My buddy and I took off for the weekly grocery run, arriving at Trader Joe's shortly after their 8 A.M. opening. I don't just love Trader Joe's, I adore them. Their low prices, their healthy foods, their South Pacific-themed stores, and their awesome Crew Members are a big part of our Child-raising Village.
It's always a pleasure to do our shopping there - it's like a little vacay for me. I also appreciate that the stores have almost everything I need, yet are smaller than most grocery stores. The whole chain is child-friendly without being child-centric and there are stores at most of our vacation spots, which means my picky eaters can get their usual foods while on vacation with a minimum of fuss on my part. Their reuseable bags are fabulous for toting toys and beach/pool play items as well.
So here are some things we picked up, as per our usual list:
|James loves these in the morning, and for snacks. I am happy because he is getting fruit & fiber.|
|Cat cookies and tortilla chips are crunchy treats for lunch and occasional snacks. They are low in sugar, high in fiber, and contain no artificial ingredients. They are also much less expensive than regular grocery store items too.|
|James is a pretty simple lunch guy: he loves PB&J; |
there are no preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup in these jars!
|No high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogentated oils, and $1.99. Compare that with items in any grocery store bakery section. |
I still haven't found anything to beat this combo.
James has become quite the helper, which is a sweet relief, as he used to run away from me in the store, dodging my attempts to keep him with me. Now he asks to push the cart, and does a good job all through the store. Not only does he stay closer to me, I can pass him items from the shelf and he'll run them to the cart for me. All the while, my formerly non-verbal kiddo pours forth a bubbling stream of consciousness: "Two milks? Okay. I get the pink one. Now I get one more ... I did it!!" "I love it! Do you love it?" and "Oh, CARrots! They're orange!" ... while I head for the food demo area and take another shot of caffeine, and a sample of fresh blueberries.
Most stores have a stuffed Animal Crew Member hidden somewhere in the store, and kids know that if they spot it, and tell the Crew Lead at the info desk where they found it, they will get a small treat. What a smart idea! James' sister has taught him well, and he after spotted Pogo the Panda in the freezer section, peeking out of a reuseable freezer bag, he whooped and ran off to collect his prize: a red sucker (his favourite).
As he chattered and danced around, the Crew Member checking us out shook her head, and said with a smile "I don't know how you do it." "Do what?" I asked, startled. "All the questions ... you're so patient."
Right about now, anyone who's known me for a while is ROTFLOL. And anyone who's heard some of my stories from my temp job days is hooting like an owl on Everclear.
"Ah, well, I guess I just grew into it," I replied. And internally I was thinking "Are you kidding? This is a GOOD day! I prayed that he'd be talking to me one day. That he'd be engaged enough to do normal kid things with me. I am so happy he LIKES being with me and can show it. I am the luckiest person here in this store!"
Food for thought, on my early morning grocery run. And as a special bonus parting gift, as James skipped over to help me out with the cart, the checker showed him their new scratch-and-sniff stickers and gave him some. Scratch-and-sniff stickers? All right!
|When James saw this one, he stuck it on me right away, with a "Here, Mommy. This one's for YOU!"|
|I also got the cedar. He kept the pizza one.|
Note: No one paid me to write this post. TJ's has been delighting my family and I for many years.