Translated from toddler.
“You, yes you there, get me some food! It’s in the box dolt! The big white one, the one that’s cold inside but warm in the back. Yes, yes I know, I’m trying to forget that time I got stuck behind it; it’s a vivid nightmare that visits me when I’m in my dark place, so much pain…” “Back to my food, what’s taking you so long, you know I want something? Good use those ape hands to open the white cold box, now get that, up there, that thing I’m vaguely pointing at, no not that, argharrk, Nart, nuh (no translation available) WRONG SHELF, AHHHH!” “…ok, ok slow deep breaths like therapist mummy showed me, breath in, out, in, out. Right let’s start again…”
#DadRule No.47 Your kids will be hungry at the mere sight of food.
A number hasn’t been identified that clearly states how many times I’ve gotten home from my fortnightly grocery shop and had the kids not only mug me, but also start devouring food before they’ve even set eyes on what they’re consuming. I fancy that I could have a bag of chilli flavoured poo thats actually on fire, and they’d still be into it.
“What’ve you got? Is it for me? Give me, give me, give me!”
Through this continual experiment; lets call it an experiment that way it sounds like I was examining the results to establish a hypothesis, I’ve come to some conclusions. What do you know it was an experiment.
- Do the shopping when the kids aren’t around; wait till they’re at school, with a carer, or possibly lost somewhere like Hansel and Gretel.
- If you’re feeling generous offer a token when you get home; if you want you can actually hand craft a token from gold and myrrh that holds secret properties that you impart to your kids. It doesn’t have the sweet aroma of food (unless it’s one of those delightful chocolate coins) so it probably wont work. By token I mean some small gift of food, like an offering to an all powerful deity. It needs to be something to satiate them and take them away from your tactical grocery landing.
- Pack your food stuffs away as quickly as you can.
If you have to take the kids shopping.
How long will this take? Look at your Childs routine and try to work around that, i.e. don’t go shopping during their nap time (experience)
Allow lots of Time. It’ll take way longer than you thought, especially with a toddler and a three year old.
Emergency kit. The shops are big and noisy, and can be quite boring also, so perhaps bring along the car emergency kit, with some small toys for them to play with. The trolly is not a toy but it will be treated as such.
Set Limits. I used to work with a guy, and in all honesty he was a bit of a nob, but had a good idea when going to the shops with his kids, he’d say the following, “Now we’re going to get cable ties, balaclavas and rubber gloves, we’re not going to the hardware store to buy you kids stuff. However if you’re good you can have one impulse item from the casher.” He claimed it worked, and in most cases it’s worked for me.
Let the kids take part. Kids love to help, and by helping they are actually learning, so maybe assign some tasks for them, like if your in the breakfast isle let them find the weetbix and put it in the trolly. FYI they may find the Fruit Loops and start eating them. It might be a bit slower and annoying but it’ll ultimately make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. There’s a great article over at Art of Manliness about this.
Create a shopping list. This is a must, not only to save time but also to make the most of you dollar. I like to use the Evernote app to create a shopping list, I add tick boxes and mark stuff off as I go.
So you’ve managed to survive the shopping trip and the pack away; you might want to do a few other things, as locking the food in a cupboard or fridge rarely stops them, to quote Hudson from Aliens:
“Hey man, I don’t wanna rain on your parade, but the food’s not gonna last seventeen *hours!* Those things are gonna come in here just like they did before. And they’re gonna come in here…and they’re gonna come in here AND THEY’RE GONNA EAT IT!”
Well maybe not a direct quote but I think its apt.
So after some careful considerations, a shot of whisky and a relaxing veg in front of the TV we’ve come up with a few little tricks to keep those food supplies up for just a little bit longer and hopefully add some sanity to the locust consumption.
What can you do?
The first thing you should do is break your food supplies (primarily the child based food stuff) into two piles; pack the first pile in the normal food supply spot, somewhere the kids can access it, preferably with your consent.
Now that second pile of food needs to be sequestered away from prying eyes. Choose a high, dry space with a locking door or drawer, this way when the zombie horde comes knocking they’ll only help themselves to the immediately accessible supplies while the hidden ones remain in reserve.
Next try to educate the horde, true they’re zombies when dealing with resources whether it’s toilet paper or food, but if you can explain what stuff is theirs and when they can access it you’ll be far better off.
- The ice blocks are available when ever you want but you need my help to get them (unless you have one of those bottom of the fridge freezers, sorry dude you need to lock that sucker).
- The wafer biscuits are freely available but be aware that once they’re gone there’ll be no more.
- Two bags of chips a day, this way you’ll have enough till the next shop.
Explain the rules and established boundaries.
Now with that second stash of food you can filter that into the main supplies at your discretion, the kids most likely wont notice the food being replenished as you haven’t taken any excursions to the shops. To them it will seem as if they have a magic pudding on their hands, and who doesn’t love a magic pudding.
By doing these simple things you can help extend that shopping supply beyond the first 10 minutes and maybe even add some value to the food that the kids consume.