So. I looove thrift store shopping. I go once a week usually while The Viking Princess is at preschool so it’s just me and The Magical Wizard. Just as the thrift store can be a mysterious and enchanted land of plenty it can also be a semi- creepy place full of peril and unholy filth. Yeah – you know what I mean, who buys used pantyhose and wigs for god sake ? So I have a little list of pointers for shopping at the thrift store with your little partner that can give you some peace of mind about the disgust factor and also on keeping them busy *cough* (bribery) *cough*.
1. Someone get me cart cozy, stat!
Having a cart cozy thing really helps me feel better about the whole thing in general. You know – one of those covers that goes over the shopping cart seat and handle. It gives The Wizard a sanitary area. God only knows what is on normal shopping carts, let alone skeevy thrift shopping carts. Have you seen some of the other shoppers?- yeah. It also helps catch any miscellaneous snacks/toys/general child detritus that might be dropped while shopping cause there’s only so much you can re sanitize a lollipop dropped in a giant dust bunny.
2. Prioritize prioritize prioritize
Lets be honest. No matter how many snacks you bring your kid has an expiration time in any store. The thrift I go to is HUGE. I get distracted pretty easily. I don’t need to look through the pantsuit section and you probably don’t either. Save yourself for really diggin into what you like them most – t shirts, boots, jeans, whatever.
3. I’m not above bribes – even at 9am.
The Wizard is pretty food oriented. He stays totally happy and busy if there are snacks involved. I start out healthy and then slide into a downwardish spiral. It’s like string cheese, banana chips, then goldfish crackers, aaaaand then m&ms. No shame – parenting is also pragmatics.
4. Let them learn the skillz
As the magical wizard is slowly getting over the whole thing we let him pick out a small toy or bag of toy cars from the kids section of the store. I know what you’re thinking… Omg she lets him touch those germy toys! Nooooooo. I always have those antibacterial wet ones in my bag. I wipe the shit out of whatever he picks. I’m talking detail work here like nooks and crannies and overall twice at least. This way he is part of the adventure and gets something to buy me another 10 minutes as we wrap up and pay. The wipes are good too in case they drop something else important on the questionable thrift store floor.
I don’t know, maybe this is no brainer stuff for other people, but once I finally came up with a system we were both much happier. It’s sort of like a weird bonding time for us now because its so regular every week.
Hopefully this helps some thrift mama out there who is wary of thrifting with the babe but really misses it like I did. rock on thrift mamas.
Ps. Always check out the kids costume section of the store or just the kids section for costumes especially this time of year. Even if your kids don’t use them for Halloween there’s great stuff for year round dress up for dirt cheap usually.