i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Slow down Mom, and use the shopping cart with the car

Slow down and use the kiddy cart

As I got my shopping cart at the grocery store,  I heard, “Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!” A  little girl was sitting in the front of a grocery cart,  frantically pointing to a shopping cart with a car attached to the front of it.

An employee of the store was pushing the cart with a car from the parking lot to the front of the store, toward the little girl.

“Mama! Mama!”

“No, not today. We don’t have time.”

The mother ignored her daughter and  pushed her plain old shopping cart  into the grocery store.

I know the  shopping carts with the cars are a little harder to push. The carts are longer and take up more space in the aisle. A little tricky to push around corners.

And who am I to tell young mothers what to do? Me, the woman with gray hair on the side of her head and whose kids haven’t fit in a little car for about 8 years.

When I go to the grocery store I can leave my kids at home because they are old enough to stay home alone.

I wanted to run after the mother and say, “Hey Lady, did you see the cart with the car? You really do have time. And why don’t you have time? Did you know your children will grow up. Do you know that one day you will miss having to push the cart with the car. “

When my children were younger and we went shopping for groceries. We drove all over the parking lot looking for a cart with a car. If we saw a mother walking out of the store with one, we would try to park beside her, ready to swoop down like a hawk on a mouse, ready to grab the cart before another mother had a chance to get it.

And there in front of the grocery store was a cart with a car. A gem, a diamond. Not only did I want to talk to the mother who didn’t get the cart. But I wanted to run and get the cart with the car and run through the store looking for the mother, screaming, “I got the cart with the car for you! Where are you? I wanted to grab the kid and throw her  in the car, then run away.

But, I didn’t run after the mother. I went into the store and bought my groceries and came home. I didn’t want to get arrested for being a public nuisance.

And three days later as I am washing my dishes and cleaning the seven litter boxes, I keep hearing. “Mama! Mama!” and I see the face of the little girl again pointing at the shopping cart.

So I will tell you instead.

Slow Down Mom, and use the shopping cart with the car.

Life is not a race.

Take those extra five minutes to push the cart with the car. Listen to your little girl say, “Mama, Mama.” Because one day she won’t be living at home anymore.

And you would give anything for five more minutes.

And her world is the world of imagination, and all she thinks about is getting to drive her little car around the aisles.

Will you slow down today Mom?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Nicole Gayle Rice

    I love those car carts. Not because they look cool and fun but because they seat multiple kids. They make shopping so much easier on me as a mom of four. I keep my eyes open for them in the parking lot and will park next to one just to grab it before a mom with one child.

  • When my kids were little there were no carts with little cars. But like you, I do notice moms who are in a hurry with little ones who are not. I am blessed because I live by my grandchildren and see them often. My heart gets sad around the holidays when I see moms taking tired children and just shopping till their dropping. When a little child cries I feel sad that they are not on their way home to rest.

  • Teresa Richardson

    When my kids were growing up, there were no carts with cars. My youngest would ride in the seat and my oldest would ride clinging to the front of the cart.

    My grandsons live on opposite sides of the US from where I now live, but I would enjoy pushing my grandsons in the carts with the cars

  • Pamela Hand

    Ever read (slow family living)? I really like this book.

    Have been living this way for years. They have some good ideas to add to our lives. I have a few of my own that are not in the book.

  • Love the reminder, Pamela. When we are at a grocery store with a car we let the kids ride in it. It’s not that much trouble to push. Although I must admit to occasionally being in too big of a rush at times. The store we normally go to doesn’t have a cart with a car but it does have a giant Pumbah to ride. I’ll try to remember to bring quarters with me next time we go and let them ride the giant Pumbah just for you. 🙂 I’ll take some pictures of their smiles when I do.

  • kathunsworth

    I see the ruin of time peeling the layers of innocence away one by one the signs come. “No mum we are too old for happy meals.”
    “Mum we have not watched Charlie and Lola for a long while now.”
    “Oh mum I don’t play with dolls anymore they are for little girls.”
    “Can I go hang out with Dad and do boy stuff? I will watch Mr Bean with you another time.”
    I see the changes that we cannot stand in the way of and yet I want to keep my babies close. I see Mothers with younglings and remember when mine were up to the same tricks. I guess we should live in each moment, relish it and set it free. Thanks for sharing this reminder with me.

  • You bet I looked for those little cars. Joe and I made regular pilgrimages to a grocery store that wasn’t even that close to home, because he could ride around in the little car and eat a gigantic donut while I was shopping. And we would talk about a number of things in the car on the way there, and on the way home he would fall asleep. It’s a happy memory.

  • Pat Meyers

    I remember leaving a store one day and little guy sobbing because he just wanted to right the mechanical horse. A quarter. That’s all. And five minutes. I wanted to pay the quarter and wait with him while she loaded her car and pull up. Of course I couldn’t do it, but I sorely wanted to. I wanted to tell her that my kids were grown and it felt like 10 minutes. I wanted to tell her to make sure to ride all the mechanical horses and carousels you can while the time is here. Slow down, mom!!!

    • One little quarter.
      How sad.
      Today I pray that all the mechanical horses get ridden by all the children who want to ride.
      And the next time I see one, I want to put a quarter in it and ride it myself.

      • Pat Meyers

        Ha! I love that. I think I’ll stand by with a roll of quarters and buy all the rides that day. Wouldn’t that be fun. I’m going to do that.

  • Julie-Anne Mauno

    This made me cry Pamela! Thanks for the advice. There is time for carts with cars and tea parties and puzzles. I needed to be reminded!

    • Julie-Ann,
      May your day be full of puzzles and tea parties. And the next time you go to the grocery story I pray there is a cart with a car right by the entrance.

  • Michelle Crooker

    I don’t know that I have driven around the parking lot, but we do check both entrances to see if there are carts with cars if there isn’t one in the one that we come in. And at places that don’t have carts with cars – my little one (5 years old) likes to push the cart. It is a bit slower for us, and I have had to apologize and occasionally get the dirty look from the person he ran into, but he loves to push the cart and I do try to grab it before we hit someone else. For those who we do bump into – I’m sorry about that – we are still learning.

    • Michelle,
      You are a mother with five extra minutes. I will never have to run after you in a store suggesting you slow down.

      • Michelle Crooker

        Sometimes I don’t have an extra five minutes, but I do try to make the time for the little things that make the kids so happy – When they say “can we go to disney world today?” that doesn’t happen, so I try to say yes when I can – we also have mommy / child dates – even if I am running errands, we take time to grab a special treat – listen to their favorite music in the car, the little things make a difference.

  • Robn Patrick

    Oh YES! Pamela I have those same feelings all the time! I no longer have little children, I do have adult children who no longer are begging for my time. I have two grandchildren who live several states away who I get to see twice a year – and time spent with them is never enough! Getting to make simple dreams come true is a luxury. Life IS busy but mamas need to know that it will ALWAYS be busy. Don’t exchange the now for the future in hopes that you will have more time. Children change every minute and there are some precious experiences that pass by without us being aware that they have slipped into the past.

    • Robin,
      I like what you said, “Getting to make simple dreams come true is a luxury.”
      Life will always by busy. When will you see your grandchildren again Robin? I pray you always find carts with cars.

      • Robn Patrick

        I will see them in December! This year will be the first year in six years that we will all be together at (almost) Christmas time. I CAN NOT WAIT!