This is a post that has percolating at the back of my mind for quite some time, and especially after some recent visits to the grocery store, and in my mind I am having a good rant over trolley usage, or rather abuse. (I must specify for my US readers, I’m talking about shopping carts.)
This is the thing. When you have multiple children and you need to visit the grocery store, trolley choice becomes crucial. The success of your shopping expedition will have a direct correlation to the shopping trolley (shopping cart) that you are able to use. At this point, I would like to take the opportunity to applaud Coles. Coles is by far my favoured grocery store to shop with the triplets in tow. It is also my 7 & 4 year olds favourite shop because it has child sized trolleys that they LOVE! (I must admit, they can be a hazard to other customers though.) Coles have these awesome trolleys that can sit two toddlers in as well as the normal trolley seat. It is ideal for triplets and the beauty is that there is enough room to fill a whole trolley full of groceries.
|Going shopping with the triple seated toddler trolley. It made even shopping with 7 kids (my neighbours kids were with me that day) manageable!|
I have not seen these trolleys at Woolworths, but my local Woolworths does have a twin trolley with two seats at the front. Which means the third child has to sit in the trolley, which will inevitably end up with groceries being squashed, a child standing up and leaning over the edge or general discontent because the two at the front start fighting. (Well, they fight in the awesome trolley at Coles as well, but not quite as much.) I am very particular when I go shopping at grocery stores, I’ve recently stopped shopping at a Coles in town because they have shut an automatic door in from the carpark and it’s now only used after hours. This means I now have no way of getting the trolley for the triplets before I get out of the car unless I walk them all through the shopping centre to get to the grocery store. At the risk of a toddler meltdown as we walk through to the shops, I now only go to the Coles closest to our house and will not get groceries if I’ve got the kids in town and just make do with what is at home. There is just so many different contingencies when there are multiples. You have your little routines and you rely on them to be able to accomplish what was once a simple task.
|The twin trolley. As you can see, it’s not as much fun.|
Which gets me to the issue I would like to rant about. People, I would like to announce: There is trolley etiquette. There is. Believe me. If you don’t respect trolley etiquette people like me cannot go shopping. Or, if I’m truly desperate I will load three toddlers and two big boys into a normal trolley and try to rip in and out with whatever is necessary. Normally it doesn’t go well. If you are the person who is letting their eight year olds go for a joy ride in what I call the “triplet trolley” (which it of course isn’t, there are Mums that have two very young children and a baby, and they need to use this trolley as much as I do) I hope while they are joyriding, my tripletst screams, protest, whinging and crying give you a headache for the rest of the night, because that is what I will suffer. I apologise sincerely to the rest of the public that had to witness the unruly behaviour of my brood. I am so sorry, I am also mortified and embarrassed. I’m trying my best to train my children to be considerate of each other and the general population. I’m hoping that soon they will learn patience, I’m trying my best, but they just aren’t there yet all the time.
|Shopping with a normal trolley is a lot easier when you have Grandma accompanying the shopping trip. Toy section distracting in place.|
So, if you haven’t thought about trolley etiquette, here is an outline below. Please adhere to these guidelines.
1. If you have one toddler. Do not use the three seat toddler trolley. I know it is a lot of fun for your little cherub, (because hey, the seats are far more comfortable), but you will be able to do your shopping with that cherub in a normal trolley. If I go to the grocery store while you are using the triple trolley, I will have to turn around and go home. It would be great if there were more trolleys like this so you could take it for a joy ride, but there just aren’t, so please think of those who need it first.
2. If you have two toddlers. Think about using the twin trolley with seats up the front if it’s available before you use the three seat trolley. If those with three small children arrive at the store while you are shopping, they will be most appreciative that you left it alone so they could use it.
3. Reclining baby cradle trolleys have been made for babies who cannot sit up unassisted. These trolleys were NOT designed as a convenient spot to take your handbag for a ride. To the lady I saw the other day. I know you had a toddler, but that did not qualify you to take the toddler/newborn trolley so you could put your handbag in it. If there was a mother with a newborn and a toddler, her baby would have been so much more comfortable in it than your handbag. (Mainly because handbags can’t feel, unlike babies who begin to feel prior to 8 weeks gestation)
4. Reclining baby trolleys were not made for toddlers to sit in. In fact, often toddlers in them are kind of dangerous. Just sayin’.
5. OK, so this is my opinion here, but if your child is five and above, there really is little need for them to go in the toddler trolley. (I would go so far to say that school kids don’t need to go in those trolleys at all.) Once again, I know your kid probably enjoys the trip, but, once again, think of the bedraggled mother of all those children who might arrive at the store while you are waltzing around with the Rolls Royce of toddler trolleys. Of course, there are some days, where things just aren’t working out and your kindergartener and/or possibly a Prep child is just on the verge of losing it, (and you have two or three children), plonk them in and God speed to you. Just ignore the pointed glances that a multiple Mum like myself might give you and hold your head up high with the knowledge that on this occasion it was necessary. Because after all – what do I know? (Even if I’m in a world of pain as I try to wrangle the seven vegemite jars my toddler is trying to load in the trolley and catch the jam jar my other toddler is about to drop and we won’t men
tion the copious squeals, protests and tears from the third child who wants the small peanut butter put in the trolley instead of the economical large family sized jar… Yes, I may be talking about a real life incident here.)
So, have you witnessed any shopping trolley infringements that you’d like to report below?