Dear Big Boss of Lidl (sorry, I don’t know your name),
Can I start this message off just by saying I love your stores? Your prices are cheap but the quality of the food you sell remains high. I love how I can pop into one of your shops for the basic kitchen essentials and come out having made the most random of purchases, ostrich steak being the most unusual. I love that thanks to you I am able to do a weekly shop for my family of four without having to worry if we are going to be able to afford it all when push comes to shove at the checkouts. Your fruit and vegetables are cheap and this is not because they are on the cusp of being
rotten over ripe. Your food quality is good. Unfortunately, the purpose of this letter isn’t to sing your praises. Something happened today that I feel the need to tell you about as you need to do something about it pretty damn quick.
Today I took my baby boy shopping to our local Lidl store to do the weekly food haul. No parent likes doing the weekly food shop with the kids in tow, fact. It’s stressful. Older kids demand every sweet thing they set eyes on, they are drawn to the magazine stand, they have no problem making sure the whole shop knows you have said no to that crappy little toy in the bargain aisle that they just ‘have to have’. Babies cry because, well, they’re babies and they will save their biggest meltdown for when you are stuck in a mile long queue at the checkouts. Food shopping with little ones sucks.
I clearly have some kind of glutton for punishment as I normally take the baby and my 4 year old on the weekly mission through the food aisles. My eldest is in school now though so it was just me and the baby today. Normally I would have my eldest sat in the trolley and my baby in the sling, this is why I was not prepared for what happened this morning. We arrived at the shop and as we were rocking the food shop sans eldest child I decided to ditch the baby carrier and plop my baby in the trolley seat instead. I went to fasten him in, something I never needed to do with his brother but the baby is only 11 months and a wriggler, only to see there was no seatbelt.
What the hell Big Boss of Lidl?
I understand you are a budget supermarket. I can cope with the fact that you have no customer toilets and no baby change facilities for when my little one does his obligatory mid shop poo. I can live without the customer services counter, the self checkout, the clothes department and even the café I can use a bribe to keep my eldest behaving for the duration of our shop. But, no seatbelts? Are you really so money consciousness you are happy to overlook a child’s safety?
I don’t want to name drop bigger supermarket chains here, but let’s just say my local Pasda and my local Wesco both have seatbelts on their trollies. Hey, even our near by Taldi has seatbelts on their trollies and they have those super trollies too, you know the ones that let you put the car seat on so your baby can stay sleeping while you shop. Guess what, Taldi are a budget supermarket too!
Obviously, I had made it out the house and driven to the shop with no dramas (no easy feet when you have a baby) so I wasn’t going to drive all the way back home to get the baby carrier. While it probably would have been less stressful to drive 5 minutes down the road and go to Pasda instead, the family pot is looking pretty empty this week and I just couldn’t afford the higher prices. I decided to just wing it. Baby boy has rarely had the joy of riding solo in the trolley before so I hoped the novelty of it all would be enough to keep him sat down. It probably took a whole 5 minutes for him to realise he wasn’t strapped in and that’s when all the fun and games began.
Luckily, it was when I had my eyes on him that my little wannabe free jumper decided to first try and launch himself out of the trolley. He’s pretty quick when he wants to do something and it was lucky that I was watching him. If it had been 10 seconds before when I had my head in the freezer grabbing some oven chips or 10 seconds before that when my back was turned as I was debating which pastry to buy from the bakery, he would have fallen out. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have climbed out of his seat, over the top of the side and fallen head first on to the floor below.
The stress of the rest of our shopping trip this morning was amplified by my son’s urge to climb out of the trolley. Trying to push a trolley and hold a baby down in their seat is hard. Trying to reach something off a shelf and keep your baby safely in place is hard. Trying to not completely loose your head, abandon you trolley, march your baby back to the car and just go home empty handed and eat cereal for the next week is almost impossible.
The motives behind this letter are not for you to fit seatbelts in your trollies to make my life , or any other parents life easier. Yes, food shopping is stressful and food shopping pretty much one handed because you’re acting as a human harness for your child is even more so. But my increased stress levels are not why I felt the need to write today. I am writing this as you need to fit seatbelts in your trollies for the safety of our children. It is not possible for a parent to have their eyes glued to their baby 24 hours a day, eyes have to wander to price tags and shelves in order to have a successful shopping trip after all. One of these days a baby will chuck themselves out of one of your trollies and cause themselves some serious injury when they hit the floor below. It is an accident just waiting to happen, it might have already happened. All I know is that if I had pondered over buying that packet of oven chips for just 5 quick seconds longer, my little boy would have gone tumbling out of the trolley and smashed his face on the floor. It wouldn’t have been my fault, or his. The blame would have rested on your shoulders.
Maybe it is just my local Lidl that seems to throw caution to the wind when it comes to baby safety, or maybe none of your stores have seatbelts on your trollies? Even if it is just my local Lidl , this lack of basic safety is still not ok. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to go about these things but surely you can figure out how to get seatbelts fitted on your trollies? Please, get all your trollies baby safe because next week when it’s time to do yet another food shop, I can’t promise I won’t just pay the higher prices and go to Pasda instead. Knowing my baby isn’t going to end up in hospital with concussion, stitches or worse is more important to me than a few extra quid in my pocket.
Please sort it out,
A stressed and pretty pissed off Mum