download (84)I really love taking my kids to the grocery store with me, much the same as I love to suffer from gallstones or have a colonoscopy without any anesthesia. I’m convinced that there is a special scent piped into the air that causes them to go batshit crazy in aisle 3.

Oh, and those “clean-up on aisle 5” messages most certainly contain subliminal messages like “throw shit out of the cart” or “use the cart to shove mommy headfirst into the canned soup display”.

Hands down, there is one part of the shopping experience that stands head and shoulders above the rest as the most miserable: checkout. Some numbskull over in corporate decided that moms would appreciate having a clutter and candy-free aisle to use during checkout. They built it and promptly staffed it with their slowest checker ever…

I’m sure they meant well. I’m also sure that the asshat brainiac didn’t have any experience shopping with kids. So I’d like to take this soapbox moment to clear up any misconceptions about what we moms want in an express checkout aisle.

#1: Candy

I want cheap candy in packaging that can only be opened with a blowtorch. And I want lots of it. You and I both know I’m not going to buy it, so I don’t even care if it is expired. Hell, that is probably better if it means that the glue strength has increased exponentially with time. If you can somehow lock it to the side of the checkout stand, awesome. I want my kids to zero in on the bright colors from 50 paces away and not move their butts from it once we are in line.

#2: Magazines

Unless I come down with a severe case of Baby Sideburn’s fake irritable bowel syndrome, the checkout stand is my only chance to read magazines. You and I both know that I am not going to buy them. So let’s just be honest and opt for a library-style set-up with laminated pages or one of those huge magazine sticks to keep me from stealing. Actually, the stick could be dual-purpose, helping me hold my place while using it to whack my kids back into line. And no, I don’t want anything self-helpy or thought-provoking. Save Time, Newsweek and Shape for another aisle. Stock me up with a copy of Us Weekly, In Touch and the Enquirer and I’ll be your most loyal customer EVER.

#3: The Checker

Pay attention here, this part is the most crucial. Staff this checkout stand AT ALL TIMES (put in a potty, hot plate and mini-fridge so that they don’t have any excuse to leave) with your absolute top performer. I want the cashier that knows every barcode by heart, can accurately estimate the weight of the head of lettuce I forgot to weigh and scan an overflowing cart of groceries in under a minute. I don’t care if she (and let’s face it here, it is probably going to be a woman….no man could remember that many sets of numbers and still be able to walk, talk and chew gum) is a bitch. Hell, it is probably better if she is one. This ain’t a social call after all.

And last, but not least, don’t bug me about anything else. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this HIGHlarious post from BluntMom Meredith: Do I really have to save baby whales every time i grocery shop? No one, myself included, is funnier and more spot on than Meredith.


Lynn Morrison is a smart-ass American raising two prim princesses with her obnoxiously skinny Italian husband in Oxford, England. If you've ever hidden pizza boxes at the bottom of the trash or worn maternity pants when not pregnant, chances are you'll like the Nomad Mom Diary. Catch up with her daily on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Oh Hail to the Throne of Meredith.

    As for The Checker, I’d prefer a man no older than 22 with chiselled biceps and a rippled stomach. His inability to walk, talk and chew gum at the same time would earn him a raise. Needless talking exerts energy that should be channeled elsewhere. Remembering barcodes or each others names isn’t important in the large scheme of things. There are lots more things to talk about over breakfast.

    What were we talking about?

  2. Grocery shopping makes my brain bleed. So I go as little as possible. I’m never allowed into the express lane, but invariably have someone behind me that didn’t want to stand in the long “express” line-up, rolling their eyes because I am buying enough groceries to feed a mid-sized nation. And then they ask to go in front of me. Can I have one of those magazine sticks to whack them with?

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