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Diatribe: Enormous Plastic Shopping Carts Are A Huge Nuisance.


ShoppingCartGrocery shopping with a toddler can be difficult.  Grocery shopping with other people who have toddlers is even worse.  Grocery shopping with other people who have toddlers and insist on using one of those enormous plastic shopping carts shaped like a train or a sports car is a nightmare.

I frequently encounter mothers and/or nannies who seem to think that a trip to the supermarket and a trip to the park are both child-centered outings.  I couldn’t disagree more.  The grocery store is not a playground, a gymnasium or an arcade.  Games like Kick the Mac & Cheese  or Tuna Can Hockey should never be allowed.  Shopping cart races in the bread aisle must not take place.

When I was a child, shopping for groceries was not a group activity.  I often accompanied my mother on her shopping sprees but I sat quietly in the front of the shopping basket, my legs swinging, as my mother carefully guided our purchases up and down each aisle making certain that everything was just out of my reach as we passed.  I didn’t expect to get out of that cold metal seat until we had paid for our purchases and returned to the car in the parking lot.

Researchers say that more fecal bacteria is typically found on grocery cart handles than in a bathroom, mainly because bathrooms are disinfected more often than shopping carts and, apparently, toddlers are not clean.  Most supermarkets now provide disinfectant wipes at the entrance door so that customers can wipe the handles themselves.  Kids have been riding in shopping baskets for generations and I think they should continue to do so.

Lets get rid of the big plastic shopping carts!  They’re the unnecessary equivalent of big rigs on a go-cart track!

Who’s with me?!


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From → Diatribes

  1. Since Grandma taught me to never say ‘hate’ let me say that i loooooooaaaaathe those things!


  2. For a while, when the resident kids were small, one store had mini shopping carts for kids. omg! They were unguided missiles. Then they put tall flags on them so you would have time to hide if you saw a flag coming at you. Then they went away….


  3. Great post. The aisles are only so big. I will disgust you with this next comment, but the most germ filled thing in a supermarket is the black pad on which your groceries sit at the cashier. Never set raw vegetables or fruit that are exposed on the pad. If you do wash them well. BTG


  4. I agree with you. I go another step further… I don’t like babies and small children. They’re disease ridden and can cough and sneeze on you… I’ve told my nieces that I’ll come visit then when the babies are about 4 or 5 yrs old and can clean up after themselves (as much as that’s possible)


  5. Can we just ban kids everywhere I go? Too extreme?


  6. Agreed AND those parents NEVER put them back or in the corals! I’m lucky my store has wipes at the door – I always get one and then get my cart.

    As for cleaning veggies, have you seen how they are packed and washed? They’re not washed. Most are picked by hand and placed directly into the container they are shipped and sold in. So I wash them good before putting them away and I use a wipe on all canned goods. I’ve seen what crawls, pees and poops on those as well as humans who cough, sneeze and touch the cans. ALSO, the conveyer belts are almost as filthy as the carts.

    I may sound paranoid but I’ve worked in grocery stores.


  7. Hubby does our grocery shopping now, but when I did I hated toddlers running free around the store, grabbing things off shelves, screaming & yelling in the carts. Parents please: If your children do not know how to behave in the store – either teach them or leave them at home!
    I was a single parent & needed to take my daughter with me when I shopped. If she started to act up we left the store or restaurant. I would just scoop her up immediately, apologize to the cashiers for leaving a cart of food & get out of the store. She learned in a hurry her bad behavior would not be tolerated. If she behaved she would sometimes get a coloring book or a treat, but good behavior was expected.


  8. I’m so with you on this one. I can’t stand those monstrosities. I also enjoy parents who “drive” those carts then park them in the center of the aisle so that the kids can’t reach out and grab things off the shelf. Then, while you wait for them to move the cart, they have a philosophical discussion with the kids about the merits of crunchy versus smooth peanut butter.

    Perhaps there should be child free shopping hours.


    • I think you might be on to something! Why not offer child-free shopping hours! Most supermarkets in my area have “senior days” (another event on my To Be Avoided List) so why not an “adults only” opportunity!


  9. Yeah, I agree. supermarkets are no place for kids. Awesome post.



  10. As a mother who has had to use those damn over sized shopping carts to get my little hellions to “shut the heck up while mommy gets some milk and for godsakes two bottles of wine” I can promise we don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, I stopped shopping at my favorite market until they promised to get rid of the idiot cars. I also stopped shopping with children until they were old enough to understand I meant it when I said if you touch one thing or move off my 6 I will take every shred of electronics out of the house and leave you home alone for the rest of forever. I am quite obviously mother of the decade.


    • You get my vote! I’m sure half the kids I see pushed around in those behemoths are only there because they threw, or threatened to throw, a hissy fit. Supermarkets really should do away with them.

      (I wish I could buy wine in grocery stores!)


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