we can go through 33 apples at a ridiculous rate because the kids chose ’em
On the Down Side
• Every so often an avocado suffers from an exuberant squeeze so that’s what you’ll be eating for lunch
• You need to be on guard for kid light bulb moments (i.e. melon = basketball, trolley = hoop)
• I avoided the usual small store I shop at for, oh, so many reasons – but mainly because I knew a larger shop would prove more of a hunter gathering challenge and if we were early enough, fewer fellow terrorised shoppers
• If you are going to include ‘8 of something nice’ in the challenge, consider introducing small print terms and conditions, or get praying you don’t end up with eight whole watermelons
One Small But Important Detail to Note
I knew I would inevitably be purchasing apples with an occasional bruise, or rock-hard nectarines. This was fine with me – I didn’t want to start playing art director and taking away all the fun. Now the kids know what to look for from experience – at least as far as apples and nectarines go. The kids were also given a very sound behaviour and etiquette briefing, I was proud of them and nothing/nobody was hurt in the process.
One Other Small But Possibly More Important Detail to Note
Just because everyone is beside themselves chuffed over fruit and vegie shopping, “Can we do it again tomorrow?”, doesn’t guarantee the visits to the fishmonger, delicatessen and then supermarket (in the same outing), is going to be any walk in the park.