While grocery shopping with the children, I have decided that there are certain rules that one must follow in order to have a more positive experience for all parties involved. (It also helps to ensure the safety of the children from certain angry mothers...)
1. When choosing a parking spot, park closest to the cart corral. Not only does it bring entertainment to the children when you are unloading groceries (picture: hey Roman, let's play zoo! you're a lion and this is your cage...) but it enables you to quickly deliver the cart without too much inattentiveness to your offspring.
2. Training your little ones to ride on the side of the cart is acceptable, as long as there are equal amounts of weight on both sides. Otherwise, the cart will probably tip over. Not acceptable.
3. Have your list handy and do not give it to the baby to hold. She will invariably eat it.
4. Circle the perimeter of the store to pick up the "boring" items first: fruits, veggies, meats, etc. DO NOT give treats to the rugrats until the end of the trip. Having them promise to be good while holding a tempting bag of candy never works.
5. Always be aware of where you stop your cart if you need to price something out. For example, if you need cereal, do NOT stop in front of the fruit snacks as this will cause excessive commotion. Pause, if you must, in front of the coffee. A much better alternative. Ideally, with practice, you can learn the "walk and grab technique" which doesn't allow any time for the children to be aware of potential treats.
6. Having stuffed your pockets with Corn Chex from home is handy in a pinch.
7. And lastly, to prevent all dismay and pulling out of hair, leave the children home with their father and take as long you need to. Maybe by going grocery shopping in the next city?