So, the other day, we walk into Stop & Shop right behind another four-year-old boy and his grandparents (I'm hoping they were his grandparents, anyway, otherwise ew). The boys spotted the two car carts at the same time. I guess they both suck at math, because they had this stand-off moment where they locked eyes like Jeannie and Ferris Bueller, then made a mad dash for the carts.
The boy loads himself in, and I start my 12-point-turn when he says, "Jenn, this cart is dirty!" They're always dirty. I'm used to seeing a wayward Goldfish cracker or the odd used Wet One on the floor of the cart. He knows not to touch them. So it was odd that he'd mention it. I decided it warranted a glance. I took the long walk to the end of the cart and crouched down.
Both of the steering wheels were absolutely covered in dried vomit.
I almost took a picture, but I love you guys, so I didn't.
Luckily, Stop & Shop keeps an industrial-sized canister of antibacterial wipes by the entrance. I gave the boy one for his hands, and used about ten more to clean the cart. And when I said it was dried on, I meant dried on. There was a lot of scrubbing and elbow grease involved. And I only dry-heaved twice! A personal best.
So there you have it. Your kid may be old enough to climb into the car cart unassisted, but do yourself a favor and take a peek first. Your lunch may very well depend on it.