The Lesser of Two Evils

Which is a bigger sin, leaving the shopping cart in the parking lot or leaving your children alone in the car and walking away?


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  1. Wiserun says:

    Not parking next to the cart corral? :)

    I always park next to where you have to bring the cart back to, even if it means a longer walk to the store, that way I don’t have to make the choice.

  2. I”m so glad you posted this! I have an 11 week old and I always wonder what people do. I try to spy on them in the parking lots because no told me I’d have to make this type of decision! Aaaah!

    Oh and I just leave the cart like a louse because I figure someone will try to steal my munchie.

  3. You mean leaving my child in a cart in the parking lot while I shop in peace is not an option?

    (Kidding, obviously, in case DCFS is reading.)

  4. I don’t like to do either (park by the cart corral), but if I absolutely have to, I’d leave the cart in the parking lot.

    Then if I am ever child-free and grocery shopping, I make it a point to take a stray cart back up to the store. I figure it all balances out in the universe that way.

  5. I try to park near where you would return the carts but if I can’t get close enough I leave my cart in the parking lot. Here in AZ where we live they just rewrote the law to include a 1,000 dollar fine if your kid is left in the car and you yourself are not in it. The wording is so strict that technically if you put your kids in the car and then walk to the drivers side to get in you are technically breaking the law and can be fined. Obviously, there are now protest to have the language loosened to only include unsupervised children left out of eyesite from a parent.

  6. divrchk says:

    I usually lock my kid in the car and return the cart to the corral, but only if it’s in eye sight.

  7. I make my kid return the cart for me!

    Of course when they were younger, I would take a cart in with me, that way I would feel less guilty when I left one after shopping.

  8. You mean you can’t send your kids off across a crowded carpark to return the trolley as you drive off? (Kidding)

    My kids always insist on taking the trolley back. It isn’t because they are good citizens it is because here there is a coin lock on the trolley. They figure if they take the trolley back then their is a fair chance I won’t remember that they have taken the $2 used to get the trolley in the first place. I am just happy for them to do the dirty work.

  9. Leaving your kid in the shopping cart and walking away.

  10. Just don’t leave the cart smack in the middle of a parking space between two cars. Is there anything worse than beginning to park and…then..seeing…a…shopping…cart…in…the…way?! ACK.

  11. You mean you are supposed to put the cart somewhere?

    Let me see. I have to keep track of how much everything costs, because prices aren’t marked on anything any more, only on the shelf, and then I have to scan and bag my own groceries (in my own bags) and take them out to the car, loading them in the car myself, AND I’m supposed to take the cart somewhere?

    I don’t think so. And I don’t even have any kids in the car.

  12. This is why I almost ALWAYS park next to a cart corral. If I can’t park next to the cart corral, I keep my child in the cart while I unload and then take my cart to the cart corral, and then carry her back to the car.

    Thank GOODNESS I only have one child, or this would be quite a quandary!!

    p.s. Seeing carts in lots and not in the corrals is one of my biggest pet peeves. That being said, I grew up in a state that had cart corrals every 6 feet, but here, in this state, you’re lucky to find two in the whole lot. (So, I know why people do it…still it irks me.) :)

  13. Grocery stores have people who’s sole job is to gather carts from the parking lots. I usually leave it, if i’m too far from the cart collection area.

    However, you’re forgetting the 3rd evil…leaving the kids in the CART and DRIVING away.

    Come on, we’re all tempted at times.

  14. Do other people bring the shopping cart home with them? I’ve just never considered it.

  15. I just leave it. The people who corral them need exercise. I just find that I am helping them out.

  16. This post brings me to a pet peeve of mine. Parking next to the cart corral is the best plan in my opinion, but the parking spots reserved for parents with small children are nowhere near the corral. What’s up with that?

  17. I keep my kids with me while I return the cart. My baby’s strapped to me in the carrier, my 4-year-old’s walking. And / or I park beside the cart return.

    However, given the choice between the cart and the kids, I say leave the cart.

  18. You have no idea how many times I’ve asked myself that question.

  19. It totally depends who’s watching.

  20. I always thought that walking away time was “me time”….

  21. All bets are off when you have little kids. I try to park by the cart return thingie but if I can’t I don’t feel bad for leaving it in the parking lot. There are some very weird people out there.

  22. i always park right next to the cart return so i don’t have to wrestle with the choice.

  23. I try to park next to the cart return place too. If I can’t, I lock the doors, return the cart, and don’t take my eyes off the car. If it’s really far away or I couldn’t keep my eye on the car, I’d leave it, but carts left randomly in the parking lot is one of my pet peeves.

  24. merseydotes says:

    I make Petunia take the cart back with me. And then I make her walk to school uphill both ways in the snow.

  25. Carts left in the lot annoy me to no end. I was going to write about that myself. Still will actually.

  26. Dude, good question.

    I rather like stimey’s answer. (For my part, I lock the kids in the car and run the cart back on days I can’t get close enough to the cart corral.)

  27. I park near the cart corral but I still lock my car with the kids in it if I’m only walking 5 feet. And I live in small town Canada. You just never know though.

  28. Oh, I totally hate this dilemma. I mean, really. I know it’s not a real big deal, but it frustrates me when I’m out with both the kids, neither one feels like walking back and forth with me, and I’m just trying to not get anyone hit in the parking lot in the process. Not to mention the little one is too little to be trusted to walk in a straight line but too heavy to be carried.

    Anyway, it sucks. So if there’s still a question, you can just park your cart next to mine and we’ll leave them both there.

  29. I ditched a cart last week and felt so much guilt about it, the next time I went to the store, I not only returned my cart, but gathered up two more to even out my karma. But, I’m a special brand of uptight.

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