I think we watch too much television. That goes for my whole family. Kids, grown-ups, everybody. And I know we should cut back. I admire the families that have the gumption and commitment to turn it off for a week, or even get rid of it altogether, but I am not that tough. At least not today.
So imagine my reaction when I went grocery shopping and discovered a fantastic and devious new take on the old metal buggy. Now, I have three kids, so the plastic race car shaped carts are already a big hit with our crew. However, this was something entirely amazing — the TV Cart.
Oh, yes. The first time I encountered the TV Cart, I heard it before I saw it. A familiar tune wafting down the aisle in front of me. I found myself singing along to The Wiggles, and wondered where that music was coming from. And then I saw it. The TV Cart. A mother was pushing her blissfully entranced toddler in this big plastic pod. The cockpit of the cart is mostly enclosed, except for the front window. I guess that’s so the kid can breathe.
My initial reaction was one of surprise, mingled with disgust. What will they think of next? As if we need another thing to spend money on, and give our kids more TV at the same time? What kind of mother would do that?
On the way out of the store, I saw the station where the TV Carts wait to be rented. It’s a dollar per use. Now, I think of myself as a practical, frugal person. A whole dollar, just for TV during a shopping trip? Ridiculous. hmmmm.
A week later, I was at the store again. This time, I had two of my three children with me. Knowing I was in for a sweaty wrestle of an outing, I looked at the TV Carts. Could I be so frivolous? I started to rationalize, “With two kids, it’s only 50 cents each. That’s not so bad.”
My son was checking out the Cart as if it were a Mustang at the dealership. He peeked inside the cockpit. “Mom, there’s a TV in there!” Even his baby sister wanted to get into the Cart. I caved. I got change from the nearest check-out lady and fed it into the rental station. The kids jumped in, The Wiggles started to wiggle, and we were off.
With mixed feelings of guilt and euphoria, I completed the shopping without a peep, bicker, or cry from the kids. They didn’t even try to get out and run around. This mom’s verdict: TV Cart is a good way to get the shopping done when you’re having one of those days with the kids. It’s a treat for kids and parents alike, but I’ll be using it sparingly.