Friday, March 11, 2011

Little Dudes Coupe

Gentlemen Start Your Shopping!

I laugh about it now.  There are a lot of opportunities to laugh at your former self after becoming a parent.  I mean, they seemed so unsanitary, and certainly not a place I would ever want MY kids hanging out in.  Grimy is probably the word that comes to mind to best describe my feelings towards them.

Of course now that I am a father - a full time working father who also drives his son to and from school- I know better.  There are times, like tonight, when they seem nothing short of a Godsend.

I'm referring, by the way, to those shopping cart cars that line the entrances of local grocery stores. Yes, those grimy, beaten up red cars with the yellow roofs attached to the front of a shopping cart. 

But new dad's take note.  Now, if I am lucky enough to score one of them while stopping in to pick up a few items for dinner on a solo trip home at the end of the day with Lukas, I consider myself golden.

Take last night for example.  After a long hard day at his daycare Lukas was T.I.R.E.D.  Unfortunately, there wasn't anything at the house to make for dinner so I had to stop at the grocery on the way home.  I had tried a walk in with him under similar circumstances a few days before, with disastrous consequences.  He was mobile, tired, hungry, and grabby. Needless to say that outing didn't end so well. 

But last night we scored a red car on the way in to the store.  He actually wanted a blue version he spied as we pulled up, but once we got there, it had been commandeered by a set of twins.  Lukas just looked a me with a 'Dude! Where's my car?' expression, before jumping into a red model.  From there I was able to dart from aisle to aisle looking for items on my list, keeping him entertained by zipping around the store at a jogging pace making hairpin turns around newly formed displays of crackers and soda.

I have found the key is to treat the ride like it's the 24 hours of Le Mans.  And most importantly, to keep moving.  I don't need to tell you how many 'treats' they keep on the bottom shelves at these places. There were several occasions last night where zoomed right past an item while Lukas' arm and finger were outstretched and he implored me to "Stop! Stop! Look! Look Daddy! Look!"

There were even a couple of times when he tried to crawl out the window of the cart car while it was still moving, ala Bo or Luke Duke in the General Lee.  I think I even heard him let out a high pitched "Yeeeee Haaaaw!" as we passed that same blue car sailing fast down one aisle.  I could have swore one of the twins looked a little like Roscoe P. Coltrain. 

And when he wasn't itching to get out and grab something tasty that we passed, he was actually hamming it up with the other patrons.  There were several folks who were caught off guard by a tiny little voice inside the car saying "Hello!" as we passed them.  Invariably, this brought a few smiles to some otherwise serious faces.

No, I no longer have disdain for the grocery cart kids cars.  I now think they are a pretty awesome way for me to keep my son entertained and out of trouble while I am getting some necessary shopping done. And despite being foiled from grabbing all the goodies the store has to offer as he passes, I think the amusement park ride type of atmosphere has Lukas sold on them too.

Plus, as the 3 year old smiling blonde who came up to talk to him while he sat in the car in the checkout line can attest, the fairer sex seem to dig a guy with a cool set of wheels too.

Vroom, Vroom indeed.


Homemaker said...

"He actually wanted a blue version he spied as we pulled up, but once we got there, it had been commandeered by a set of twins. "

Friggin Beta Dad.

My kids love those things. For a while, a trip to the supermarket guaranteed an automatic fit from my oldest if we couldn't find a "beep-beep" for them.

ericdbolton said...

My daughter asks for one all the time when we go shopping. I say okay in hopes they're all taken. The ones at our store have the whole basket shaped like a race car. So they're sitting up top steering like they're at Daytona. If I find one it's cool when I have one or two kids (it seats two). but if I have three or four, forget about it. I'm not starting drama about who gets to drive the car. I'll put that off as long as I can. At least 13 years from now.

WILLIAM said...

I find thos things hard to drive.

I really like the ones in LOwes where the kid sits up high.

Barbara L said...

Ha, you have now moved into acceptance stage of parenting. There are things you do because, well, they work.
Loved the post!

Mrs. M said...

haha - great post. Yep, ya gotta keep moving. Even with that I have left the store once or twice with a few items I didn't know were in the cart! :)

SciFi Dad said...

Like William, I find them more difficult to maneuver in the aisles, but they are SO worth it when the kids aren't 100% cooperative.

Lady Mama said...

My kids love those carts with cars. I'm guessing whoever designed them probably has kids.

heidi said...

Oh yeah - I still don't love those cart - especially when I end up pushing them around while my two little heathens play Chinese Fire Drill every time I have to stop. Plus, the turn radius on those things really does blow.

I'm awesome and I give the kids a sloppy ole donut when they first get in to further occupy them. You can thank me for getting YOUR kid all sticky. You're welcome.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Homemaker Man - Hey, that might have actually been Beta Dad.

@Eric - I could see how dividing a car up among multiples would be tough.

@William - I actually haven't seen those. I'll keep an eye out now though.

@Barbara - Thanks. Yes, acceptance phase is much easier.

@Mighty M - We have to do a quick once over at the check out line.

@Scifi - Yes, hard to steer and also to get into an elevator like the one to the parking lot at my grocery store.

@Lady Mama - Absolutely. Nesesscity breeds invention.

@Hiedi - I think I need to find the fire truck version so I can hose it down before letting him in next time.

WillBinMN said...

I agree with William about the ones where the kids sit up high. Home Depot has the same kind and my boys love going just to look around. I do my grocery shopping at Target and unfortunately their kid carts suck. They really need to look at getting a new design.

PJ Mullen said...

We only have to tell our son that we're going to BJ's and he'll immediately start talking about the car carts. I'll trip a parent to get to one first :)

nappy valley girl said...

My sons LOVE those carts. But yes, you have to keep moving, otherwise they get out and run away. And they like to 'go really fast, mummy' so I end up motoring around the supermarket like Michael Schumacher.