Three Tips For Parents Navigating The Wine Aisle
So, Our Little Project has graduated from baby-stage and at 22 months is well into the “running-talking-spilling-‘no, no, no’-dog hitting-toddler” stage. But what defines this stage of development most, at least in Henry George’s case, is his newly acquired talent for verbal mimicking.
If you look at Henry George or look near Henry George and say something, he’ll either say it back or log the word or phrase in his little mind for later use. It’s very cute and very encouraging.
However, I do want to warn wine drinking parents of babies and wine drinking parents to be that your relationship to wine (and other alcoholic products) will make an appearance in this mimicking stage and you need to be aware that it can cause some….situations. This is particularly the case in the grocery store wine aisle.
Here are some tips for navigating the wine aisle of the grocery store with a toddler in the mimicking stage of development
Prepare for Recognition
You must be prepared to endure the head-shaking and judgmental looks of some adults who just don’t understand the meaning of a toddler sitting in a shopping cart, pointing at the wine and repeating over and over, “Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine”. They won’t understand that it’s not that your kid craves wine, he’s just excited to see something he sees a lot at home and wants to let you know that he knows.
Threading the Needle
It’s imperative that as you push the cart down the aisle that you do so directly in the middle, out of toddler arm length of the shelves. They will grab and drop. If you don’t thread the needle of the aisle I can guarantee you will at some point be standing in the middle of a pool of wine with someone on the loudspeaker announcing the accident and young stock girls running to your rescue with mops. It’s embarrassing. The best you can do is note to onlookers that, “at least he has good taste”. You can say this because he’s likely to be pulling wine off the top or near-top shelf where the kinda expensive, decent stuff sits, rather than from the bottom shelf in Swill-Land.
Have Fun With It
If you are of the mind and the disposition to have fun with people, there is a sure-fire way to disturb your fellow shoppers. Before leaving the house, repeat over and over to your toddler any of the following short phrases: “More Wine!” or “Bourbon Please” or “That’s Swill” or “Do you drink?” You need to teach one of these phrases to your toddle with a “blurting signal”. For example, the one that works for me is: “Henry, what do you say to the nice lady?” If you train your toddler well, they should blurt out “Do You Drink?!!” nice and loud just as she’s coming down the aisle. They might even point. It’s hysterical!!
Managing a very verbal, precocious, active toddler can be a chore and certainly is a full-time job, even for those of us who have a close relationship with wine and other liquids. However, it doesn’t have to always lead to embarrassment and you can certainly have fun with it if you just follow these three simple tips.