One day, back in the spring, I took Ruby and Jade to the grocery store. Ruby’s generally pretty good with the store, but that day was something else. So I bribed her. Not with candy, not with grape tomatoes, but with one of those car-themed grocery carts stores leave around for parents to use for bribery. The darn thing worked like a charm. Ruby sat in the car, spun the wheel, insisted Jade sit beside her despite the fact Jade wasn’t quite up to task at sitting up in a plastic car, and was pretty good the remainder of the shopping trip.
Unfortunately, this set a bad precedent. Ruby learned and learned fast that grocery stores (we shop at a few) possessed these magical toy car grocery carts. She looked for them, and sadly most of the time one was available. She asked for such a cart before the real car had even come to a complete stop. I’m pretty sure she dreams of these car carts at night.
She has no idea what she puts me through with those.
I’m known in reality for being a fairly easy-going person except when I am not easy-going. If my kid wants a car cart and one is available, I’m not going to fight it.
And if we’re using them to get Jade to sit up so her mom doesn’t look like an idiot while pushing one kid in a car cart obviously meant for two kids while the other is slung in an Ergobaby carrier , then so be it. Boy, can Jade sit up now.
Last week, we ventured to the park. Layne needed a prescription picked up and I had missed the time to make dinner before he headed to work, so on the way home we stopped at the grocery store.
Sure enough, there was one of those darn carts available. Hidden way in the back around a corner where normal adults don’t look but still emitting a call to toddlers. Unlike most car carts we’ve used, some great engineer seemed to have crammed an actual toy car onto a shopping cart. Which meant I could stick Jade in the normal seat and Ruby could cruise around in that cart roughly the same length as a stretch limo.
Then comes the buckling. Are you aware those car carts come with buckle straps? Whose children are leaping from these things while parents walk ponderously through the grocery store? Am I missing some version of the Indie 500 in the produce section? Now I am all about buckling kids into actual cars, but for crying out, it’s a grocery cart!
Ruby also sits on the wrong side. We’re not in England, child.
Anywho, I grab Layne’s meds, I grab some chicken and chips because I’m a healthy mom, and we head out to the car. The real one. Because all grocery store parking lots seem to be built on hills, I wedge the cart against my car while I unload the groceries and strap Jade into her seat while telling Ruby to stay in the cart–pointless as she was still buckled in.
Parking lots make me nervous. Not to the point I gasp with fright every time I see a child walking in one, but I hear all those stories of kids getting hit and killed in parking lots so I try to channel that into reasonable and sensible caution.
And both cars on either side of my car were trying to pull out.
So there I am, trying to find the best pattern of inserting groceries and children into a car while cars are pulling out all around me, and Ruby starts dinking around in the cart. A few bumps and wiggles, and that cart starts rolling away. I envision all horror stories and lunge for that cart before it can roll all of 6 inches away.
I so thank in exasperation the people that designed the carts that send my child crying if denied one and me wondering how a cheap strap protects her.