Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Listen up "Parking Lot People", listen up!

It's obvious to me that the people who design grocery store parking lots don't have kids -- or they're men, which means they very seldom actually do any grocery shopping -- and I'll tell you why. Because, if they did have kids, they'd put in a lot more SHOPPING CART RETURN areas. I mean, seriously people, cut a frazzled Mom some slack, will ya? I'm the kind of person who picks up other people's garbage and puts it in the garbage can. I hold doors open for little old ladies. I try as hard as I can to remember to bring my own re-usable bags to the grocery store, so I won't have to get plastic ones. I let people with just a couple of items go ahead of me in the checkout line. I really WANT to do the right thing. I WANT to return my cart to the appropriate spot. I really, really do. So, please, oh please, parking lot designers, if you ever loved your own mother, give the rest of us Moms some more options.

You see, here's the reality of shopping with little kids: I come out of the grocery store, my cart stacked to the brim with groceries, one little boy perched on each side, most likely hurling jokes and insults at one another across the expanse of groceries, while begging for a snack at the same time. I'm exhausted and frustrated, which goes without saying, and I'm envisioning getting home and having to unpack all these bags when I get there, not to mention cooking dinner after that. I arrive at my parking spot, waaaaaaaay in the back of the lot, of course, because that seems to be the only place I can ever find an open slot to park. The boys jump in and buckle up, after the initial pushing and shoving match, that is. I unload bag after bag after bag of groceries into the back of the minivan. (Yes, a minivan. I used to have a sassy red jeep wrangler. Now I'm a minivan Mom. Sob.) I turn to look for the nearest cart return area. It's 12 cars back the way I came. Or, I could pick the one that's only 3 cars ahead, but it's two aisles over. What's a Mom to do? I can't simply leave two little boys alone in the car to trek to the nearest cart return area. Have you not heard about little kids being carjacked along with the car? Hmmmm? Or, what about those situations where the Mom steps away for a minute, and one of the little kids somehow manages to climb up front, release the parking brake, and the car rolls back into traffic and gets hit? What about that? Huh? Of course, there's the option of getting the kids back out of the car to make the 1/4 mile trek to the cart return area, and back, with me. But, seriously, do you have any idea what this actually involves? Do you have any idea the added stress such a seemingly-insignificant endeavor can cause to the average exhausted mother? So, instead, I guiltily push my cart right over to where other frazzled parents have abandoned their own carts. I'm always careful to make sure it's not going to roll anywhere or hit anybody else's car or anything. Still. There's guilt. And I blame you, parking lot people. I. BLAME. YOU.


P.S. Totally different topic: My 4-year-old just came in, climbed up behind me on the chair, wrapped his arms around me, gave me a big squeeze and said, "Oooooh, Mommy. You have a big, big belly. I love your big belly." Um, thanks, Foster. Thanks a lot...SIGH.


  1. I'm with you on whole-heartedly on this one. I hate leaving my cart in the parking lot but I hate leaving my kids in the car more. I always feel guilty about not putting them away. I also think shopping carts with brakes would be incredible and are sorely needed.

  2. I so agree! You would think that they it would be more productive of the store to put in more cart returns. I always feel like I'm doing something wrong if I don't put them away but when Spencer says he'd rather stay in the car...I don't really have a choice!