Shopping With Yin and Yang

January 3, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 6:44 pm   Category: Life

I hate shopping. No, wait! I didn’t mean it. I love shopping. Please, don’t take my membership in the sisterhood away. Let me explain…

Usually when I go shopping I have to take two people with me. I’ll call them Yin and Yang. They are opposites in personalities but they share a common goal, to end the horror they know as shopping as quickly as possible. They work toward this goal from opposite sides of the field but their methods are equally effective.

Yin is about a year and a half old and she prefers to speed shop. Against her wishes she is normally restrained in an umbrella stroller. This may stop her from running willy nilly all over the mall, which is what she prefers, but it doesn’t stop her from squawking indignantly any time the stroller slows down or stops longer than is to her liking. I’m just thankful she doesn’t own a whip!

Yang is around 4 years old and he prefers the slow and methodical approach. He believes that one shouldn’t take more than a baby step when shopping. Also, he prefers to stay a minimum of 20 feet behind his maternal figure. This means that I end up walking sideways down the mall shouting things like, “Hurry up! Come on, I don’t want you to get lost.” If I do make it through my entire shopping list when Yang is along it usually takes 3 times longer than when he stays at home.

In order to make the trip a little more pleasant for myself I often use bribery. Of course I only like to bribe them with things that will make as big of a mess as possible. You know, chocolate, ice cream, ketchup. Just the good stuff!

Bribery will only work for a short while before it wears off. Before I’m ready Yin starts screeching and Yang slows down to his sluggish pace. It’s usually only a few minutes after the bribery breaks down that Yin and Yang achieve their goal. I’ve had it, I’m going home!

I’m sure you’ve seen me. I’m the one dragging the two dirty kids through Pottery Barn yelling, “If you don’t keep up you’re not playing any video games when we get home!”

Next time I’m dropping Yin and Yang at the babysitters and I’m gonna go shopping with Zen.

[Associated song: Smokey Robinson – Shop Around]


  1. You know those scenes in certain movies where somebody’s chasing someone else, helter skelter, and you see down a hallway or some other long passage, and you see them going across, then 5 seconds later, going across the other way, in a much closer or farther cross-passage than the first time? I’m kinda picturing that, as I listen to the song.

    Hee Hee! Kinda like a music video.

    Comment by sarebear — January 3, 2006 @ 9:02 pm

  2. Put Yang in the stroller (with possible access to a brake). Put a harness (connected to the stroller) on Ying and you’ve got it made! 8-)

    Comment by Ed — January 3, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

  3. Ha! You guys are funny. That’s a great idea Ed. Now how do I get Yin to go where I want her to go.

    Comment by Kristen J — January 3, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

  4. attach a fishing pole to the stroller, such that it dangles a favorite treat, or like a bottle of chocolate syrup, in front of her, just out of reach. Even if she got it swinging.

    Teehee! And then steer by turning the stroller/fishing pole contraption and she’ll follow?


    Comment by sarebear — January 3, 2006 @ 10:10 pm

  5. Too good! I’m thinking this contraption would look weirder than just normal me dragging and screaming at a couple of dirty kids in the mall. Maybe I’ll have to test it out and see which one I feel better about. ;}

    Comment by Kristen J — January 3, 2006 @ 10:15 pm

  6. Actually, have you seen those harness/leash things for kids? I considered one for when we went to Disneyland in ’04, for fears about Emily getting lost. Stretchy, to a point. An X across their chest, and in the back it has a lead that goes to strap around your wrist. So they can go somewhat away from you, but not WAAY far.

    Course, I’ve never seen anyone using those at the mall, either, but if my daughter had acted up more than she did, I would have quite possibly! Lol. Maybe not, since I’m afraid of what people think!

    Comment by sarebear — January 3, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

  7. 1. Yang in stroller, Yin in Baby Bjorn (I used that thing til my kids were at the weight limit. Call me supa-mama)
    2. Double stroller. Strap ’em both in. Dole out mini-m&m’s as needed (Never use full size m&m’s- it spoils them).
    3. Shop after dinner. Leave them with daddy and a good bedtime story.
    Sarebear, I had a harness for use in airports and such. People used to look at me like I was nuts, but it brought peace of mind to me. And the kids would fight over it – “I want to play donkey!” “No, I want to be donkey!!”

    Comment by meems — January 3, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  8. hahahahhaha! ohmygosh, that is SO funny! And every time you’d kiss your child . . . well, brings new meaning to the term, kiss my . . . hee!

    or shee!

    Peace of mind more important than wierd looks, but for me, that’s a LOT easier said than done.

    Comment by sarebear — January 4, 2006 @ 12:13 am

  9. I’d just like to point out that you spelled maul incorrectly.

    Comment by fMhLisa — January 4, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  10. Ha ! Ha! You are right, what was I thinking!?

    Comment by Kristen J — January 5, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  11. I have successfully navigated many a shopping trip with a good stroller, either the kind that can lay flat to put two in or a double stroller with two or three children riding. I’ve even put three in there and carried one in the baby snugli deal. It’s harder than I ever thought shopping could be sometimes. Now that I’m out shopping with five, I’m either earning looks of amazement or pity, depending on the overall temperment of the crew.
    Enjoy your zen-time =)

    Comment by Téa — January 7, 2006 @ 11:24 pm

  12. Thanks! Yeah, I need to get Yang back in the double stroller. He was hating it for a while.

    Actually, I’m trying to do most of my shopping when G can watch them.

    Comment by Kristen J — January 9, 2006 @ 10:11 am