Errands with a toddler is like going on a trip wearing a blindfold. You really don’t know what to expect until you get there.
I’ve somehow entered into this frequent errand pattern like some sort of a bad 80s rut. It’s not because I actually want to run errands that often. Believe me. I don’t have some strange love affair with errands. Ha ha.
The truth is…well, I have a ninja toddler, who also happens to be very impatient.
Climbing from the back to the front of the cart.
Standing in the front of the cart.
Getting out of the belted strap no matter how tightly I secure it.
Grabbing food from the produce section with ninja-like speed and eating it.
I know. I know. People are probably thinking I should get control of my kid or something. Hey, I really wish he would sit for a few hours and make a rainbow loom, but that is not my child’s strength. He’s living life for every cheap climbing thrill he can get.
You try your hardest to make it work…
Running errands with a toddler will force you to get creative. You always try to mentally prepare yourself a bit. You equip yourself with a few trusty distraction tricks.
Sippy of milk, check.
Toddler snack, check.
Snazzy, secret toy he hasn’t seen in a week, check.
After a few shopping trips though, your toddler may start to see through your tricks and bypass them altogether. You may feel yourself start to get really frustrated and angry.
I know how you feel. Eventually I get pretty testy with all of his climbing around the cart doing his 3-ring toddler circus, and I attempt to strap him into the front of the cart as tightly as possible.
Oh the screams.
Maybe you get to the point where your toddler just isn’t happy anymore. You try all your tricks, but he’s on a mission to rebel against the errands and nothing is going to get in his way.
You probably try everything you can think of, and yet you still feel yourself getting more and more frustrated. It’s been a struggle the whole way through. And then the moment happens…
You know that moment when you are about to lose it and you just want to yell at your kid and tell him to sit still for a darn second!
That’s the signal.
When it’s just too much. When you’re angry and about to blow up. When you know you’re going to start yelling.
That’s when you need to book it to the music.
For me, that’s when I realize I need music therapy and so does my toddler. He’s frustrated too. He just wants to play with blocks and eat sticks and run around at the playground. He doesn’t want to shop for homemade laundry soap ingredients.
So we have to escape to the car.
And that’s when it starts…Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. 80s flashback music therapy. I turn it up really loud.
I’m doing car karaoke and I have the worst voice ever. Good thing the music is loud enough to drown out my voice. I focus on driving and the music.
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
The songs about to end, and I finally have enough courage to look my toddler in the eye and stay calm. When our eyes meet in the rearview mirror, he belly laughs at me.
My intense angry signing is hilarious to the boy. He’s laughed off his anger and I’ve sung mine out.
Good thing we have another 20 minutes before we’ll be home and Bon Jovie’s in the queue.
Looking for more tools to help you stop yelling or feeling angry as a mom?
My good friend Amanda from Dirt and Boogers has an AMAZING course that will help give you the resources you need to really succeed!
Mama’s Anger Management is a four week program that will help you understand why we yell. You will find what triggers your anger and ways to work around those triggers so that you don’t end up yelling. You will also learn ways to calm yourself before you scream and let go of all that anger and frustration.
I've created a free email series just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, rhythm or schedule, this email series will help you find one that will work for YOUR family. Yes, really. I've seen my sample routines work time and time again for parents. I know it can work for you too.
This free email series will help you:
- Free sample routines for your child
- Best morning routine tips and tricks your kids will actually follow
- All-time favorite parenting hacks for getting more cooperation at bedtime
- Step-by-step guide for using a printable daily schedule with kids