Kittyboy is officially too big for shopping carts. Okay, he's not "too big" for normal-sized ones, but he IS too heavy for me to haul in and out over the handle - I'm five foot tall, he's thirty-four pounds. I just can't heft him up to shoulder height anymore. But he loves to ride. Well, some stores have smaller ones and normal ones, and I grabbed a smaller one by mistake some time last week or the week before. His legs couldn't get in! The seat was just maybe an inch too small in some dimension. Of course, I knew my mistake, but he didn't - I seized opportunity and said, "Well, I guess you just don't fit in carts anymore! Time to be a big boy and walk!" Kind of like hiding the pacifier and saying, "Well, it's lost, guess you'll have to do without!" And since then, I'd not gotten a cart, rather than get one and have the argument over whether he would ride.
Saturday, I had a shopping list, and really needed a cart. Of course he asked to ride, and I reminded him that the last cart Mommy tried to put him in, he hadn't fit, and he just couldn't ride anymore. But he could push! He used to push all the time, he was pushing a full cart at a year and a half. I told him he had a new job because he's SUCH a big boy, he could push the cart and put things in for Mommy. I grabbed some gingersnaps when we first started in, put them in the seat area where he could see them, and said we'd buy them IF and only IF he was a veeeerrrrry good big helper the whole time.
At first, the cart went rocketing willy-nilly down aisles, at a three-year-old's dead run, with me in pursuit, and people ahead of him getting out of the way! After a few aisles, he figured out how to walk with it instead of run. And he was GOOD. He put things in the cart, he only picked up a few things that we weren't getting, and those he put back without complaint. He even put back a huge chocolate bunny he'd grabbed off the shelf (right at his eye level, hahaha, such perfect placement) with a minimum of coaxing. Who knows, maybe he will find that same bunny in his Easter basket, since he was such a good boy!
When we got to the checkout, I handed him things from the cart and he put them on the conveyor belt (had to look funny, considering we were both on the same side of the cart, but it kept him busy and useful) and then he even pushed the cart to the end of the checkout and stood with it!!
I must have caught him at the perfect age where new responsibilities are a wonderful new game, another way to be a Big Boy, so that he never stopped to think - "Wait, I don't get to ride anymore - AND I have to push the cart? How did I get hosed into this?" I told Husband, to be sure we're consistent and that Kittyboy doesn't figure out that he COULD still fit in a cart, that his new job is pushing, period. No more hauling him up to shoulder-level in and out of carts, I just can't do it, pregnant or not.
And what a sweet little helper I have! I can't believe it! That went SO much more smoothly than I expected!