Sign of the Apocalypse

Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.
— Unknown

So here in Michigan, they have a place called Meijer.  When David first told me about it – it’s where he worked through high school and college – I thought it was just a grocery store.  Boy, was I wrong.  It’s got everything.  It’s kind of like Wal-Mart, but with wider aisles, better lighting, and better stuff.  And everyone here shops there.  I’ve been there three times in two days, and I don’t even live here.

When we were leaving the store after our first stop there, I saw this:

tv-kart-21

These are TV Karts.  Put in a dollar and pull out one of these carts, and you can stuff your small child inside where he can watch “quality children’s programming” as you load up your cart.  I’m not kidding.

tv-kart1

Give me a break.  You really need a TV Kart to entertain your child for the 45 minutes or whatever that you’re in the store?  If that’s true, you have bigger problems than a TV Kart can help you with.

What is the world coming to where parents can’t manage their children for even short trips out without resorting to things like this?  David and I saw a family out at a restaurant once – two parents and three kids, one of whom was a baby.  The two older kids, probably twins about 3 years old, were watching a portable DVD player at the table while their parents talked and ate.  I couldn’t believe it.  If you don’t want your kids’ company, get a baby-sitter.  In my opinion, you do your kids harm when you don’t teach them to entertain themselves without mindless electronics or when you ignore them rather than use the opportunity to spend time with them.  Maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying the post-Christmas lull.  Michigan, although covered in snow, hasn’t really been as cold as advertised since I’ve been here, and for that I’m grateful.  David’s family is lovely and welcoming, and I’ve enjoyed meeting them all.  Maybe later we’ll go bowling and I’ll get to wear my new purple bowling shoes (one of my Christmas presents from David – I love them)!

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5 thoughts on “Sign of the Apocalypse

  1. Hey. I LIVE in Michigan and I’ve never noticed the TV carts! To be fair, you can spend HOURS in a Meijers, so maybe a parent would be forgiven for using one of these carts if, say, they were buying everything needed for a new house or something. LOL! And as another shopper if I didn’t have to hear a whining or screaming child because of the TV cart, I’d be grateful…but that’s just me…

    PS: We ordered this warm weather for you. Hope you like it!

  2. It seems to me if you need to spend hours shopping, maybe it’s not the best time to bring your kids. Maybe I’m being too judgmental (me? never!), I don’t know, and maybe my expectations are too high, and maybe I don’t understand what parents go through, and maybe it’s harder than I think to get a baby-sitter or to leave the kids home with dad or a relative while you spend hours shopping. But it seems to me, if you’re bringing your kids with you somewhere, you have to take responsibility for their presence and not just shove a TV in front of their faces to keep them quiet. Like I said, this could just be me.

  3. I have to say i have been guilty of the DVD player in a restaurant. Not every time, mind you, but there have been a few instances when dd was younger. Frankly, it is as much for the benefit of the other patrons peace of mind more than just ours. Kids have a very short attention span at a young age. It has nothing to do with not wanting their company.
    Were it not for the player to keep them entertained, then the surroundings are all that’s left. They want to walk around, climb in the seats, see what’s going on everywhere. I hated it when I had no kids and I had to hear the complaints and cries of a toddler bored that the food is not there or, since we tend to order for the little one first, they have finished and we just started. The alternative? We could not eat out. I was a restaurant manager and saw how annoyed people get with unruly children. I did not want to be THAT family when dd came along. Infants are pretty easy, toddlers…not so much.
    As far as shopping, bringing your kids is often not a choice. There were times I had to bring dd with me. If I could avoid it and plan different, I did. Grocery shopping had to get done.
    I get you- but I know it is different when you are actually dealing with your own kids.

  4. Elyke, thanks for your thoughts. You’re probably right that I can’t possibly know what it’s like, not having children myself. I do tend to judge people pretty quickly; I should probably start trying to catch myself when I do and remind myself that I don’t have any idea what it’s like to walk in the other person’s shoes.

  5. Hey you’re not being judgmental at all! It was a fair observation, one that I made before as well. I think you sell part of your soul with kids. On the other hand I do think that we, as a society are far to enabling with our kids in general these days.
    It got to the point with dd acting up in restaurants that I would take her outside and have a little ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with her. Enough threats of public butt spanking seemed to do the trick…until she was in grade school and learned it is called child abuse these days. Damn school system blew my bluff!

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