Children & Big Business

I try to support local business as much as possible. I did all my Christmas shopping in small stores, except for a few things I could only find online. In particular, I use our small local hardware store whenever I can, only going to Home Depot or Lowe's if the small store doesn't have what I need. This week, though, I went in with a big list, and I know that they had everything I needed, but I left empty handed. Why?

Two words: No Carts.
Despite the fact that they have wide aisles and plenty of room for some small carts, they don't have any. Which makes it very hard for me to shop there sometimes with an active, independent 2 year old. Lucas just won't stay with with me for very long, he wants to run around or lead the way around the store, and I can't carry him and a bag of grout and ten other items. We picked out paint chips and a couple small things, and by then (10 minutes into the trip) he was refusing to listen. So after a couple warnings from momma, we left with only the paint chips and a crying child to show for it.

The thing is, Lucas loves shopping. He will tell you himself. He whoops with joy when we get to a store, and he will happily sit in a cart for hours. So, it looks like for the next few months, while we work on this issue, Mommy will be shopping at Home Depot. Which saddens me. I'd rather give my money to the little guys.

At my own health store, we have a central room, and we are comfortable with children running around in there (Lucas does, why not everyone else's kids?) But at our store, while there are no carts to be sure, there is also nowhere for them to disappear to, no aisles or nooks, and the kids are always in sight. Which is good, because moms are our best customers. I am not sure why the hardware store hasn't thought of this, or maybe they have and it isn't a priority for them. The majority of their customers are men -- but I wonder if they had carts, if more women wouldn't shop there?

What about the rest of you? Do you find that your children shape where you shop? Or are they better behaved than mine? LOL.

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