Thursday, July 12, 2007


Now playing at your neighbourhood grocery store

I was absolutely fascinated by a recent post of Julie's over on A little pregnant. She was talking about going into a grocery store in her town and finding that they have carts with television sets embedded into them, so for a dollar your kidlets can watch an episode of The Wiggles or Bob the Builder or whatever while you do your grocery shopping. A TV! In the grocery cart!

I had to know more. From the Cabco website, makers of the TV Kart™:

Designed for use by parents and caregivers of children aged between two and five years, TV Kart™ Classic engages children so parents can relax and have a better shopping experience in retail stores.

Inside each TV Kart™ Classic, there is a steering wheel, interactive buttons on the dashboard, and a 7-inch TV monitor on which children watch selected TV programs.

There is seating for two pre-school children and appropriate safety belts aboard each kart. The adult carer can select what their children watch from a range of appropriate pre-school programs on offer.

Now, I'm the last person to get all high and mighty about TV. I've capitulated to the fact that all four of us are junkies for the big electric nipple, and the TV is often on at our house even if it's just background noise. And you know I don't have a problem with the idea of a DVD player in the car for long trips - although I will say that I'm purposefully avoiding a built-in DVD system in the car because I wouldn't want the kids clamouring for it while we drove to the library or, say, the grocery store.

But seriously! Are kids so unable to entertain themselves - to contain themselves - that we need to sedate them with TV for 60 minutes so mom or dad can pick out the Lucky Charms and cookie dough ice cream lima beans and organic free range chicken in peace?

Call me crazy, but I don't actually mind shopping with the kids. Sometimes. In our neighbourhood we're even lucky enough to have a grocery store that offers a free (FREE!) drop-in playzone where you can leave the kids while you shop. But it's small and the produce and meats haven't been the best quality lately, so we only shop there occasionally. Heck, there are times when I actually like taking the kids with me to do errands. Simply for the (gasp!) pleasure of their company.

And even if you can get past the whole TV in the cart thing, which you can see I'm not quite able to do yet, it's bad enough with the stores that have carts shaped like race cars. The kids know which stores have them and tend to whine if we don't get one. I can only imagine the ruckus if they were anticipating a TV cart and didn't get one. Or if they happened to notice some other kid watching TV in a cart while they had to, you know, not watch TV. Oh, the whinging!

Whaddya think, bloggy peeps? Would you pay a dollar for the priviledge of using a grocery cart with a TV in it? Or would you stop frequenting your favourite store if they suddenly started offering them?