Posts Tagged ‘grocery store’

the shopping cart

February 11, 2018

Quick preface: I am the aunt. I’m temporarily looking after an 18 month old full time, and I get the 6 year old on the weekends. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.


I use to think there were 2 kinds of people in this world. The kind of people that put up their grocery carts and the kind of people that don’t. I always thought this, and was pumped when I even read an article once! It was satisfying to have someone else (with a viral article!) that felt the same way.

What horrible creature would NOT put up their cart?! It takes no time. You prevent car dings, and if nothing else you help the staff out just a little bit. It’s the line in the sand between the considerate, good humans, and the self-centered, terrible ones, right?

I recently discovered first hand there is a third type of individual. Let’s set up the scene a bit, for those of you that are still thinking there are no excuses for not putting up the dang cart.

It was a Saturday. The night before the 18 month old slept in 2 hour increments, waking up in an explosion of tears for exactly 4 minutes each episode. Was it enough to draw me out of bed? No. But it sure as hell woke me up enough to brace myself every time. Around mid-night the 6 year old girl came crying at the foot of the bed mentioning something scary. She climbs in and takes the middle half of the bed. This bed in particular draws everything to the center. So no matter how I hold on to the edge for dear sleep it’s not happenin’. As soon as I finally secure a spot that isn’t touching her, she moves a limb as if this is her life line to have some part of my body touch her.

So here we are Saturday afternoon. Everyone is grumpy. Everyone needs sleep. Everyone wants to play, but no one wants to tolerate the other. The 6 year old doesn’t understand why the 18 month old is so cruel to have ruined her fort that she “worked so hard on”. She starts to cry. He starts to cry. Both inconsolable. My sanity is being pulled to its breaking point.

I know! We need a field trip! Distractions for everyone! And a time killer, and a to-do knocked off the list for me! She needs her hair brushed. She hates her hair brushed. More tears thru tender headed tangled tendrils. He needs a diaper change. He hates a diaper change. More tears thru a fight on the changing table. We go three full rounds, but I win. “Aha! VICTORIOUS!”

The store is 1.5 miles away, so I don’t bother packing a bag. Otherwise, that would’ve just been too much work! Also, it’s a bit drizzly out. Is it irresponsible to take kids out in the rain? But you know what would be more irresponsible. Letting me get to my breaking point and drowning too kids in the tub. So, out in the rain to the grocery store it is!

We get to the store. I put baby up front on the cart and strap him in. She stands on the back and promises not hop off. I have to enlist her help so she is actually complicit. If she doesn’t feel like an authoritative figure then she is worse than the babe. Am I an enabler to our entitled youth? Maybe. But… I’m bored to tears and NEED this outing! Priorities, people.

The baby is pleasantly curious about everything. And the kid is working so hard at holding on to the cart that the trip goes way easy! We get a few things for dinner, breakfast, and snack. We even remember the toilet paper! WOOOO! More winning!

As we are approaching the check out counter I start to feel anxiety rise. How does this normally work? Do I transfer the kids to the cart they are loading? Do I hold them/hold them still on my side of the counter? What do people normally do? I’ve never taken note of this before. This has never been my world! I approach the girl at the counter and I say, “Do I need to take him out?” Pointing at the baby. She said, “He can stay.” Phew! I tell the 6 year old she has another very important task. Stand in font of the cart making sure baby stays put. Bonus points if she makes him laugh. The transaction goes smoothly. No one is crying. No one is begging to be held. GREAT! I CAN DO THIS!

We head for the exit. Crap. The drizzling slightly intensified. Ok. We can do this. See, when I parked I parked close because of the rain. Smart, right?! So we push through. We go straight for the car at a higher speed than a sunny day would warrant. Another wave of anxiety is coming on as I’m faced with another scenario I have never thought about. Do I throw the groceries in first? Or the kids? WHAT DOES ONE DO? But my body takes over at warp speed. I throw the food in the back, along with the toilet paper. Thank goodness the 6 year old is motivated by the drizzle to figure it out on her own. I get baby strapped in. EVERYONE IS IN and everything is in too! Yes!

Crap. What about the cart? I was so worried about the kids and the rain I didn’t even think about the cart drop off, which is typically my first concern when parking at the grocery store. The cart stall is a bagillion milles away! Do I leave the kids in the car? That feels wrong. What do people do!?

I pull myself together long enough to lock the doors, and march my cart as fast as possible to the cart stall and run back to the car. It’s raining so it looks like I’m running to avoid the rain, but really I have visions of kidnapping scrolling through my mind. I get in the car. Lock the doors again. And start it up. I look back at the kids. They are doing fine. Completely calm. The complete opposite of what I’ve been doing for the past 90 seconds of panic.

We get home. No issue. We are fine. We unload the car. We? Ha! *I* unload the car. Groceries, kids, and all.

What? We only wasted an hour? Ugh.

But yeah, there’s a third type of person. The anxiety-filled, reaching-the-breaking-point caregiver in the rain. That’s the third type. Even with the best of intentions mommyhood is a legit reason to ditch the dang cart.

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