Every dad has heard it. You thought the kids would sleep in this morning. It’s Saturday, after all. But there they are, knocking on the door to wake you up.
You stumble out of bed, whip up some waffles with the kiddos and now what? The wife is giving you that look. You know, the one that says “I’ve been with these %#&* kids all week and you better get them out of the house right now for at least three hours. Well, better make it four.”
Go out early enough in the day
Take the grocery list off the fridge, it’s your turn to go. The kids will like it if you follow a few simple steps.
You’re stressed enough as it is, don’t go out into public when there are hoards of others out on the road or at the grocery store. You’ll enjoy the running around the store more when you don’t have annoyed single people giving you lip about your wild and obnoxious kids.
This however, contradicts the “Free Sample” theory of parenting. You know, where you go to Costco and don’t feed the kids beforehand (for a couple of hours or days). You can plan a trip around lunchtime to popular “sample” stores.
Take those stickers off the fruits and put them on your kids’ noses. Put one on your nose. See how long you can go through the aisles with it on there.
Those twist tie thingies for the plastic bags? For some reason, the kids like them. Get one or two and see them go nuts.
And yes, you should put the kids in the cart, take a couple of quick steps, jump up on the cart and zoom down the aisles.
Don’t offer to play games like “Hide and go seek.” That stuff will backfire here.
Snacks are not bribes
In theory anyway. Yes, you should in fact offer to get them a treat if they “behave.” Do the wife a favor, though, and make it a fruit stick. If you buy them Kit Kats or a donut, IT WILL ONLY ENRAGE HER.
Also, don’t make the mistake of buying one for yourself. IT WILL ONLY ENRAGE THEM.
Some stores have a coffee dispenser for getting samples. It is not out of parenting to give your kids a small cup of decaf with a little cream and sugar. Those red mini straws make a kids’ day.
Be patient and make frequent stops
You’re not in a race. Really.
I mean, what are you going to do when you get home anyway? It’s not like you can have them watch TV. The wife already used up their weekly allowance of tube time.
There is probably a toy aisle. Just let them loose for five minutes or so.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to buy anything.
Dude, really. This is amazing. Your kids will flip when you stop in the candle aisle of the store. Back and forth they’ll go. Apple CInnamon. Pumpkin Spice. Caramel Creme Brulee. It’s a scent fest they just really dig.
If you follow these rules, you can push the time from 45 minutes to an hour with the kids before they start to melt. The promise of the fruit stick for the car ride home can buy you an additional 10 minutes perhaps.
You will also have achieved “bonding time” with the kids, as the wife puts it.
That means you will have solidified a Daddy Tradition that will continue for every Saturday until the kids hit middle school.
Wait, what have I done…?!