Car Carts and Sad Hearts: A True Story

Car Carts and Sad Hearts: A True Story

Once upon a time, a man and a woman had a baby boy, making them parents for the first time. The everyday demands of their lives did not change, and he quickly came alone with them on errands such as grocery shopping. As the boy outgrew his infant carrier, he got to sit in the front of the shopping cart and giggle at his mom while they searched for food. A while later, this little boy become a brother, and his seat in the shopping cart was given to her carseat. He didn’t mind too much and enjoyed his time in the big basket carefully placing food in as his mom handed it to him. One day, his little sister was big enough to sit in the seat by herself, and the mom realized that having a child in the basket wasn’t particularly convenient as it got fuller and fuller with their growing family. That’s when the little boy finally noticed something he had missed his whole life–car carts.


His mom of course had noticed them and scoffed at the moms who catered to their children’s every whim and attempted to make an already exciting event such as shopping more childproof. What’s next–a train to take them to the church nursery?! she thought. But having two children outside of the basket, unable to squish the bananas, shake the wine, or lick the raw meat did have its perks. So she tried it.

And they loved it!

There were only three car carts at their hometown grocery store, so some shopping trips came and went without use of one. The boy and girl grew in contentment. And in eyesight. With every drive up the parking lot rows, they would peer out the window looking for a stray car cart, just in case. “CAR CART!” they would holler upon spotting one.

One day something horrible happened. They didn’t know it would be so horrible until several weeks later, but you can know that right now. They couldn’t find a car cart. They didn’t even see any car carts with other happy children in passing. The next trip, the news was the same. And the next. And the next. Finally, the mom kids couldn’t take it anymore.

“Excuse me,” she started with the cashier. “We haven’t seen any car carts here in a while. What happened to them?”

“Oh, they’re all broken. They took ’em back to the garage.”

“Will they be coming back soon?”

“Oh no, I can’t imagine that they’ll fix ’em. Nope, I’m sure they’re gone for good!”

The mom looked at her children. They looked at her. Surely there’d been some terrible misunderstanding or this was really a nightmare or maybe a cruel April Fools’ joke.

The weeks that followed were a blur of despair. “No tar tarts,” the little girl would whimper every time they pulled in the parking lot. “Bwoten.”

“Mom, those car carts are just broken. This is just awful,” the little boy would say. Oh, they still purchased food, but less often, with shoulders drooping and sluggish footsteps.

After several trips, the mom half-heartedly sighed, “We should write them a letter or something to tell them how sad we are.”

“Oh yeah, Mom,” the boy agreed excitedly, “that’s my good idea!”

Trip after trip, the family would enter the parking lot, and the kids would faithfully declare, “Mom, we have to write a letter about the car carts!”

Finally, one day not too long ago, they wrote that letter. The mom interviewed them to share their exact words and took pictures of them holding their words. After all, if you have a complaint, you simply must do something about it. They glued their pictures on some orange paper (to match their orange hair) and placed it lovingly in an envelope. Then they took a long walk to the grocery store and gave it to a worker who said she would give it right to the store manager. Then the little boy and girl waited. In fact, they’re still waiting today to hear back (but that’s okay, because they just handed it in this morning).

They can’t wait to hear back from the store and maybe even learn how they can be part of the solution! Do you miss the car carts too? Would you like to write your own letter?



(In case you can’t read it: CORBAN “I’m so sad there are no car carts at Owens’. We just need them. Maybe we should just go to Martins’.” Yeah. He just said that. JAEDA “Dat Owens’. Tar Tarts. Bwoten.”  Who could resist such a precious little?!)

  • Janelle Armstrong
    Posted at 15:25h, 06 May Reply

    My thought exactly. We should also write letters. Car carts were the only thing that helped us make it through the store most weeks.

    • theredheads
      Posted at 14:34h, 07 May Reply

      We’ve had a huge response here and on FB. Maybe we should start a petition or flood them with letters! I’ll wait a week or two to hear back from the store manager before I contact him again. This is hilarious.

  • Sara Richey
    Posted at 15:19h, 06 May Reply

    Aw, if we still lived in WL, I’d help Kaylie write a letter, too! Those car carts are the often highlight of our trips to our local Kroger, Publix, and Home Depot–they are such a special treat for her, since we shop more often at places that don’t have them. Hope they bring them back for you guys!

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