You and Your Free Cookies and Mini Shopping Carts…

Dear Grocery Store,

You are close to me, closer than any other grocery store has been my whole life. When I need something, no matter the time of day, you are there for me, like a slightly cold, florescent-lit rock.

Lately I’ve grown a bit too dependent on you, though. Because you never let me down and I know I can return to you when the need arises, I’ve become lazier. When I realize, from my spot in line at Checkout Lane 4, that I’ve forgotten something crucial for my dinner planned two nights away, I shrug and think to myself, “I’ll be back.” Most likely the very next day. Because I have four children who eat alarming amounts of food and I have a tendency to accidentally leave imperative ingredients off my lists. But you don’t judge. Your automatic doors open for me with a welcoming swish no matter how often I go through them. I’ll always find what I’m looking for when I roam your aisles.

Except for the time with the orzo. No orzo for days.

And there was that one time you stopped carrying the flour tortillas I like. The ones that have only have, like, 81, calories. But all was forgiven, because I asked you to bring them back and you did and now we’re okay.

I think we’re okay.

I mean, it’s not a huge deal, and I hate to bring it up, but I need to tell you about the grocery carts.

Maybe it is a big deal. Maybe I’m trying to spare your feelings because I can usually count on you and I don’t want to rock the boat.

All right. I’ll just come out and say it.

I hate your mini shopping carts. I hate them. Normally I like things scaled to a smaller size, even little salad dressing bottles or tiny ears of baby corn, but your child-sized carts have got to go.

When I saw them the first time, I had no idea. I thought, “Oh, how cute. Mini carts. My kids will love them.”

Oh yes, they love them. They love them so much they fight over who gets to push one when we go grocery shopping. Have you ever SEEN a woman pushing a normal cart through a store, trailed by four children who are having a hard time keeping their hands to themselves and wandering off to various aisles? Picture that mildly chaotic scene and then add four metal vehicles of torture.

First, there aren’t always four carts available. So the kids fight over who gets the stragglers with the wonky wheels and missing flags. Other shoppers gawk and I try to find a fair way to divide them while the two youngest boys threaten to brawl in front of the onions.

Second, I have to divide all of my groceries evenly amongst all the carts so no one feels left out. And Jonah thinks that since he has his own cart he’s free to make his own food selections from the shelves, which means we end up with a variety of vinegars and narrowly-missed catastrophes of the broken-glass-jar kind.

Third, without fail, at least one child will get “too tired” to continue pushing his or her cart, which means it ends up abandoned in an aisle and I must put all of that cart’s food into my cart. Until the kids say that’s not fair and I have to redistribute it to their carts.

Fourth, I repeat – have you ever SEEN a woman pushing a cart followed by four mini carts? Okay, that part is actually kind of cute, because my kids are ridiculously adorable. But they cause all kind of traffic jams because they don’t know how to follow Grocery Store Law and keep to the right sides of aisles in single file, and instead congregate in the middle of aisles and do wheelies and generally block every other shopper in the store. Which brings me back to them being cute, which helps them get away with their traffic jams, but it still makes grocery shopping with them take eight times as long as if the carts didn’t exist.

Fifth, the carts are on wheels and have no brakes. My ankles tell the tale by the bruises they bear. Your carts are heinous battering rams, plain and simple.

Don’t even get me started on your free cookies for kids.



  1. This is hilarious!!!

  2. lol, this created a very bright, colorful, wacky mini movie in my mind! and yeah, I realized that the grocery ha been my best friend for a year now. sigh.

  3. I love this. I’m so happy that my little store doesn’t have the small carts. Of course, now that I have all kids in school all day, I get to shop A.L.O.N.E and it’s beautiful. Oh and the cookies for free? What a racket. I can’t get through the store without my kids wanting one, even at 9 am!

  4. This post is a RIOT. Fellow Minnesotan here…located you by searching ‘life with four children.’ I have #4 on the way and I’m terrified!! 🙂 Glad I found you and will be following…

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