Dear Santa, How do I survive shopping with a two-year-old? She believes you put presents under our Christmas tree, but you know that I am really one of your elves–scouring stores and checking off lists to make sure we have a very merry morning on the 25th. That’s how I spent this past weekend. My daughter and I navigated our way through a snow storm, traffic jam and packed parking lot to get to the mall. We were on a mission. A mission I usually embark on by myself, unless there is a shopping cart to control Caitlynn in the store. But this day, I took my mini me along. I also took a plan. Here’s how you too can survive shopping with a toddler. Get a Balloon Our first stop is usually RUUM American Kids Wear. The store always has a sale (you get 15% off just by signing up for their e-newsletter!), and the associate always has a balloon. Instead of complaining and asking to go home, Caitlynn plays with her prize while I search the racks. Involve Your Child I let Caitlynn pick out her own clothes-this dress is $17.50, and some tees are only $4! bucks! Of course, I steer her to things I want to buy. I show her two shirts, and she selects her favorite color. Or I ask her if she likes how an outfit looks or feels. She becomes engaged in the process and even enjoys modeling for mommy. She’s a natural! She put her hands on her hip for the first time, and I didn’t even tell her to do so. Take a Time Out Remember, kids can’t concentrate on shopping as long as adults can. Trying on clothes or standing still can be frustrating. It’s important to take a time out. At RUUM, kids can color pictures of dogs, bunnies or geometric patterns. After they finish, they can hang their work for everyone to see. Perhaps stop for an ice cream cone or run around at an indoor playground at the mall. Treat Yourself Like American Express, I don’t leave home without candy in my purse. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I use sugar to bribe my daughter. RUUM treats her as well. She pressed her tiny face against the glass of the candy bar and picked out of piece. She even said thank you without me reminding her! The experience reminded me of when I shopped with my mom and received pretzel rods at a local children’s boutique. See Santa Since Caitlynn was such a nice little girl in the store, I promised her that she could go and see Santa. While in line, another little girl admired her balloon and asked to play with it. I think Caitlynn got the concept of naughty and nice, because she told the girl she could have the balloon! Then, she told Santa that she wanted pots and pans for her kid kitchen. Why? Because mommy doesn’t have any, and mommy doesn’t cook. Hey DFTM Fam–Do you take your children along when you go shopping? How do you keep kids under control and entertained at the mall? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.