Moms out there: Do you remember before you had kids how easy it was to go shopping, or go anywhere for that matter?

A few years ago I was Christmas shopping for my husband, so I took all of my boys ( I had three then) to the local sporting goods store. At the time my husband’s best friend was the manager, so I was hoping he would tell me what it was that my husband wanted. Of course one of the boys was lying underneath the cart and the other two were hanging off each side. They would take turns jumping off so the cart would almost tip over on one side or the other.

The worst is when I was potty training my twins. I stopped at the local grocery store the day before Thanksgiving to pick up three things I had forgot. I unload all three kids, haul them into the store and as soon as we walk in the door, the one that is potty trained has to use the bathroom. So we all file in and he goes, washes his hands, then we head out. I get them all loaded in the cart and sure enough one that is being potty trained has to go now. I unload everyone, do the routine, then load everyone back in the cart again. We make it through the store and pick up the three items and as soon as we’re done checking out, what do you know. The last one has to go to the bathroom. A five minute trip to the grocery store just took 45 minutes. Fun.

Now with my youngest son turning 2 in a month, I’m remembering how terrible the terrible twos are. I was in my favorite store today and all my son did was throw temper tantrums the entire time. I was wishing I was somewhere else and not that child’s mother. A couple times I hid around the end of the aisle seeing if he would stop rolling around on the floor crying if he couldn’t see me. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

Oh the joys of shopping with children.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.