car cart grocery shopping - Boston Moms Blog

“Mommy, I want the car!”

Those are the five most dreaded words any mom can hear when entering the grocery store.

Have you ever driven the shopping cart attached to the little car?

I am talking about that bright yellow and red car attached to the shopping cart. The car your toddler can already see when you’ve only mentioned a trip to the grocery store. The car that barely has seat belts, when it should have a five-point harness. The car that gives your children quick and easy access to all the foods on the bottom two rows in each aisle.

Yes, that car. 

It’s always interesting walking around the store pushing this car cart, and over the past few months I’ve been seeing the same people while I’m “driving” my two boys around in that precious car. So I thought I’d give you a rundown of the people you can expect to see when you’re lucky (or brave) enough to tackle the cute little car cart. 

1. The stare-down person

You see me coming from a mile away and just stare. You don’t blink. You don’t offer to push your cart out of the way. You just stare at me. While I’m using all the mom muscles I’ve built up from carrying child number two, who won’t let me put him down, you fix your gaze into my direction. Then, finally, once I have passed you, I hear you breathe a sigh of relief and continue on your way.

2. The teammate

I see you out of the corner of my eye pushing your kids in the other yellow and red car. I feel your pain. I know you have encountered the same people and have not even made it to the bread aisle yet. We must stick together but, at the same time, stay out of each other’s way. These cars are huge and don’t take corners well. We smile at each other and continue, in opposite directions.

3. The pity-look person

Your kids are probably grown, but you remember the days when grocery shopping was like a NASCAR race. The flashbacks this car cart brings strike a little fear in you, but a little nostalgia sets in because your kids have grown. I can see that. As we pass each other, you look, give a head nod, smile, and move quickly toward the next aisle. 

4. The friendly cashier

Seeing you means I have almost successfully made it out of the grocery store without any meltdowns, car accidents, or tears. You smile and then get a confused look on your face because I am not unloading my carriage like everyone else. I am shimmying between the carriage and the convenient mountain of candy in your lane because I can’t possibly reach over the car to put all my groceries on the belt. And, while I’m squeezing between the carriage and candy, you hear me talking and assume I have kids but aren’t quite sure because the car blocks all view. You only hear me saying, “No, we are not getting candy, no we cannot buy the magazines, or the balloon.” (Whose idea is it anyway to sell balloons at EACH register?) Once I have unloaded my carriage, I give you one-word answers in between the conversation with my kids, and you are very pleasant and tell me to have a good day.

5. The bagger

I appreciate you, and probably more than you know. You know that entertaining my children while I try to unload my carriage and pay is not in your job description, but you do it anyway. You are always so friendly and sometimes even give my kids stickers. Thank you. You have just helped me end my shopping trip on a positive note, even if I smashed into two displays, put “stolen” goods back in the wrong aisles, and opened the Goldfish mid-trip to quiet down the two in the little car.

Just remember, next time you go to the grocery store, say yes to the car cart and enjoy the people you encounter. It makes “driving” through the grocery store much more fun!


Krystal Avila
Krystal is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the 'burbs and is now loving the city life in Roslindale with her husband and 3 boys (9, 6, and 1). She and her husband met downtown working at a restaurant together, and since then their love of restaurants has kept their date nights exciting as they try out the latest places. Learning Spanish has been something Krystal has loved ever since middle school, and that has become her passion as a Spanish teacher, wife to a Salvadoran, and mother raising her children bilingual. Loves: family, friends, playing with her kids, a comfy hoodie on the beach when the sun goes down, nachos, baking, Christmas movies. Not so much: loud music, putting away laundry, terrible threes, and black pepper.