The great Target cart fail

Strangers often ask how I go shopping with the girls, which always baffles me, since they’re usually sitting (relatively) happy in their stroller, which has a big enough basket for the essentials.

Well, the question baffled me til we tried using a cart– and I realized the people asking are actually experienced parents who suffered through using carts with their kids. Here’s my PSA: Just don’t do it. Stick with the stroller. Trust me.


The other day while we were out running errands, I forgot the stroller and had already tackled Trader Joe’s while tandem wearing the girls.  So when we got to Target I thought I’d give their massive two-child cart thing a try. The girls sat right down and let me buckle them in, and they loved it. They bounced, squealed and asked me to move every time I stopped for something.

For the first five minutes.

Now that they think of themselves as Big Girls, they love pushing the cart. The cart handle was in front of them, but too far to reach for their little arms– everything about these carts is definitely made for bigger kids.

So in the middle of the clothes section, after asking them about 10 times each to sit back down, I finally said in my sternest voice, “Sit on your buns right now!” Each time I got one buckled, the other would extricate herself and go for the handle again. They didn’t believe me that they couldn’t actually reach it without falling.

After Lucy tried to bite me to keep me from buckling her again, I tried to put her in the Mei Tai on my back, but ended up chasing her through the clothes while Catalina stood on the cart.

Finally, with Lucy on my back and Catalina still standing, a woman came over and said, “Can I help you?” Yes, I thought, if you’re Cinderella’s fairy godmother and can wave your want and make my children stay seated! 

Most of the time I appreciate people’s offers of help, but it was clear that what she really meant was, “Maybe if I come calmly over and offer help you’ll calm down and stop struggling with your children! I’m sure it’s really easy to get toddlers to sit down if you’re nice about it.”

I thanked her anyway and managed to keep Catalina from falling off the cart seat for the rest of our shopping adventure. Another stranger very nicely tried to help sit her down, which terrified her into sitting for about five minutes while I grabbed the last things on our list. Now that’s how to be helpful.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to leave Target! It’ll be another year or three before we try that innocent-looking double cart again.

4 thoughts on “The great Target cart fail

  1. I do the carts, but not the fancy ones. I tried one of the minivan ones with Callan at Kroger one time and he wouldn’t stay in it, so I said “no more”. It’s the boring regular cart for him; he gets a “treat” (fruit pouch) if he behaves. Sean gets strapped in the seat no matter what. Unfortunately I sometimes have to do big shops with both boys so we do what we have to…even if it means both boys having a meltdown while imprisoned. 🙂

      • Yeah…I’m counting down the days til I can’t take them shopping anymore. I mean, we live in a very family friendly area where a meltdown in public isn’t a big deal…but everyone has limits. 🙂 I also know that shopping takes twice as long with them, and once they’re more mobile it just won’t be feasible. I’ve already started going at night sometimes after they go to bed. 🙂

  2. Ellie must be charmed…. she has never tried to climb out of the cart!! So far, I can just stick her in there and put Zoe in the Ergo, and away we go. I’m sure she will get tired of it at some point, and then there will be great calamity :-O

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