Car Shaped Shopping Carts (and my dwindling will to survive)

If you are trying to decide whether or not to have children then I suggest that you go to your local grocery store, sit down and watch the parents shopping with their children. Get cozy and pay special attention to those parents who have opted to use the “child friendly” car shaped, shopping carts.

Not since the Judas cradle has a more ingenious device of torture been invented than the, (as my three year old refers to it), “Steering wheel cart”. To the unexperienced eye it would seem that the steering wheel cart is a marvelous solution to engaging your children in the otherwise boring and thus fit inducing experience of shopping for groceries. This is not the case.

For starters, it is standard issue that all steering wheel carts have a random break device installed in one wheel causing spontaneous skidding and jerking. Furthermore, the steering wheel cart has a blind spot encompassing the entire front end, giving the illusion that it is 12 feet shorter than it actually is. It is impossible to maneuver throughout the isles without a minimum of four destructive collisions. During your attempt to clean up said destruction your children will flee from the cart in spontaneous directions reaping further mayhem, perpetually compounding your ability to ever actually leave the store.

”I write this now from a secluded corner of the in store Starbucks. I know not where my children are, though I am still haunted by their shrieks. We came in three days ago for paper towels and an avocado.”

The man or woman who invented the steering wheel cart was an evil mastermind indeed and they understood one definitive truth about young children. They are terrorists. Officially, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. In practice however, when we neglect to shop efficiently on our day off and it’s Tuesday night we don’t have anything for tacos so we run to the store as a single parent with all three kids at 5:30 and bedtime is 8:00 and you and your children are starving and grumpy… Well when our three year old starts whining about wanting to take the steering wheel cart which is always parked directly outside of the front door, we relent. I’m using the royal we, by the way, as in we are royally fucked. In that time bending nexus that is the week night dinnertime, logic runs off with reason and abandons parents in the badlands of child rearing survival.

It is possible, I suppose that if a parent only had one child, that the steering wheel cart could be ok. Possibly even if they had two children that were the exact same size. If your children are different sizes however or if the number of them is three or higher then optimal aggravation will be achieved 100 percent of the time. The three year old has already staked claim to being inside of the steering wheel cart. For this reason the seven year old wants to join him but that doesn’t mean that it is suddenly acceptable for his brother to touch the Legos that he insisted upon bringing into the store, consequently turning the interior of the steering wheel cart into a no holds barred, cage fight. The 9 year old is playing it cool as if he doesn’t want to be inside of the steering wheel cart but he insists then on hitching a ride on the side or front of the cart rendering the already difficult to maneuver device truly impossible. After incident five or six between the seven year old and his younger brother the middle child is cast out from the steering wheel cart and forced to join his older brother clinging to the exterior of the cart. Once the three year old sees that the action is no longer behind the steering wheel, he too must join his brothers, rendering the four of us as a shopping unit 15 feet wide and thus incapable of squeezing through any isle that occupies other people.

This all happens within the first five minutes of the shopping experience and the cycle repeats at least a dozen times before you escape the produce department.

I could go on but I feel like by now you probably get the point. But like I said, if you don’t believe me or you wish to examine the horrors for yourself, go into any grocery store in the country between the hours of five and 7, sit back and enjoy the show. Thanks for reading. Join me next time where I will discuss the trials and tribulations of the self check out.