There’s A Crazy Lady Egging Her Car–Oh Wait, That’s Me.


What is that smell?

Every time we got in our minivan there was a horrible stench. My husband compulsively checked under the seats for lost sippy cups filled with rancid milk. He scoured every nook and cranny for the source of that smell.

Only I knew that the smell was rotten eggs from that time I lost it in the grocery store parking lot and egged the interior of my minivan.

I blame it on those horrible car-shaped grocery carts. We would pull into the parking lot and my boys, ages two and three, would whine and whimper until we found one. And once they were buckled in the car cart, all they wanted to do was get out of it.

The trick was to not let the cart come to a complete stop. So I found myself pushing it ten feet in front of me while I stayed behind to haphazardly grab what I could off the shelf and then jog to catch up to the cart which was usually about to plow over a senior citizen.

It was after one of these lovely shopping trips that I decided to check myself out of the grocery store and use the self scanner. That had to be better than waiting in line right? There was an open one right in front of me.

But the car cart was actually too wide for the check out area. It proceeded to get totally stuck between the candy and the scanner.

And because the cart had stopped moving my kids decided to get out. But they couldn’t because they were jammed in between the scanner and the candy.

They started to cry.

Trying to focus on getting out of there, I was scanning my items and placing them on the belt quickly but with the crying kids it rapidly turned into forcefully and impatiently. The scanner was not interested in cooperating. It was telling me all sorts of things like “Place item in bag” over and over again. It finally settled on “Please wait for attendant.”

The attendant didn’t come and my kids were really amping it up. Hang in there guys, Mama’s almost done, I assured them through gritted teeth.

When the attendant did saunter over, she gave me a lecture on how to scan groceries in a certain tone that made me want to flee as quickly as possible. My kids wanted to get out of the car cart. I wished I could crawl in it and disappear.

I finished scanning. Kids still screaming. I paid. Kids still screaming. I tossed my un-bagged groceries into the cart. Kids still screaming.

And then I threw all of my body weight into the beloved car cart to get it unstuck. The boys were still trying to claw their way out with tears and snot streaming down their faces.

When we got to our mini-van, I untangled the boys who had now started in on each other and wrangled them into their car seats. Kids still screaming. I slammed the doors (our van wasn’t fancy enough to have automatic doors). It felt pretty good to slam something.

I stood at the back of the van with the car cart full of unbagged groceries. I started throwing them. Picking up each item and pitching it into the back of the van.

The last item was the eggs. I chucked the whole carton into the back where they splattered into the upholstery and all over the rest of the groceries.

I returned the car cart daring anyone in the parking lot to say something to me, got in the car, and handed each of the boys a lollipop because lollipops fix everything. There was finally a moment of quiet peppered by lollipop slurping and a few leftover hiccups.

I picked my head up off the steering wheel and asked, “Who wants to go to the park before lunch?”

I eventually grew out of throwing things. And I eventually got a job because being at home with them wasn’t what I thought it would be. And now that they are seven and eight, I grocery shop alone. And I’m not sad about it at all. But my heart rate does pick up a bit every time I see one of those car carts.

When Kaly Sullivan doesn’t have her nose in a book, she wrangles and referees two elementary aged boys and blogs about her often-humorous efforts to lead a mindful, connected life. She’s also the co-founder of Harlow Park Media and recently authored a book about relocating with kids which will be available as soon as she can decide on a title. 

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Comments (22)

  1. alexandra

    Ha! I remember those days. Three under 7 and all of them in a cart with the middle one just tossing in his heart’s desires as we went up and down the aisle. I didn’t care what we went home with, as long as we made it out of there. GREAT POST.

    • Kaly

      Yes – just getting anything even a can of chick peas felt like a victorious, successful grocery trip! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Joy

    LOL! Damn car carts! I hate those with a passion and just glad my kid is now too old and too big for that. Those carts don’t work. They’re hard to maneuver and never really kept any child in there, BEHAVED, for the duration of a shopping trip. I remember that I would always whisper a prayer, hoping that there would be none available, every time I’d visit the grocery with my son when he was a toddler. I think at some point, I had to resort to bribery just to avoid them. Grrrrr….

    • Kaly

      THE WORST. My sister-in-law actually worked for the company that makes those things so I had to pretend that they were the bees knees. Not invented by a mom.

  3. Lisa

    OMG – you’ve captured the hell that is shopping with little kids perfectly. I haven’t thrown eggs (probably saved there by one of my kid’s egg allergies) so I made do with other stuff.

    As for growing up (and out of throwing things) I think that’s basically the same as having 5 minutes to yourself with the kids not bickering – I think that’s the real key to not being overcome with tossitis!

  4. Marlena maduro Baraf

    I long left that stage of life. No need for boxes of tossable eggs with grandchildren. Keep writing

    • Kaly

      Thanks Marlena! Even now with my kids ages 7 & 9 were are very rarely all at the grocery store together by design. Much better for the eggs!

  5. Marlena maduro Baraf

    Kaly, no need for tossable eggs with grandchildren. Hang in there. Keep writing!

  6. MOM2Three

    This actually had me LOL’ing over my computer screen. Thanks for sharing some real-life perspective.

    • Kaly

      I’m glad it gave you a laugh – I figured it wasn’t doing me any good locked away in my memory bank. The very public meltdown happens to everyone at some point – might as well keep it real! Thanks for the comment!

  7. Denise Gabbard

    Been quite some time….but I can totally relate. I had three under five at one time, and those grocery store visits were a trip.

    • Kaly

      Glad you could find some common group – no longer how far away I think that feeling of being on the edge of a meltdown can come back to you. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Susan Maccarelli

    Hahahahaha! I could just see that unfolding. Been there.

    • Kaly

      Thanks Susan! I think we’ve all been there. Probably more than we care to admit…

  9. Jocelyn

    You just took me back to a time in my (and my kids’) life that I don’t miss one whit, don’t ever need to re-visit. The specificity of my hatred of those car carts is amazing, really. The only thing that touches on it is my hatred of trying to take my baby/toddler out for a run in the baby stroller. Like that ever worked.

    • Kaly

      I don’t miss it either – people always say “You’ll miss it…” Nope, not really! Running and grocery shopping should always be solitary pursuits. No babies allowed.

  10. Rena McDaniel

    I laughed so hard over this! I have definitely been there a time or two. My kids are grown and I always said I hope you get lucky enough to get a child just like you when you grow up! My son has two boys and my daughter is pregnant with twins! Payback is hell!!!!! I’m just sitting back laughing now!

    • Kaly

      Thanks Rena – I’m glad you had a laugh. And yes, I think the grocery store karma comes full circle…yes, yes I do.

  11. Jenny Kanevsky

    Oh my gosh, I love this. So been there. I mean I never egged the inside of my car, although I was so scattered one day after grocery shopping that I left the eggs in the trunk, unloaded everything else. I live in Texas. It was July. The next week when I went grocery shopping I found the eggs when I went to get my reusable grocery bags. The clerk was so nice she gave me free eggs. But, I digress. This is hilarious. Kids in grocery stores. There should be giant rooms for them to hang out while we shop with TVs and jagermeister juice boxes. That’d do it.

    • Kaly

      Where do I sign for Jagermeister juice boxes? Sorry about your eggs. Probably better that they weren’t soaked into the upholstery. I was so happy the day we sold that sad van.