Thursday, January 21, 2010

Customer in Training

We have a nice little neighborhood grocery store a few blocks from our house. We usually only utilize this store for forgotten items or big sale stuff because it has higher prices then our local chain stores. Mallory has named it the Grape Store because it has a bunch of grapes as part of the logo. Besides a super cool logo, this store happens to be one of my 4 year old's favorites.
And this is why...
picture courtesy of

They have pint size carts for their pint size shoppers. Let's get this straight. I like the idea of little carts. It sure is cute watching the little kids try and maneuver the cart through the produce section barely missing the buckets of potatoes and the crates of tomatoes. I love seeing how many of them run into end caps knocking boxes of crackers and loaves of bread to the floor. I love seeing other people's kids do these things.

I could never deny Mallory the experience of pushing a cart, made just her size, around the store. But this doesn't mean i need to like the experience. I make just one rule before she even places her tiny hands on the tiny handlebars: You must watch where you are driving your cart. You don't look at your feet while your pushing the cart, you don't look at the other kids knocking stuff off the shelves, you look straight ahead. If you hit anybody with your cart you automatically done with the cart. She nods in agreement, and then acts like she has just been given the keys to borrow her dad's car on a Saturday night, and she is off. Most of the time she does just fine. She may slip up and forget to not look at her feet, but she catches herself before she crashes into something too serious.

Not today. Nope. Today the "Customer in Training Carts" were no fun for Mallory. She got a broken cart. You know the type. You try to push straight but the cart continuously veers right. You try and correct and the wheels get stuck causing you to slam your stomach into the handle of the cart. Wow, was Mallory frustrated. It was at the end of a long day for her and she couldn't handle the broken cart she was given. She stopped half way through our list of 5 items and said "I am not pushing this cart ANY.MORE!" I quickly chimed in, "Sorry Mallory, you need to finish up your trip just push hard, we only have 2 more things to get." "Ugh. Fine," she said. Then she decided pulling it might be easier. Nope. It wanted to go the opposite direction that she wanted it to go. I grabbed a half gallon of milk, put it in her cart and then we were on our way to the checkout. One last stretch of store to get through. It happened to be the aisle with the frozen treats. She was tired, she was frustrated with her cart, and she looked up only to see the one thing she loves but cannot have; Ice Cream. She stops pushing the cart, looks into the freezer, and says "All I really want is some Ice Cream." She was so sad. If she knew how to express that she was "done" she would have said it. She would have thrown her hands up in the air and said "I'm done". Instead of adding to the emotional drama, I grabbed the back of her cart, pulled it along, and together we made it to the check out counter. We paid for our groceries, went home, and ate dinner.

Do you think the Grape Store will continue to be her favorite? We shall see.


Tom, Jaime, Kendra said...

ooooo, I feel so bad for her! We will have to figure out something that tastes as good as ice cream that is not cold! That will be my mission for the weekend with my 4 hours of me time!

Pam ~ Focus Photography said...

Kristie, I always enjoy your stories. I'll say it again.... You should be writing for Parent's Magazine.