EDITED TO ADD: Hello Moms, Dads and Fellow Humans! I just wanted to give you a heads up in case I can save you some time! If you are here to express your concern for my parenting capabilities and whatever role I may have had in getting the Tiny Carts pulled, please do so in a polite, respectful manner, or your comment will not be approved. Until last week, this blog was a safe place for parents to come and read about how we are all in this together, despite our differing parenting techniques with our different Tiny Humans, so comments shaming parents (myself or other commenters) will not be tolerated.

If you still have time to kill, feel free to swing on by THIS POST to read my thoughts on this blog going viral. Or THIS POST about why I think it struck such a nerve.




Dear Store-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named-In-Case-There-Are-Any-Legal-Things-I-Don’t-Know-About–

Recently you decided to CHANGE EVERYTHING.  You looked at our relationship, and without even ASKING, you brought in a third party.  I am horrified.  Have I done something wrong?  Am I not good enough?

We had such a good thing.  It was easy.  I showed up, you delivered.  Every time.  And now… now there is this thing between us.  This tiny, red thing, with wheels and a really cute flag that makes it look innocent but it’s actually there (admit it) to warn everyone close that whatever is at the bottom of that flag is bringing DANGER AND PAIN AND STRIFE and that they should run in the opposite direction.

Yes, I am talking about those stupid tiny carts that you introduced.

So, in response, I have decided to start a MOVEMENT.  It will be called MASTC.  Moms Against Stupid Tiny Carts.

Maybe you haven’t yet realized the severity of your mistake.  So let me just break down my most recent trip to Target… er…. I mean…. your store for you.

Going to your store is magical.  I am a Mom… in the HotMess category.  I don’t just shop at Target.  I come to Target to FEEL again.  I come to Target to pretend that my day didn’t actually go the way it did, and that I maybe still have some semblance of control of my life, which mostly consists of school runs and a Tiny Human that refuses to poop in the potty.  So Target is my JAM.  I can come, put the Tiny Human in the cart, grab a coffee and do the Target Stroll.  What’s the Target Stroll? It’s that thing that you do where you go in for milk and come out with three carts full of STUFF.  It’s very lucrative for you as a company, and I can guarantee that I am not the only one that does it.

So today Tiny Human and I decide to do a late night (read: 6pm) run to your House of Awesome for a razor and a few things for lunch boxes.  EASY.  I can Target Stroll ALL OVER THAT.  It used to be that we could get right into the store, get Tiny Human situated in a cart with a drink and an iPad (NO JUDGING) and it would be smooth sailing.  But now, we have to go take a picture with the stupid PokeBall EVERY TIME WE GO, and we get inside and his eyes light up with wonder when he sees a Vehicle of Mass Destruction that is JUST HIS SIZE.  I have been shutting that down up until this point, but I figured, hey, it might not be that bad, let’s give it a shot (that’s a decision I can never take back).

So Tiny Human grabs the cart and off we go.


And I will admit.  There was 10 whole seconds where I thought that that MIGHT have been the cutest thing I have ever seen.  I mean… Good Job, Target, amiright?? Let’s get these future spenders-with-no-impulse-resistence trained early, right?

But it quickly went downhill.  Look! The dollar section has never been more unenjoyable.  THAT’S at least $15 you COULD HAVE HAD had I not been so busy to GET OUT OF THERE because Tiny Human now has the freedom to just PUT THINGS IN THERE.  MADNESS.


Ok.  Razor first.  We swung around, and after I pulled Tylenol, dish soap and various other things out of his cart, we made it to the razor aisle.  By the time I chose mine, he had 16 in his cart, along with about 10 bottles of shaving cream.  ABORT ABORT ABORT.

Seeing the demise of this Target Adventure, we quickly skirted to the food section.  This is where Tiny Human really starts getting into it.  Look! I can push the cart and it just GOES! On its own! And when I do it right where the aisle ends, people can’t see it coming! And listen to that fun noise when other carts hit mine! THIS IS AMAZING.

Target was suddenly becoming HIS happy place.  THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

We passed another family.  These poor souls had two minions, each with his own cart. KEVIN, they yelled.  KEVIN! WATCH OUT!  KEVIN COME BACK!  I tried to catch their glance to give them that look… you know… the sympathetic Mom look when you see people who are totally losing the battle in public, right there for everyone to see.  But I couldn’t catch their glance, because they were so focused on Kevin, who was quickly escaping down the candy aisle, his little flag the only thing you could see.  The only thing I can compare it to is that scene in Jurassic Park (I have no idea which one) where the raptors are coming in through the long grass, and all you can see are their tails, but you know it means DOOM IS UPON THEM.

And maybe you think I am exaggerating.  But you did not see the LOOKS on the peoples’ faces that were being set upon by your Stupid Tiny Cart army that you are clearly building.

I did my best to finish my shopping as fast as I possibly could, all the while hearing KEEEVVVIIIINNNNN in the background.  I thought I was done when we made it to the checkout lane, but Little One was HORRIFIED to find out that he had to take all this cool stuff out that he had accumulated and put it on the belt, which would then SWEEP it away AND HE WOULD NEVER SEE IT AGAIN.  EVER.  IN HIS WHOLE LIFE.

I did that mothering thing that people refer to the bandaid, where I just dumped it all out REAL QUICK and got the pain over with.  I was SO CLOSE to the finish line.  I did not even care that I could not do the Target Stroll.  I was so over this trip.  (That’s like… 3 coffee mugs, 4 $5 movies, and at least one Thomas train that you DID NOT SELL TONIGHT… and possibly a throw pillow.).  I could handle a little cry.

But then we had to put the Stupid Tiny Cart away, with all the other Stupid Tiny Carts.  Dear Lord.  Usually, we ride on out, kid still melting his brain on the iPad, me still sucking the last of the caramel out of the bottom of my really fatty coffee, high-fiving other moms who are on their way IN to do THEIR Target Stroll.  Not this time.  No… not this time.

All this to say.  You need to know your target audience (see what I did there?).  Maybe you saw Trader Joe over there, and was all like, Hey! Trader Joe is trendy! And they have tiny carts! We should get tiny carts! But Trader Joes is for moms who have it at least a little together and have gone there with the express intent on feeding their kids something other than cheezits and dry cereal for dinner.  And they probably don’t even wear yoga pants while they shop.

But that’s not you, Target.  That’s not US.  That’s not our Thing.  Don’t make it our Thing.

If you would like to make it right, we here at MASTC will accept an immediate removal of the Stupid Tiny Carts, and also would not mind being handed a free Pumpkin Spice Latte upon arrival on our next shopping trip.


Laura Rinas.
Founder of MASTC as well as MACAPCITCA (Moms Against Candy And Pokemon Cards In The Checkout Aisle)


298 thoughts on “MASTC

  1. I’m late to the party but feel your pain. I must confess I’m glad my triplets are too old for the stupid tiny carts. I can only imagine THREE tiny humans wreaking havoc in the aisles of the store, each wielding a cart and a healthy set of vocal cords.

    It was bad enough trying to shop at all with toddler triplets. Add stupid tiny carts to the mix? No doubt I would have made the 10 o’clock news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Laura Rinas, should learn how to control her kids and there wouldn’t been an issue. Also, anything you post on the internet has the potential to go viral, FYI! If you didn’t like the carts then don’t let your kids use one. Thanks for ruining it for our kids. Next time try to write your unwelcome thoughts/opinion in your diary.


      1. Stores are not play grounds. Kids carts are a PITA. I raised my kids, and I took them to the park for fun, a place meant for them to run and yell, and I went to the store for groceries. And now when I go to the store for groceries, I don’t really want to have to dodge your kids pushing mini carts and yelling.


      2. Joe, your comment is cruel and uncalled for. Kids are not dogs on a leash to be “controlled.” And, as said below by another commentator, Target is not a playground. Enough said. Glad the “tiny carts” are gone. Enough people agreed that Target removed them. Happy now?


      3. I’m pretty sure Laura Rinas didn’t single-handedly get Target to change their mini-cart policy, lol! We all get an opinion and sharing them with Target lets them know what we like (or don’t). It’s pretty much majority rule, so I think the mini-carts were getting on a few other people’s nerves, as well. And I really enjoyed reading her essay, so I hope she keeps things public!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Clearly, you’ve never had a tiny cart hit you in the shins before. It is damn painful. I don’t even know the woman who wrote this, but as far as controlling her kids, that’s not your place to say. I guess we don’t all believe in keeping our children on a leash, as you must. Children are children. They can be polite, and well raised without living in the cage of fear you must have introduced into your home. We, who love our children unconditionally, allow them to grow. I feel bad for your life, how sad it must be that you feel you have to personally attack someone just because they shared their opinion. It was shared politely and with a sense of humor…I guess you have neither. 😦


  2. We have a mutual friend, Lawni and I went to high school together and is still my best friend. She shared your blog with me an I’m so glad she did! I have 3 year old twins girls the naughties as we call them and a wide red headed 5 year old boy. Everything they say about red heads is true! I try to avoid Target mainly because on a single income it would put us in the poor house, but now I fear for other people’s lives! Our local grocery store, in our tiny town does have 2 of those little tools of Satan and the fights, injuries and near death experiences my Littles cause is to much to bear! I leave them safely buckled in the car, run in for essentials and run out! Hang in there mama, your not alone! Can I get a membership form to MASTC? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not trying to be mean, but leaving kids in the car is never a good idea. One may mean to just run in for a second, but things happen and there are so many hot car deaths that is just isn’t worth it (and is illegal in many states).


    1. The monster sized carts with seats for bigger kids to buckle in are intended to be for parents who have children with special needs. As the mother of a child with special needs, I WISH some of the stores in the city I live in would consider getting these carts to make going to the store with my son a little easier as he HAS to be strapped in for his own safety.


      1. Ahh. Right now those stupid bucket carts are our safe haven when we go to the store because most stores here have those and not the special needs carts. So we make due with that one. We actually just started using them and they make a fine substitute till they get on board with getting the real thing!

        The special needs carts aren’t even just for bigger kids, but I’ve seen where someone takes… “grandma” or “grandpa” to the store and uses one of those to push grandma or grandpa around and still be able to shop.

        Stores are required to make accommodations for handicaps via ramps and what not for wheelchairs, I wish they’d do the same for special needs and elderly folk!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The child I watch over who has a hard time walking rather enjoys the Monster sized seats. You may dislike them but they have a purpose and I am not talking about the Special Needs one that Target just came out with recently. It may not fit your lifestyle, but it makes my life a lot easier. 🙂


  3. I disagree. Tiny carts are not the issue, poor parenting is. I realize this will be deleted but I love the tiny carts. They remind me of when I was a child and my family was stationed in North Carolina. My father was constantly being deployed leaving my mom alone with 3 young children age 3-8 (to 6-11 when we moved away), one on the autism spectrum and herself having physical disabilities. One of the stores we shopped at had child shopping carts (the metal ones not the plastic ones like at target) and my mom found a way to use that resource to make shopping easier. We each loved the carts and being able to “help mommy shop” and so we followed the rules for the carts. We walked in a line behind my mom youngest to oldest. We had to stay right behind each other and pay attention, no running off and no running into each other or mommy and no grabbing things off shelves or whining for stuff or we’d lose the cart first and if it continued had other consequences for not stopping the misbehavior. We’d be allowed to have a few items from the shopping list in our carts (which made us feel special and grown up; I usually got to push the milk). If we were good and it was a long trip or it was in the budget then we might get a special reward which would also go in our cart to the check out. Yes, kids act out sometimes, we did, we were kids, but when that happened there were consequences and we thus learned those behaviors would not be tolerated. If the carts became an issue we lost the privilege of having the cart and would have to walk next to and holding on to the big shopping cart without touching anything. The store wasn’t blamed for our misbehavior nor was the kids’ carts. We were taught to be responsible for our behavior and our parents (at this time usually mom because dad was often deployed as per military need) took charge of teaching us how to do this. They used the child’s shopping carts as a tool in this endeavor and did so quite well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Darlene! Thank you for your reply. I honestly wrote this post in jest, and unlike what most people think, it’s not the sum of my parenting. I never thought it would be seen by anyone else than my People, and never in a million years would have thought that it would be held up as a parenting standard. I wrote it because it was funny. That’s all. 🙂
      I appreciate your response, and I agree with some (more) instruction, and a year or two in maturity, it could have been fun. Like I said, it was never my intention to actually start a movement.
      Also, I’m not deleting comments that disagree with me. I am deleting comments that go straight to shame based arguments. Of which I have received hundreds. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been cussed at. So thank you for approaching it with respect and decency. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Darlene, you made a good points. I grew up in Catholic school where we were taught from first grade to “line up behind one another,” no talking in line and so on. Good behavior was a given.

      But nowadays, with a generation of Dr. Spock parents (from my day and age) and parenting techniques changing, what kind of “consequences” are you talking about?

      Even in the early 1970’s, consequences for bad behavior were practically non-existent, unless you consider “time outs” or taking away their video game or iPod to be effective. But there’s no time-out place when you are shopping at a store and you can’t leave them alone in the car, nor do people have access to other child care just to run to the store.

      So what consequences” can you suggest that would be effective in today’s world, with the “put the child first” and “spanking = child abuse” thought nowadays?

      I would not know what to do as a parent in today’s child-rearing culture. The nuns never spanked us, but they “had their ways” to get their points across. Plus I grew up in a military family. But today?

      What do you suggest that parents do, since so many obviously had problems that Target pulled the child-sized carts quickly. We really want to know, as it’s not easy to parent anymore. And it should be.


    3. Hey Darlene, Lighten up. Take a hot bath, chamomile tea and a good book. Now, isn’t that better than taking your frustrations out on someone who is just trying to make the rest of us happy? I have a feeling she is a great mom.


  4. For those parents who are all in a hot fuss over the carts being removed. Small children shouldn’t need to push a cart around in a store to learn responsibility. If you want to teach you child to shop ( or how to act in public) at a young age, do it at home where they can run the cart into YOUR ankles. If you think you child is missing out on an educational moment at Target using a stupid tiny cart, then you are missing the point of being a parent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have these tiny carts here in Texas and my kiddos (I have 4) have used these and love these with no issues. When we first started using the carts there were RULES of usage. No running, stay to the side of the isle so others can pass and only put in the cart what mommy approves or is on the list. If rules couldn’t be followed then no more cart. It took just one time of losing the cart to figure out how to manage the cart properly. I didn’t just hand my kid the cart and say “ok, let’s go shopping!” That’s asking for trouble!! Kids need to be taught that they have to behave in stores, I often roll my eyes at screaming kiddos who are sitting in the carts being pushed by mom or dad… seriously, that is as annoying to me as it is to those who complain about these carts hitting in the ankle.
    I understand your take on this all, I just don’t agree with it. And I don’t agree that the carts should be pulled because there are people out there that do like them and do use them.


  6. I came to your viral post via a newspaper article. It was interesting how you describe people being into a big-box store in the way I’m into my vices. It portrays parenting as a sometimes-mind-numbing job, how I imagine flying a plane is. Everything is automated. The plane can almost fly itself. But you have to be there on stand-by, killing time, in case a life-or-death situation occurs. I get the humor. I think you’re tricking us into asking a deeper question: Our economy and society provide almost unlimited stuff without all that much work, at least compare to human history. So how do we handle the important but sometimes mind-numbing task of minding children?

    We don’t have a society norm to answer that question. We have norms on when is a good age to get married, and things like that, but we have no plan for who watches the kids. You can make the job hard by abandoning modern conveniences. You can use all the conveniences and end up wondering around a store with access to more stuff than kings in pre-industrial times, with no purpose. You see the other people killing time on life-and-death standby, but there’s no obvious way to join forces with them on some fulfilling project. You intentionally write in a self-deprecating way that reminds of the reader of boring jobs he may have had and puts him in your shoes. But this has the addition of uncomfortable feeling I recognize when my kids display a vice they learned from me.

    I found it very interesting because its humor tricks us into considering important questions while we think we’re just laughing at a cute story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are truly hilarious! I read your ‘going viral’ post…can’t believe anyone would criticise you for this post. I’m definitely in your camp though…and I would LOVE it if I got a free pumpkin spice latte on arrival 🙂 I wrote a post on breastfeeding and it went a bit viral (nothing like yours!) I got 1300 views instead of the usual 5. Part of me was excited and smug. And then I read some of the comments on Facebook and it made me realise that not everyone is quite so nice as my usual audience. Oh well…you live and learn x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really don’t understand why it’s a big deal? If the parent says no to the little cart it’s no and move on. Weis has had them for a few years it’s not a huge deal…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just watch your kid. Probably would have been easier then starting a whole movement to get rid of the carts. But I guess it wouldn’t be as glorious to just write a blog saying you watched your kid. LOL. Kudos to you, you really accomplished something here.


  10. I have never commented on anything, I am always one to stay out of things and mind my own business as this world is so full of anger and negativity. Yesterday I went shopping at Target with my son and discovered that the one thing he loves to do at Target was taken away. He cried and cried saying he couldn’t help mommy anymore. I was sad for him he is a 2 years old with an abundance of energy. I was so happy because Target was the one store I was able to take him to where I, a stay at home mom, could have a pleasant shopping experience. My son followed the rules, stayed close to me and as he said ” he felt bigger” when he got to push the cart. I know we are not perfect which is why I was thankful for the little handle on the top of the cart which I once heard referred to as a “mommy handle”. He learned control felt a little bit of independence and had a great time! I am thankful to Target for that time and I am sorry that with the barrage of negativity they were not able to know that I and I am sure others enjoyed those carts. I am sorry that a few bad apples spoiled all the mini shopping carts!!!


    1. Katie, I appreciate your sadness at losing the kiddie carts at Target. But I’m sure Target did not make their decision because of a “few bad apples.” No large chain is going to make decisions that go against the majority of the customers. I would venture to guess that you and a few others had children that DID “follow the rules” and it was a lot of fun for them. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the majority.

      Perhaps you could buy a kid’s cart and bring it with you. I’ve seen a lot of children pushing baby carts and they love it.


  11. Have you tried controling your child, saying no when they wanted a tiny cart? Instead of getting the pulled so then no one.could use them, just don’t allow your child ti use them.


  12. This might be passive aggressive but I say let the cart become full, then tell cashier you don’t want anything in the cart. When the store has to pay someone to put merchandise away a hundred+ times, they’ll figure out a solution for themselves. This task creates job security for store employees, too. You could do a deal with child to choose one thing in his/her cart at the time of checkout. Win/win.


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