NB – In today’s thrilling post, I am going to talk about shopping trolleys. To my American readers, I mean shopping carts, of course. To all my lovely readers over the rest of the globe, hopefully you can figure it out!
Today, after picking Evie up from her pre-school, I headed to our local Safeway to pick up groceries for Thanksgiving, and generally re-stock our cupboards. Henry is now old enough, and strong enough, to sit in a shopping trolley and enjoy the ride – which should make this particular chore so much easier, now I don’t have to strap all 18lb 10oz of him in the Ergo and lug him around myself. Because, that’s what I’ve been having to do, until now. American supermarkets don’t have trolleys with infant seats, like we were spoilt with at Sainsburys:
Nor do they have those great car seat trays, that you get at ASDA:
Sorry, I’m generalising. Seattle supermarkets don’t have them – maybe things are better in New York or Chicago?
But here, at least, if your little one is not yet able to sit up unaided, then you are stuck with the baby carrier, or (as I have actually done, rather than risk waking my incredibly light-sleeping newborn), pushing the trolley with one hand, while dragging the stroller behind you with the other! Fun times.
And now that your infant is finally mature enough to sit in that hard, plastic seat by himself, we have the problem I faced today. What do you do with your toddler?!?
If you have the patience of a saint, plenty of time on your hands, and you don’t mind random items like Spongebob yoghurts and Dora fruit loops mysteriously appearing in your trolley, then you can let her walk. If you only have a couple of things to buy, and your 2-year-old doesn’t have ambitions to be the next Gabby Douglas, then she can sit in the trolley itself, of course. But if you have an Evie, who thinks this is an ideal platform from which to practice her Swan Diving, or if you are trying to do your weekly grocery shop, then maybe it’s not such a great idea.
Yes, trolleys like this do exist, as modeled by our little diva:
But not all supermarkets carry them, and when they do, they are often harder to nab than a bargain iPad on Black Friday!
Which brings me to my moan about today (a first world problem, to be sure – as a friend from home so charmingly put it – but no less annoying for being so). I drove in to Redmond’s Safeway – not a small store, by any means, nor is it in the middle of nowhere – and dashed inside, promising Evie that she could get in the (blue plastic) car when we were out of the rain. But there was no car to be found. In fact, there were no double trolleys of any kind. I asked three different staff members (because I simply didn’t believe the first two!) if they had any trolleys for two kids, and they all said no. When I asked what people with more than one child should do, they told me to put Evie in the main basket. As I pointed out that I then wouldn’t have any room for my groceries, they shrugged indifferently, as if that was clearly my problem, and nothing to do with them.
At which point, the raging 15 year old in me jumped on Facebook and proclaimed “Safeway – you suck!!!!!!!!”. Yep. I did that. That’ll show ’em!
In the end, the turkey had to be bought, the nappies needed restocking urgently, and I had nothing in the house for dinner, so poor Evie just had sit cross-legged in that metal contraption, and surround herself with packaged meat, Cheerios boxes and bags of potatoes. Lucky girl!
But my question is….what on earth do American moms (and dads, when on duty) do? How do you do the grocery shopping with a newborn? Or with two kids, when the youngest is not quite old enough to sit in a blue plastic car? Do you start to choose where you shop purely based on what type of cart they have on offer? Or do you just opt to stock up the pantry once Dad’s home and the kids are in bed?
It seems kind of crazy to me that none of the big stores have cottoned on to the idea of providing decent baby-friendly trolleys. Surely Moms (and particularly bored, stay-at-home moms of young infants) are a huge part of their demographic?
Godammit, America – fix this. Somebody, anybody, get yourself on Shark Tank and make your millions.
I’ve just blown my Big Moneymaking Sure Thing.
This was supposed to have been a post all about how parent-unfriendly America is, in so many ways. But instead, I seem to have written an entire essay about trolleys!
Happily for you, I shall just need to save my
rants observations on childcare options, maternity benefits, (in)flexible working policies and school hours for another day.
Something to look forward to!