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So I Let My 5-Year-Old Do the Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping has become one of my least favorite chores.

It's not even that I hate the actual going to the grocery store part.

It's that first I have to make up the menu for the week. Then I have to make the grocery list. Then I have to haul my three children along with me to a grocery store where I have to bag my own groceries. Then it is back home to put all the groceries away.

And then I actually have to cook meals for the next week. Repeat until the day I die, although hopefully in my old age I won't be dragging along three children asking for candy.

One day, while I was thinking about how much I DIDN'T want to make the grocery list, I asked my kindergartener on a whim if SHE'D like to do the grocery shopping.

Her eyes got huge and she was immediately thrilled by the idea.

"You promise I can pick out whatever I want?" she asked.

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I assured her that she could indeed be completely in charge while wondering what exactly she was dreaming of.

I'm not a very fun grocery shopper. We don't buy a ton of snacks and mainly our fridge and pantry are filled with pretty basic things like bananas, apples, non-sugary cereals and perhaps some off-brand graham crackers.

Later that afternoon, she appeared with a grocery list she'd made herself, complete with the six categories I use when I shop (that last category, if you're wondering, is "Miscellaneous").

After I finished dying over the cuteness, we headed to the grocery store and all the way there she reminded me, "I get to pick whatever I want!"

As soon as we entered the store, she picked out a couple of boxes of crackers (this right there tells you that I really am THAT boring of a shopper).

She went to town in the produce section, picking out all her favorite fruits and vegetables, and we had a good little talk about price per pound (e.g. don't spend all of mommy's money on grapes that are $4 per pound).

In the bulk section, she found the item she was most excited about: gum! (you'll notice it got an exclamation point on her grocery list). She picked out a single orange gumball and carefully wrote the item number on the tag.

And then, where she really felt the joys of being in charge was in the juice aisle. Of course, then she couldn't decide between the FLAVORS of juice because we almost never buy juice and the options just about overwhelmed her.

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I was certain she'd go nuts in the cereal aisle, but somehow she didn't seem to even register it as we passed and we escaped with only a single box of Pop Tarts.

Amazingly, when we checked out, the total came out to only about $35.

Of course, there was nothing to eat for real dinners for the rest of the week, but hey, at least we had that orange gumball.

Photographs by: Janssen Bradshaw

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