Mini-Shopping Carts are Gateway Drugs

>> Friday, November 27, 2009

I've developed this love/hate relationship with those mini, child shopping carts that have cropped up recently at grocery stores.

Have you seen them? They are slightly bigger than toy shopping carts, and they look just like the big carts, and not like toys at all -- except that the ones in our store are bright lime green. Heck, if grown up carts were lime green, I might think they were more fun, too. These things are the perfect size for little hands. Ours even come with a long pole sticking up like a flag that responsible adults can hold onto to help steer. Originally, most of them seem to have had a flag on said pole that read, "Shopper in Training" or something like that, but I've only seen an intact flag once.

Here's the dilemma:

Love: The kid actually wants to go "shopping". He asks to go shopping.

Hate: Only grocery stores have these little carts, and Toddler doesn't seem to understand that yet. "Want my cart? My cart?"

Love: All the employees walk around the store, pretending they aren't following us, commenting on how cute Toddler is pushing his cart, and what a big helper I have.

Hate: All the employees stalk me while I shop so they can talk to my kid.

Love: All the employees are helpful like crazy because they know us.

Hate: All of the employees know who we are now, and they comment when they haven't seen us in awhile, or if I come back too many days in a row.

Love: Toddler loves picking out "his" groceries, and if he picks it, he will eat it, even if he has never eaten it before.

Hate: Heaven help me if I try to put anything in Toddler's cart that isn't for him. "Mommy, hold this.'' (Shoves mayonnaise at me.) "No, Mommy! No black drink!" (Crying because I tried to sneak a 2-liter into his cart.)

Love: Toddler is learning to steer, and to not ram into things with the cart, which is a huge improvement.

Hate: Random shelf-stockers like to make snarky comments, like this. ME: "Toddler, don't hit anyone with the cart. That's the number one rule." SHELF STOCKER: "Except Mommy. It's okay to hit Mommy." Toddler promptly shoves cart at my ankle.

Love: Toddler is so proud of himself because he is Mommy's big helper.

Hate: Toddler has to put up all of "his" groceries on the belt himself. Since he can't reach the belt, he has perfected the baseball throw of individual cartons of yogurt. We actually cracked one open today. The checkout clerk pretended it had been that way on the shelf and got us another one.

Love: We are learning responsibility and sharing. We put things (like the cart) back where we found them.

Hate: Sometimes it's hard to understand why you can't take the cart home when you are 2.

Love: The stores are so thoughtful to try to include children in the shopping experience.

Hate: One of our grocery stores only has one cart, which causes tremendous havoc by all the children who walk in AFTER the cart has been wheeled away by a lucky toddler. We were stalked today by a 3 year old who wanted the cart.

Love: Now Toddler wants to help do a lot of things, like carry the groceries to the car.

Hate: Toddler wants to carry the grocery bag to the car HIS way, meaning grabbing one handle and dragging it through the parking lot.

Love: Mommy never has to persuade Toddler to turn off the TV and go shopping.

Hate: "Mommy? Shopping? OPEN DOOR! SHOPPING!"


T. Daniel November 27, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

Imagine dealing with this when you have TWO kids.

Karin December 8, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

I'd rather not!

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