Is it me or is shopping at Aldi the most stressful experience? Add to that a hungry tired toddler and you just spelled disaster.
I mean, first you have to find a $2 coin (which I never have) to get a trolley out, then negotiate with said toddler to sit in the damn seat. She was not cooperating at all today so I just let her pretend to push the trolley. The problem with that is she's really strong so I'm madly grabbing items from the shelves and she's pushing hard on the trolley and I'm hoping I've got everything. By the time we get to the bread and milk just before the registers she's really over it. I let the couple with three things go first because I know the race is now on to get the trolley empty and all the items on the conveyor belt so I can get it to the guy on the register who swipes the items through like a machine and I'm now madly trying to put the heavy items on the bottom and not squish the bread!
Whilst I'm doing all that Miss E has run out the front door and I can no longer see her. Shit! Now what do I do, leave the trolley and race after her? I apologise to the line behind me for holding them up and race out the door hoping no-one steals my handbag which I just realised I left in the trolley. Luckily I find her just outside and quickly scoop her up and race back inside. I pay for my groceries, still apologising, and then I'm madly trying to unload the trolley again and fill bags before Miss E decides to go on another exploration of the shopping centre.
Why on earth do I have to pack my own bags? The check-out operator gets paid the same amount as the ones at Woolworth's but they get a chair to sit on and don't have to pack bags.
Anyway now that the bags are packed and in the trolley you think my expedition is over? No! Aldi doesn't stock all the groceries I have so I now have to make my way to the other end of the shopping centre to Woolworth's to get cornflower, carpet cleaner (Miss E decided to paint our carpet with Sudocream the other day) and one of those magic eraser things (this morning Miss E decided to get in touch with her artistic side and drew on our dining room wall in black pen).
On the way to Woolworth's there's two of those rides little kids go on. Miss E loves them. Unfortunately I'm in a hurry to get through Woollies before she has a complete meltdown, but I can't chase her and push the trolley so now she's on the ride I can't get her off. $6 later and 2 minutes of going around in circles I yank her off the Koala's lap and she's kicking and screaming and arching her back. I break open the box of Anzac biscuits and offer her one. "Two" she says. Unbelievable! I give her another and she smirks and walks off towards Woolworth's with a biscuit in each hand.
We get through Woolworth's relatively unscathed and now we're making our way to the car park. Miss E is running ahead as usual. "Slow down!" I yell, "Wait for Mummy". I can see she's about to run straight in front of a car so I race in front of the still moving trolley and grab her arm. She screams and drops to the ground......in the middle of the road! I scoop her up apologising to the cars that almost ran her over and manage to grab the trolley just before it runs into one of the stopped cars.
Now I have her on my hip and we're walking to the car and I'm giving her a lecture about how when we go to the shopping centre she has to hold Mummy's hand and not run off (like she understands me). I load up the boot of the car with the groceries and return the trolley to get back my $2. Blocking my way to the magical Aldi chain that will give my back my money is a whole stack of Woolworth's trolleys so I spend the next couple of minutes pulling them out of the way.
Next I have to get Miss E in the car who is way overtired and is in need of a midday nap. She has decided she wants to sit in the front seat ...... seriously ....... the front seat. All my efforts to get her in the back and in her chair are useless. She's screaming, arching her back and people are starting to stare. Finally I go to the boot, pull out another two Anzac biscuits and give them to her. Naturally she easily sits in the seat and starts chomping away on the bickies.
By the time we get home she's fast asleep and I carry her into her room and pop her down gently into the cot. I unload the groceries and put them away, make myself a sandwich and sit down on the couch. I open my laptop and aahhhhh, peace and quiet.........for now.