Just before school started, I took Hallie, Hunter and Briggs with me to Sam’s Club. Briggs was jumping on and off the cart. Hunter was rushing the cart down empty isles and jumping on for a quick ride as the cart reached the end of the isle. And Hallie was finding all the things we don’t usually buy, but we should definitely try.

The trip was far from frustrating, but exhausting to say the least. When I got home, I found a series of photos of Briggs. (I can hear his giggle when I see these photos).

Today, I returned back to that same Sam’s Club by myself while the kids were in school. No one was throwing extra things in the cart. No one was stealing the cart to run down empty isles. It was a relaxing and efficient trip.

But as I turned down an isle, I saw a mom with a young child – no older than 18 months old. The mom had placed a shopping cart cover over the seat to protect the child from as many germs as possible (the same cover I had as a new mom and never once did I remember to bring it out of the trunk!) and he was just as squirmy as ever. When she buckled him in he squawked. When she pulled him out and carried him he kept trying to wiggle out of her arms. It was clear she could not get through her list fast enough.

It confirmed to me that no matter how old your children are, young or old – shopping with them is exhausting. Yes, they make it entertaining at times, but a quiet run to Sam’s Club, while listening to music or a podcast makes an arduous task like grocery shopping much more bearable.