Skip to main content

Carting the Kids

Lots of stuff about having toddlers is challenging. Like keeping your clothes clean and making sure they don’t eat the dog kibble.  Another challenge that seems to not be getting better is shopping.

The first problem is that anywhere we go seems to have only two double carts, both of which are currently being used by someone who has one child and a giant purse that obviously needs its own seat. At Target the don’t even get the excuse that the cart is shaped like a car and Little Timmy was having a meltdown if he didn’t get to ride in the car. Nope. Target has this monstrosity of a double cart that is an extender with two seats facing forward with a basket on the front. It looks like you’re pushing the kids on a roller coaster, except that there’s no rails, the thing can’t turn for shit and it’s not at all fun.

Considering that it’s never available, I guess I can’t really complain about it.

Instead I make the choice to put one in the seat and one in the basket. That was great until D got crowded and started launching things out of the cart in protest. Or when S opened the box of Cheerios and was chewing on the top of a bottle of Listerine while I’m trying to find the best price on paper towels. Plus there’s the whole safety thing about them standing and pitching out of the cart, or a sudden start and they go flying into a pile of stuff and bonk their head on a bottle of lotion or the cart itself. We’ve already had one cart induced injury that resulted in crying that could only be quieted with a snack.

Basically this setup is guaranteeing your child will cry in Target, which is pretty much already guaranteed, so now everybody cries twice.

Target, if there’s 2 kids in a cart crying, it’s your own fault for not having better carts.

if i don't get to the car soon that tissue paper will be toast.
When they were smaller I used to use the Buggy Bench, which is ingenious, and the inventor was a twin mom who had to go to the store and was apparently tired of cart shenanigans. It’s a semi structured fabric seat that straps onto any cart, adding a second seat. The downside is it takes up about 50% of your cart space and gives your child the opportunity to stomp all over the bag of frozen vegetables that slid under their feet. God help you if that happens to a package of ground beef or a container of body wash that can’t handle the pressure of the toddler stomp. There’s also an increased chance of hair pulling, but I’m chalking that up to toddlers and not the seating arrangement.

The other issue with the Buggy Bench is that everyone wants to stop and talk about it. Considering it takes an extra 20 minutes to do anything anyway just based on twin questions (yes, I am aware they aren’t identical) the bench will add another five. I should really just start carrying business cards because all moms of two small children, regardless of whether or not they birthed them on the same day, are fascinated by anything that may assist in making their lives a little easier and further restrain their children.

This weekend of that whole convenience went to hell of course when S decided she was going to try and get out. Luckily she couldn’t but D could from the regular seat (and of course the seat belt was broken), and so began a negotiation through Target about bouncing in seats instead of standing. I must have looked like a lunatic walking through the store bouncing up and down while pushing the cart with two manically laughing children who were covered in graham cracker crumbs.

What has happened to my life that I don’t even care about looking like an ass anymore?

I also can’t be the only one who has this issue with carts, two small children and nothing ever working. If it’s not a crazy wheel, it’s a broken belt, or crying child, or any other number of things that make what will already be a long, expensive trip even more long and possibly more expensive. Also, you will need to feed multiple snacks to keep them from totally revolting, which means cracking open that box of Cheerios while walking down the booze aisle hoping a good bottle of wine is on sale.

One day this won’t be a thing anymore and they’ll be actually walking on their own, too big for the cart, and I’ll be chasing them through the store into clothing displays and really, really missing that buggy bench, but until then, this is my life; multi-snack meltdowns and all.