Please, Tell Me You’ve Done This Too?

Okay, I think I might have issues, no really. Today I did something crazy, but that’s not the worst part. The thing is this crazy thing, I did it once before several months ago. Only that time there was a happy ending and I laughed it off. This time, I was brought to tears – sad, woe is me, pitiful tears.

This morning we were out of milk and my boys desperately wanted bowls of cereal for breakfast. I did need to get additional groceries as well, so we headed to the store. It was actually a pretty calm trip, which can be rare when bringing along two kids under the age of five.

As we pushed our cart of groceries to my Blazer, however, my two-year-old had a complete meltdown. I think he woke up a tad early this morning, and he is NOT a morning person. I sat the cart by the back of my vehicle and attempted to get my fussy two-year-old into his seat. But he wasn’t having it. He was kicking and screaming. He thrusted his tired body all over the floor of the Blazer.

I finally got him into his seat, but then he did that thing that fit-throwing two-year-olds are notorious for, he arched his back and scooted his body down. This made buckling him in quite difficult. But I finally won the power struggle. Worn out and hungry, I got into the driver’s seat and drove home.

Once home, I ran to the back of the Blazer to unload the groceries and realized that I had never loaded them. No I had driven away, leaving them in the cart in the parking lot.

And yes, I had done it once before, several months ago. I was infuriated with myself. I could NOT believe I once again left my groceries in the parking lot.

So we headed back to the store, which really set my two-year-old off. He was so confused. Poor guy.

The last time I left my groceries in the parking lot, a nice person brought the cart back into the store and I was able to retrieve my purchases at the customer service desk.

This time around I wasn’t as lucky. I found my cart, it was still there near my parking spot, but it was empty. Nobody had brought anything into the store. Somebody took my groceries!!!!

So, the boys and I headed back into the store one more time. This time only grabbing the essentials. Sigh!

So, please make me feel better and tell me that you too have once left your groceries in the parking lot. Help a mama out.

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom contributing editor, Erica.


  1. says

    Oh, my!! I feel so bad for you!. How frustrating! I can’t believe someone would be so dishonest and callused as to steal your groceries!
    I have never done that, but I have done something just as crazy. One time I went thru a drive thru to get some lunch… I paid and then drove away!!!! I didn’t get too far before I realised what I had done.. I really felt dumb.
    So, don’t beat yourself up tooo much…. we all have those moments!
    When you get a minute, come see me @

  2. says

    Not that exact story, but I am pretty sure that anytime I have *ever* added $12 grocery store mascara, which in grocery terms seems astronomical, it has slipped out of the cart before I’ve made it to the check out.

    And that someone took your groceries? Wow, I just can’t wrap my mind around that.

    • says

      Oh I have had that happen too…so frustrating. Then you get home and are digging all through the bags for it, until you realize….yep must have fallen out.

  3. says

    Oh Erica, I am sooooo sorry… how upsetting to lose your groceries!!!

    I’m constantly walking away from the checkout after paying without grabbing my bag of items I’ve just purchased, but then the clerk usually calls out to me.

    I can totally relate to those 2 yr old tantrums about getting into the car seat… sounds just like Sophia. How difficult!!!

    When I first had a baby, I was always paranoid I’d leave her sitting by the car in her car seat and drive off…. thankfully, that never happened and thankfully it was only groceries and not a child you drove off without.

    I also have a friend who drove off leaving her expensive stroller sitting by the car… so at least it was only some groceries… I hope it wasn’t too many though. Every bit counts doesn’t it.

    • says

      Yes the 2 year old tantrums are NOT FUN! He can be such a little stinker! But, yes, I didn’t leave my kids (they are too loud to forget anyway) nor did I leave behind a big money item. Thankfully I wasn’t at Target…I would have lost clothes and such too I am sure. So it could have been much worse for sure.

  4. says

    Many moons ago, I had a bag of groceries (luckily, just one!) with me; I waited on the side of the check-out line waiting for a friend. I put the groceries down since I was waiting awhile and of course, when she finally made it out of the line, we left the store and it wasn’t until I got home before I realized I left the bag just sitting there.
    Then a couple years ago, my daughter and I (I was many months pregnant) were shopping in a mall. I got the “Mommy, I REALLY have to pee” cry when we were nowhere near a bathroom. So I rushed around the mall, zooming around with my stroller and shopping bags trying to reach the nearest restroom. We finished our business and then left…So many minutes later, I realized I was missing a bag (mind you, it was a couple pair of pajamas that were really inexpensive and one of them was a gift!) Of course, being pregnant and scattered-minded, I had no idea which store/bathroom I had left the bag in (I wasn’t sure when exactly I had lost the bag). So I had to backtrack to a few stores and restrooms to look for the bag. I even went back to Old Navy to see if there was anything they could do about “stolen” merchandise! Of course, nothing. I left my info with Security and Lost and Found, but nothing. So yes, someone else walked away with some really cute PJs for free that day.
    Erica, we definitely all have our moments! You’re not alone :)

  5. says

    You should totally have a PayPal Donate next to this post. I feel so bad for you!! I’d totally chip in for those groceries that some complete jerk stole.

    That is my least favorite feeling in the world – wasting money because I messed up (even if my kid caused it). I seriously beat myself up for days over it! My last beat-up session was about flying home from Blogher – and having to pay $90 for my luggage that was too heavy – and not thinking about the fact that I had a tote in my bag that I could have totally filled with stuff and taken as a carry-on!!

    Okay, I’m still beating myself up over that $90.

  6. says

    I haven’t left my groceries like that, but I’ve had to purposely leave my full cart at the store while I drive my kids and me home to get my wallet. Grrr…

    And I’ve left my wallet on the roof of my car as I got on the freeway (through the miracle of roof rack design, it was still there one exit later!)

    I left my car keys on my roof for a full hour and no one stole my car. I had a thing about car roofs apparently.

    I’ve been unable to drive before when my 4 year-old (who is now 9) refused to keep her seat belt on. She would unhook it (she was in a booster seat) as we were moving and then I couldn’t physically get her in the seat again or buckle the belt or ensure that it would stay on. That completely sucked. I tried every trick I knew to keep her in her buckled seat, but she could win if she wanted to. Luckily, that was a short-lived phase. I learned not to be in much of a hurry.

    So sorry this happened to you!

  7. says

    Yes, I’ve been there, done that. When my boys were little I had bought some items for gifts…and times were hard with not a lot of extra money. I felt so frustrated! Thankfully, when I drove back my bag was still there. Wish I could say that was my “only” time, but it’s happened again since then.

  8. says

    I have left my stroller in a restaurant parking lot. The baby was acting up I got back in the car to nurse her. Then decided to not go in. We drove off leaving it. I did not realize till 3days later and it was gone. Kids will do that to you. Long as we don’t forget them in the cart it is all good right.

  9. says

    I have not done the cart thing but I did leave my stroller one time at Walgreens. Luckily a girl scout was selling cookies and held it for me. I felt so bad as I did not have any cash to buy a box of cookies from her. I have done the gone grocery shopping and forgot my wallet, I have done that at least twice with very full carts. I found out that at Safeway they can print out a receipt and when you come back they just scan the reciept barcode and you pay, no need to ring up your items again. Really sad that I know that.

    I just remembered I have driven home and left my milk under the cart. I did that twice and had to go back. One time it was inside the store and once it was still on the cart in the parking lot. I actually put the carts away with my milk still on them

  10. mary b says

    I had a similar thing happen when my son was an infant. I took the 2 bags of groceries out of the cart, set them down on the ground next to my car and strapped him into the carseat. Somehow I managed to hop into the front seat without noticing them & drove off.
    Fortunately before I even got home we had received a call from the store…someone had turned in my bags. They knew who to call because I had just picked up photos and they were in the bag, so they had my name & phone number.
    Oh I would have been so upset if someone had taken my groceries because you know then the photos would have been gone.
    Sorry to hear you were not so lucky this time to have an honest person turn your groceries in to the store.

  11. Sonya says

    Unfortunately, yes I have done this… the most recent situation was on my daughters first day of kindergarten. I left my little ones home with their Dad to attempt to maneuver thru the store quickly that morning. I somehow managed to leave a bag full of much needed school supplies!!!! Ahhh the dread…I had to purchase EVERYTHING again! Sometimes it’s like my mind is on overload, which causes me to simply forget. Now if I can just “simply” forget to stop being upset with myself for these mistakes! :)

  12. erin says

    i have not left my groceries behind. but i have felt that i should leave my screaming 2 yr behind :) kidding! those tantrums can drive us to do crazy things!!!

  13. says

    oh sweet lady! I have never done that before but have had those frustrating moments with my kiddos! I was left so discombobulated before over a fussy kid that one time I thought I left my BABY in the parking lot. I had gotten home and had actually already taken the baby out of the car and set her in the house but went back out to the car to get her (again) and she wasn’t there (duh cuz I already took her out)…so when I found she wasn’t in the car I panicked and thoughts of her still being in her carseat in the shopping cart was all I could remember… so I ran inside the house to get the other kids to run back to the store and noticed the baby safe and sound in the house! whew..
    So didn’t lose groceries, but am thankful that that was all you did lose and no kids! I am just so sad that the groceries were stolen. Hoping your day gets better and brighter! love luv

  14. Sandra K321 says

    I haven’t done it, but look on the bright side. You didn’t leave your pocketbook in the cart with the groceries or that would have been gone, too.

  15. says

    I haven’t left food but I have left my coupon file in the cart. It wasn’t there or turned in when I went back to look for it. It’s tough. Stinks that someone helped themselves to your groceries.

  16. says

    Wow. That really stinks. I have to admit I’ve never done that as my kids have generally done the freak out at the beginning of the shopping trip rather than at the end. Though I HAVE had to drag TWO kids (4 and 6 years old) kicking and screaming out of Target (from the BACK of the store thank you very much) while 8 months pregnant. THAT was a fun day.
    Oh and I lost my cell phone in the parking lot that day too. I was lucky that a nice woman returned it, even drove to my house to return it to me.

  17. says

    I not left my groceries in the market basket but I have left my wallet more times than I will ever admit. No worries Erica…you didn’t leave your two year old so your still super mom!

  18. says

    I hope the pig that stole your groceries gets food poisoning. I know that’s a nasty thing to say but it’s appalling to me that the person didn’t wheel the groceries inside to the store!

  19. says

    I hope this eats that person up whoever stole your groceries! I hope you went inside and asked someone if your groceries were returned. All the money you were out, your precious time going there with the kiddos and the struggle with your little one!! Hey, do they have video cameras outside the store? I know when someone put a dent in my tailgate Walmart went back and looked at their tapes!! You should give it a try! Imagine their shock if they were totally busted!

  20. says

    I’ve never done that, but just yesterday i went to a craft show and returned to car after some browsing, only to discover that I’d left the passenger door sitting WIDE open! Oops!

  21. says

    Gosh, I’d have cried! I’ve left my doggie bag at restaurants a couple times. That’s always disappointing since I really enjoyed the meal and wanted to take the rest home to enjoy again.

    I used to leave my purse places all the time. Now, not so much but I did accidentally leave my wallet at someone’s house last week after my daughter had taken it out of my purse (and I knew she had). What a pain. I hate being so scatterbrained.

  22. says

    That was really frustrating.. my wife would really cry if that will happen to her.. :( but it’s a good thing only those groceries you have left and not your other child..

  23. mel says

    i had a really long hard day at a store i rani in arkansas. on the way to a new years party in branson i stopped at a walmarts. it was the y2k year. so i wanted to get flashlights etc.. anyway, rolled my cart to my car and loaded it. we drove about 15 miles when i realized that not my grociers but my purse was in that cart!! and not only my purse but the bank deposit cash for the days sales. it was nearly $900. needless to say i broke a few laws driving as fast as i could back to that city. there in the lot even under the lampost was a cart and my purse!! thank god

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