Exhibit A: The Car Cart
I know what you're thinking: UGH, whose idea was it to make this monstrosity of a cart? Whenever you see these in the grocery store, you shudder and steer your own
normal cart the other way. Don't you. Yes, you do. Why? The car cart is big, virtually unsteerable, bangs into everything, and clearly contains humans small enough not to realize that we keep arms and legs and long, curly hair inside our vehicles at all times for a reason.
I can tell you this from experience: Moms do not want to drive the car cart. Dads don't drive the car cart. You never see that. It is so front-heavy and full of unpredictable toddler that you can't really blame people for turning their carts away and heading quickly in the direction opposite the food they are actually looking for.
On the morning of Father's Day, I drove the car cart. I took both girls to the store to grab some bacon for HH's celebratory breakfast whilst he slept. Now, Tootsie Roll is generally fine in stores. She is 7, and although she sometimes grumps that she has to walk (yes, I expect the slave driver comments to come pouring in, I have my armor on) and she wants everything, she is also big enough to know that she is big enough to walk and even she gets tired of my pre-recorded response, "Put it on your birthday list" (which works just as well for Count Chocula as it does for the newest must-have Silly Bandz). Curly Jones, on the other hand, is just at the age where she wants to do everything herself, and keeping her safely in the small seat in the front of a shopping cart is generally an exercise in futility because she can unbuckle and stand up. Unlike Toots, she wants to walk, but if you have ever tried walking around a store at 3 yr old pace where exciting things line every shelf at 3 yr old height... yeah, it's not exactly the most efficient shopping experience.
So there we were, with CJ in the car cart and TR complaining beside me. When you shop by yourself, other shoppers do not generally go out of their way to talk to you (at least not in New Jersey). But the car cart is an attention magnet, eliciting comments from just about every person you go by (well, at least the other people who are awake and in the grocery store at 7am on a Sunday), ranging from, "Are you sure you can drive that thing?" to "Don't crash!" to "Whoa... aren't you kind of young to have a license?" (not much of a range is my point) all directed at the youngster in the car. People mean to be friendly, but said kid in car ignores them because they can't see anything from the car cart except maybe the person's legs. So Car Cart Mom smiles, secretly cringing at all the crashing comments, seeing as the weekend before, Tootsie Roll and I were in a car accident that shook her up a lot.
I managed to wrangle the car cart to the card aisle to pick out some Father's Day cards (better late than never, I know). The aisles are not super wide, but I was able to put the car cart all the way to the right of the aisle (on the birthday card side) and leave plenty of walking space on the Father's Day card side. A few people came by and picked out cards. Finally, one woman approached from the opposite direction and literally ran her body right into the front of the car cart, pushing it away from the birthday cards. Startled, I said to the woman, "Sorry, I'd be happy to move the cart if you need to get a card." She sighed (not just audibly, it was like a stage sigh) and said, "Yes, obviously." So I went to move the cart and she started to go behind it and stare at the Father's Day cards on the other side of the aisle. I said, "Oh, if you need one of those, why don't you just go around to the other side?" meaning there is a reason I have my cart pushed all the way over here to THIS side, taking my chances with a 3 yr old within reach of about ten million birthday cards. But I said it nicely, because I don't want to be in someone's way with my giant car cart. She replied, "YES, WHY DON'T I DO THAT," walked to the other side, where she had a good several feet of space in which to gaze annoyedly at the Father's Day cards and literally bang her body into my cart on purpose about six times.
Now listen. I don't want to be driving the car cart. I don't want to explain for the umpteenth time that you cannot get out while the cart is moving. I don't want to hear everyone's comments about driving. I don't want to listen to my big one whine about why my little one gets to do everything. By the time we got to the checkout (which is almost impossible to drive the car cart through), I was still just feeling a little bit like a wounded puppy, wondering why people decide to just be nasty for no reason, when another woman, shopping by herself with no kids, gave me the most empathetic look and said, "I've driven that bus."
Thank you, fellow Car Cart Lady. You have no idea how I needed that. Oh,what we do for bacon...
Happy Father's Day to my Handsome Hubby :)