Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grocery carts shaped like race cars and teenage trickery

That grocery cart, right up there, is the best. It fits both my six year old daughter, Pancake and her three year old brother, Mac. They get strapped in together, all in one place. No touching and grabbing stuff. No wandering aimlessly. No walking into other people's carts (BAM!) while not paying attention. No asking for things. Or asking again after I say no. No sharing the main basket, sitting on the bread and/or eggs as they fidget for comfort. They are strapped in and shushed. I can relax and get my grocery shop on.


It's their own little world. Pretending to drive and be all race car crazy. They make vroom vroom and beep beep noises. They have no need for me. I occasionally take a quick left and say "Watch out now! Crazy driver!!" or I turn in a circle and say, "We going the wrong way kids, hold on!!" It's awesome incorporated, that cart right there :)

The only draw back is time. Eventually they get really, really rowdy. And loud. Because monumental kid energy can only be strapped in for so long.

So there I was, unloading the grocery goods on lane five. Three friendly teenagers were manning the station. My kids were getting very loud and starting rocking the cart back and forth. My threats of time outs were useless and really, beating the kids is not an option. Us being in public and all.

Jebus, simmer down. I was just kidding. I don't beat my kids. Well only on Sundays ..ok jeez just kidding!

Anywho. I wasn't that upset about my kids being loud and crazy. I was too distracted by the teenagers. Three of them. One boy was the cashier, then another boy and a girl were bagging our bounty. They were so young and smiley. No attitude, no texting. Just clean kids doing their job and doing it well.

I couldn't help myself, I just kept staring at the boy cashier. All young and clean. Face so smooth. He was properly skinny and hair all messy. He wore his bangs long like the kids do these days.

Kids still rocking the cart, me getting frustrated because I can't stop them. Me staring. Then I blurted out, "Hey, how old are you?"

"15", he said with a customer service smile.

Then I morphed into an old lady when I said, (and I swear to God I never say things like this, but it was unstoppable so up it came,)

"You have no idea how uncomplicated your life is. Enjoy the simplicity of being 15, of being a kid, cause when you grow up it gets a lot more complicated." And I gestured to my kids who were full on apey at this point. I was smiling and happy. It was a moment of pure comedy.

He smiled and said, "Looks like it!" He smiled a little more. The other teenagers came up towards the cart. They sort of distracted the wiley bunch while I finished my purchases. They used all manner of teenage trickery, sticking out their tongue and playing peek a boo.

We all exchanged looks, exchanged smiles. Real smiles. It was very cool this moment. The teenagers were seeing my kids in a whole different light then I was. It was a moment of wonder for them. Random cute kids in the cart. Random Mom calling them young'uns.

It was all very soothing for me, being around the teenagers. I could tell they were friends, went to the same school. I could tell they were good kids, probably got good grades and were hard workers. I could tell they were happy.

My hope of all hopes is that I can say the same for my kids, when they are teenagers. And when they get that part time job, bagging groceries or working retail, I hope they are like those teenagers.

This is my biggest dream for my kids. I want them to know what happy and wonder really is. And that it doesn't stop when you grow up. I want them to know that awesome is everywhere, they just have to look. I want them to feel the simple joy of being who they are, of living in this wonderful world.

Mommy loves you Pancake and Mac. Thank you for being my kids. You're the best kids a mommy could ever hope for. sniff sniff . . . :)

"After the Bath" by Mary Cassatt

15 Left a message at the beep:

GiGi said...

My kids used to like those carts, now they are not allowed in them together (because of pinching each other!), and my 4yr old son does not go to the store *at all*. We have to divide & conquer on the errands - unless it's Costco; something about eating tons of little samples of food brings out the best in both kids.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

GiGi: I fear that the golden age of those carts is coming to an end. They just get so rowdy in them, gah!

For one or two items I sometimes take them to a gas station and park the car right outside the door and lock/alarm the car. That way I can keep an eye on them while I pick up milk/eggs/bread and bananas.

Otherwise, I really try to leave them at home.

Sigh. Someday i hope to be one of those super organized Moms that buys all her groceries once a week and has each meal planned in advance ;)

here's hoping!! :)

Hank said...

Now, Mrs. Hall, honey.....my birth mom never had no problem smackin' me around an' look how good I turned out??

Yep, sometimes my mom (human) sez dumb stuff tuh teenagers. She sez fer the first time in her life, she feels like a grown-up.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Yeah, i remember get a big spankin' after I went to the barbie aisle and liberated several barbies from their boxes.

couldn't have been more than 5.

got spanked and dragged out kicking and screaming ;)

Becky the Sign Lady said...

I think it's unfair that the racecar part of the cart is too small for ME to ride in.
I'm sure some nice person would come along and push me.

Sue said...

You are a great mommy.

My only wish for you is that your kids take care of you when you are an old lady, because they remembered how great you are to them now.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Becky: Word!

Sue: NO KIDDIN'! This is why we plan on more. That way they can all take turns driving us to the bingo hall, the mini golf place and to the early bird special!

Better drive careful though, crazy teenagers on the road!! :)

GeologyJoe said...

hey when did my aunt sue start commenting on your blog?

see, now I shouldn't say what a wanted to say....bah! Ill do it anyway.

Later in the day that 15yo kid was telling his friends about a MILF hitting on him at work.

and i do agree the race car carts are awesome.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Geo-Joe: Sue is your Aunt Sue? Interesting! Well, it's a small bloggerhood :)

and funny second comment there Joe :)

Bruce said...

In a round about way this sort of reminds me of a time when I was on vacation in northern California once and I went into a McDonald's. The young girl (all of 16 or 17) was right out of a commerical and smiled and took my order etc. It was all surreal to me. Surreal because here in Phoenix Arizona, it isn't like that. Down here, most McDonalds and check out lines are staffed by hispanics with evident gang affiliations (tattoos on the neck are sort of a dead giveaway, as are the the gold 'grills' on their teeth). Norman Rockwell doesn't live in all our neighborhoods, only in the smaller ones up north. The world is changing. Try and keep your kids away from it for as long as possible.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Huh. Well. Interesting take there Bruce.

I can say this is something to be said about growing up in the land of white bread and mayonaise.

I grew up here.

I'm still cultured and awesome.

And all sorts of moral goodness.

so yeah, go north!!

joe said...

When my brother was a kid, he was standing in a shopping cart while we were waiting for his picture to be taken at Kmart. He fell out and landed on his head. got a huge goose egg on his forehead, so when it came time to have his pic taken, they positioned him "good side facing" cause mom didn't want to come back a second day. It was funny as hell.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Joe: Welcome!

Yeah, if you mom cleaned both you up, got you to the store, and you stayed clean and snot free than hell yeah those photos are gonna get taken!!

joe said...

Haha that was basically it.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

amazing how some things never change ;)

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