I often plan to do my shopping when I have all four girls with me. The older three think it’s a fun outing, and Delaney sleeps happily in the sling.

In the supermarket, I usually put Calista into the trolley while Aisha and Brioni roam the aisles, looking at things and playing hide and seek. Sometimes they’re having such a good time that I have to go find them when I am ready to pay for my selections.

Aisha, 5yo, Brioni, 3yo, + Calista, 22 months old, February 2010
At the supermarket, the girls found a bin of books to browse through. Somehow, Calista ended up with a dictionary.

Calista sometimes asks to hop out of the trolley, but she still isn’t displaying enough sense to be left alone with her sisters. She wanders aimlessly or takes things off the shelves.

One time, while I was unloading the goods from the trolley onto the checkout counter, I turned around to find Cali mostly undressed. She had sat down on the floor and pulled off her shorts and undies, much to the amusement of the other shoppers queued around her.

Aisha likes to sort through the selections of chocolate bars, re-aligning them in their boxes and replacing stray bars in their proper places. Sometimes she takes a selection to look at, but she’s happy enough to put them away before we move on.

Despite playing with them regularly, Brioni and Aisha haven’t once asked for a chocolate bar. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t know what they are — because we don’t usually buy them, and if (theoretically) I ate any, I’d do it without children around — or if it’s because they know they have no chance of an affirmative answer from me.

At the supermarket, we usually buy the same things week after week, and I’m a brand loyalist, rarely changing the brands of my staple purchases. It simplifies the shopping, and the girls can help me take things from the shelves.

Calista, 22 months old, Brioni, 3yo, + Aisha, 5yo, February 2010
Today at our local butcher, I gave the girls a little snack to eat while they waited for our meat to be sliced up. I like the convenience of having a nice chair to sit in while waiting.