When my now 21-month-old daughter was a baby, I remember going to the supermarket and seeing cute toddlers cruising along in ride-on toy cars attached to grocery carts being pushed by their moms or dads. I couldn’t wait for the day when my daughter was old enough to enjoy such rides.
But when the day finally came, pushing my daughter in such a cart was nothing like how I had imagined. Sure, my tot enjoyed the ride, but the bulky cart with the car attached to the front was very hard to turn and maneuver throughout the crowded store. In fact, we haven’t let our daughter ride in a cart car since.
This is why today’s hint is to skip using similar grocery carts with toy cars attached if you happen to see them at your local supermarket.
It turns out that I’m not the only parent who has found turning grocery shopping into a toy car ride more trouble than it’s worth. Friends of mine have voiced similar frustrations with trying to maneuver car shopping carts through grocery stores.
Meanwhile, other parents note additional downsides to such carts, including that they can be dirty and full of germs. Plus, some kids can easily climb out of them. This means you have to keep constant tabs on your little ones when they’re “driving” the cars, difficult to do when they’re sitting in a toy car attached to the front of the grocery cart.
For instance, Dresden Shumaker of the site Creating Motherhood wrote back in a 2012 about how her then 2- year-old son “figured out how to unbuckle himself and crawl through the front window of the car,” heading straight toward a row of pasta jars. As she notes in the post entitled “Does any parent love the car shopping cart?”, besides the challenges involved in trying to maneuver the cart, her “annoyance and frustration level were sky-high” because she had to constantly make sure her son was still in the toy car.
To be sure, shopping carts with the cars attached are designed for kids and meant to be safer than sticking your child in the seat of a regular old shopping cart, which little ones could potentially fall out of, as About.com Pediatrics points out. However, the added frustrations that come with such carts can make grocery shopping more time-consuming and aggravating than it needs to be.
But what if your child really wants to ride in such cars while you shop? You could shop at stores that don’t have them, shop online or tell your little one the truth: those carts are harder to steer. Or if you want to make your child happy and you don’t mind such a cart’s maneuvering challenges, you could schedule your shopping trip at a time when the store isn’t crowded, so pushing the bulky cart around won’t be as much of a hassle.
What’s your take on shopping carts with ride-on cars attached? Like them or hate them and why?