Why don’t you take J with you food shopping, he never spends time alone with you my mother “suggested” this past Sunday. Food shopping is usually my “alone time” (sad isn’t it) but mom did have a point. Rarely do I spend any alone time with J (my 3yo with autism) aside from fighting with him to get dressed or go to the bus stop.
Wanna go to the store with Mommy J? YES! he yelled as he ran to get his shoes. Guess that answered my question. Off we went to my favorite food store McCaffreys.
McCaffreys is the Nordstroms of food stores. It’s prices are a little higher than the average store (ie: Shop Rite, Stop & Shop) but everything just looks so much nicer. Apples are shiny and stacked in neat pyramids, vegetables are fresh and look slightly misted AND the average wait time at the deli counter is maybe 5 minutes (that alone is worth the trip).
So J and I get to McCaffreys and I find a cart to stick him in. NO NO NO! he says. Dude, we gotta get in the store, what is the problem? Truck, truck he says.
I look across the parking lot and see what he is talking about, the infamous fire truck shopping cart. O-M-G NOT the fire truck cart!!
Have you seen these carts? In theory they are adorable! It’s a regular shopping cart and attached to the front is a fire truck (or police car) with 2 seats and 2 steering wheels (with horns that beep). The truck part looks sort of like the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car. However, these carts are dangerous.
First, the inside of the truck is a petri dish of germs. The steering wheels are dirty and god only knows what kids do when they are inside the truck. A parent can’t see inside the truck when pushing the cart (unless you to walk around to the front of the cart and bend down to look inside).
Second the cart is impossible to steer, especially when you start on your food shopping journey. The regular cart is empty (or maybe has some produce in it) and the fire truck is weighted with your kid(s) so when you attempt to steer the cart takes off in a separate direction. Wait, that is not the best part. Trying to turn from 1 aisle to another is really fun. You actually have to give yourself a running start and go wide to make the turn. This is NOT appreciated by the other shoppers, which is obvious by the sighs and dirty looks, when you sometimes bump their cart with the fire truck.
Lastly, check out is like an obstacle course. Once you manage to fit the cart in the check-out lane (no easy feat) you have to figure out a way to slide yourself past the cart to start bagging. Due to the size of the cart, it is almost easier walk around another check-out lane to start bagging (luckily McCaffreys bags for you AND they group similar items in the same bag).
J and I survived our food shopping trip with the fire truck cart. J was as happy as a clam in that damn cart. He didn’t complain or try to get out once. He happily steered the dirty wheel (of course I had no wipes) and beeped the horn and would say Moni…look wheel! Looking at his happy face made the torture of the cart all worth it(sort of).