Pursy has shortened the name of our favorite grocery store to just "Joe's" as if her two year old self is so busy she simply cannot be bothered with the full name. Way too cumbersome and she has better things to do. She does love going to Joe's, and their genius strategy of having rolls of colorful, often scratch and sniff stickers at the registers has saved at least this Mama a toddler meltdown in the juice aisle. If I know what I am making for dinners for the week and can do a shopping trip quickly, I can convince her: not to scream, not to climb out of the cart, not to grab the pear at the base of the pear pyramid thus covering us in locally grown fruit, and not to beg repeatedly for cheese crackers by frequently reminding her that there are stickers at the end of our adventure.
The employees at Trader Joe's, while a little too camp-counselory for my low threshold of cheeriness at 8AM, are super helpful and have without question replaced items I decide I don't want and items Pursy has decided she DOES want that I didn't see her put in the cart. They have pushed my cart to the car while I am carrying two babes, bagged my groceries while we both pretend that Purslane is not howling for the gummy bears she saw go into the bag and they have smiled nicely at Pursy while she excitedly goes into great detail about how she obtains said gummies.. in other words, her bathroom routine. Never have words come out so clearly then "I POOP POTTY AND MOMMY WIPES MY 'GINA THEN PURSY GET TWO GUMMIES!!!".
But by far my favorite Mama thing about Trader Joes is how easy it is to buy food. If I want peanut butter, I have two options: crunchy or creamy. I don't need to compare 27 different brands boasting different reasons why I should choose them: trans fat free, low fat, bonus 3 oz, low sodium, super crunchy, kid favorite, etc. I can grab one jar off the shelf while keeping the cart in motion because I know the Trader Joe's brand will be natural and be made out of peanuts. I have mentioned this in previous blog posts but my philosophy of feeding my family is pretty simple.
I want us to eat food.
Real food, made out of things that are real. I don't care about sugar or gluten or dairy. I just want to eat food. I feed my child juice, chocolate, milk, white rice, cereal- all things that have fallen out of fashion for parents who care that our food industry pollutes these things with additives, food dyes, sucralose, hormones and other crazy things that kids should not be eating on a regular basis. But at Joe's, these things are made out of real things- grains, cocoa, fruit and vegetables, etc. So I can grab them off the shelf and not read labels. And so I can do an entire week grocery shopping for four people in about 45 minutes.
Cheers to you, Trader Joe's. From Mamas everywhere who are lucky enough to have you down the street. You have made it easier to feed our families nutritious food and pacify our toddlers with stickers that smell like bananas and coffee.