Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Riding in Carts with Boys

I curse the day I allowed my boys to utilize the car shopping carts at our local Stop and Shop. I actually managed to make my life more difficult which I did not think was possible since I was already dragging my three two year olds grocery shopping. I am of the mind that the person who thought of car carts for grocery stores was out for revenge of some kind and thousands of innocent parents everywhere are forced to pay the price.
The reliable triple shopping cart that made my life easier.

I had it down to a science. Out of the house before 10am but after 9am thereby allowing sufficient time to arrive home before a lunch time meltdown. Bring lots of snacks (although we have been known to eat direct from the cart). Go with a list and keep the trip to 60 minutes or less.

My friends often look at me funny when I say that I take all three toddlers grocery shopping. As long as I stick to my formula I typically can get my shopping done and am able to keep major incidents to the checkout lane when any toddler's patience (if it exists) is tested. I am far from saying it is easy and I usually have to gear myself up for the task but in any event I get it done because the bottom line is there is not a day of the week when I don't have three children.

One day we decided to make it a family trip to the grocery store and because we could not use our tried and true triple shopping cart we decided to go for broke and try the car cart.

Problem #1: the car only has two seats, two steering wheels and I have three kids. This fact required us to get two car carts instead of one on this particular shopping adventure but it can get ugly fast when I am by myself.

Problem #2: the kids can escape!! Yes they have buckles but they are just not that effective and can easily be wiggled out of or otherwise opened by two year olds. One minute my son is driving the car and the next minute he is running down the aisle grabbing items off of shelves.

Problem #3: for some reason my kids think it is great to stick their heads, arms, feet, legs etc. Out the "window" of the car resulting in bumps, bruises, collisions and other unnecessary incidents.

Problem #4: my boys get into a wrestling match with each other in the front seat.

For the first time as a mother (and most definitely not the last) I actually found myself saying "everyone keep their hands to themselves." I am convinced my mother is looking down on me and laughing.

Instead of having a relatively quiet trip through the grocery store handing out muffins, granola bars, raisins, and rice cakes, I am now required to referee wrestling matches, prevent unfortunate traffic accidents and police any mistaken shoplifting incidents. Yes, my life was simpler when my boys were unaware of the existence of the car cart, but now they know and there is no going back.