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The Classic Grocery Store Meltdown

One of the most embarrassing things that can happen when you are a parent is your kid having a total fucking breakdown at the grocery store.  I know this because I have been witness to many a meltdowns, and totally judged the shit out of the mom or dad whose child was screaming and pounding the floor.  I was like “those parent’s suck and that kid needs to get a grip” as I perused the cereal aisle.

Yet eventually, you are that parent.  You are the one everyone is looking at, thinking that your child is a monster.  The more I try to be calm and reasonable, the more my kid loses her mind because she can’t get what she wants.  At home this happens all the time, and I can wait out the tantrum – but in a store I have to accept the fact that my parenting is on display for everyone to criticize.

The longer it goes on, the longer both you and your kid look like assholes.  So what do you do? Do you give in to save face? Or stick with the “no you can’t have that” rationale because you don’t want to buy your child crap just because they want it.

Recently I experienced this humiliation for the first time, and it was all over Welch’s grape juice.  What Welch’s was doing at this organic hippy coop is beyond me, but The Munch really wanted to buy some.  Yeah, okay… you are probably thinking, “what the hell is the big deal about grape juice?” – but to me there is so much that pains me to purchase a product like that.  Yet trying to explain my logic to The Munch while she publicly wept was pretty much a lesson in futility.

Toni: No Munch, we can’t get that kind of juice.  We can get a different kind instead.


Toni: Dude, we really can’t.  I will buy you this grape juice instead.


Toni: Listen, that grape juice has GMOs.  It is made with high fructose corn syrup.  I just can’t support that company.


Toni: There is no way we are supporting that company. Listen, I will get you grape juice.  I have no problem with you drinking grape juice – just not that brand.


Toni: Munch, it isn’t even juice.  It is like 10% juice – if that. It is grape essence flavored with chemicals and environmental suffering.


Toni: You can’t ask me to buy this.  We can’t spend our money supporting this company.  It is giant food conglomerates like Welch’s that are annihilating the planet with their monoculture approaches to farming… and don’t even get me started on the pesticides. Don’t you care about the bees? Listen, I know you want this kind of grape juice, but Mamma will never buy it.  I am doing this for you… so our food system is not totally corrupted and there is a slight chance of human survival.  Don’t you want to have a future that isn’t a nuclear waste land ruled by robots?


Toni: So does this one Munch.  The nice organic one that is 7 times more expensive also tastes super yummy…


6 Responses to The Classic Grocery Store Meltdown

  1. olga davidson says:

    Good for you! You do need to hold your ground. Just don’t judge other parents when their kid is having a meltdown. But you sure can turn this into a story for her. Remember George and Melissa and Petey and Susie?

  2. Aallia Andreadis says:

    i suspect Adelia is aware that she looks even prettier when she cries. danger ahead!

  3. ipek says:

    Agghh. I hope she never tries Welch soda version? Its like crack! Growing up we didn’t have that stuff in Turkey so whenever we would go to an Americans house I would steal it from their fridge, along with corn flakes and hershey’s and aunt jemima syrup.. Iykkkk…Little did I know that one day I will avoid the aisles or even markets that sell that crap. But, as I am reading the article I again started craving a Welchs soda..Highly Addictive crap…
    I am sure its really tough to deal with kids in these situations. I still blame my parents for letting us drink all the soda we wanted but they like to remind me how me and my brother would poke each others eye out for the last sip of Coke so I guess parents had to give up at some point and let us do whatever the hell we want. But still, I am shocked that they didn’t realize why I had crazy nightmares for most of my childhood. Can it be from all the sugar and caffein intake!?ugh

  4. Toni Nagy says:

    hahaahahahha I predict many hours staring in front of the mirror because her eyes are glossy

  5. Toni Nagy says:

    Ipek the things I ate make me think I should consider suing my parents (love you mom and dad)…. including fruit roll ups, and beefaroni which was prison grade meat in a can. But the real crazy part is these companies calling Kraft mac and cheese food!! (ps the grape soda is so good.. tastes like Dimitapp

  6. melissa says:

    try having two young kids having meltdowns in the grocery store at the same time! mine being almost exactly 2 yrs apart would always decide to flip out and have tantrums at the same time in stores, restaurants and other various public places. one time when they were 4 & 2 i had already started buying stuff and had my carriage partially filled when they both went into tantrums and i just took them and left the cart where it was and left the store. i wasn’t dealing with that in public. i went back later with someone watching them at home and proceeded to finish my shopping.

    i guess i have to consider myself lucky growing up with us buying stuff from local farms and my dad dragging me around to organic food/health stores my whole life. i used to eat ‘health food store’ fruit roll ups! we also had a vegetable garden, which i insisted on starting at 11. we didn’t know nearly as much about food growing up as we do now but always knew that there were things going on that just weren’t that good. there is still a lot of uncertainty about some things but we have come a long way. i just wish we had known that cacao was actually good for us so i didn’t eat all that carob instead haha.

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