We ventured out yesterday, the kids and I. We went to Target (do you hear angels singing?) When I lived in Massachusetts, the nearest Target was a solid 25 minute drive, and it wasn’t even the full-service, get your eyebrows waxed and pick up some milk variety. It was a Greatland, which is Targetspeak for “more than the regular store but less than you want.”
So yesterday we went to our local Target, which takes up one city block and comes complete with direction kiosks to help you navigate your way around this brave new world. That’s a bit facetious, but the point is, we’d committed ourselves to a major operation while still on a 2 hour nursing schedule. Fortunately, this Target is part of a mall (or unfortunately, depending on how shop-savvy you are.) While the 3 oldest rode the merry-go-round, I nursed the youngest. Fun was had by all.
We finished shopping, and made our way out to the car. I had the baby strapped securely to me via Baby Bjorn’s 1990 edition and I also pushed the overloaded, who-needs-all-this-junk carriage. The oldest child carried a large storage bin that wouldn’t fit in the carriage, the middle child carried my large diaper bag/purse, and the youngest child played a fun game of Dodge Car (similar to Dodge Ball but less emotionally scarring.) I realized when we were almost to the end of the row of cars that we had parked on the opposite side of a median which would not allow us to cross over it without a good pair of wings. Since we were almost at the end anyway, I thought the smartest move would be to continue on with the direction we were headed, thus going around the median and saving ourselves the headache of backtracking all the way to the store and heading down the correct row. Some people would have remembered which row they had parked in, but those are the same people who organize their shopping trip by aisle and who actually write down lists. I write down lists, but, like every other thing I write down, those lists then get thrown in the garbage before I go shopping. It makes the adventure that much more exciting. Anyway, back to the whole wrong-aisle, just go around to get to the car idea.
In theory, that’s the best answer, right? Except that Target grocery carts are equipped with front wheels that lock when you cross a certain point. Like, say, the last parking spot on a row. Which means that if you’re trying to go past that last parking spot in order to get to the other last parking spot across from it, you’ve got to work some major juju in order to get your stupid carriage to move. And, if you’re trailing 3 kids and carrying another, this ain’t no picnic. Oh, and if you think you can simply back up and the wheels will start working, you’re wrong. You can’t turn around, you can’t back up, and you’ve got a cart full of stuff, three tired kids and an aching back. What do you do?
You pop a wheelie and continue on down the road like you’re the Hell’s Angels, Mother Version. Can you picture it? A cart full of eggs, milk, hair dye, etc, being steered on the back two wheels by a mother slinging her 2 week old baby and being cheered on by her now-dancing daughters. I think we’ve found a new family activity.
I understand why Target puts the breaks on. After all, you don’t want all your carts to end up at the nearest bus stop. But, really, give a bit of latitude to those of us who are too stupid to remember where we park. Because it ain’t the 15 items or fewer people who take the carts out of the stores in the first place. It’s the “get it now ‘cause I’m not coming back for a month” people like me who really need to have the cart work all the way to the car, not just to the general area where cars are parked. Or, better yet, offer a pickup service. I’ll do the shopping, you wait with my carriage, and I’ll bring my car to you to load with the stuff I’ve bought. Ooooh, I like that idea.