I enlist his help; since kids this age are eager to feel like big helpers, this works. You see, the shopping carts are too heavy for me to push by myself. Kieran likes to stand right in front of me as he helps to push the shopping cart, which keeps him in a really safe spot. And if I just have one thing, he'll hold onto the other loop of the shopping bag, or even help me carry my too-heavy purse by holding onto the strap! I've given him a choice, too. "Do you want to hold onto my purse, or the sack?" Of course the key is he doesn't get to hold anything all on his own, cuz he could take it and run off!!! If we don't have anything, I can convince him to hold onto my skirt or the bottom of my shirt, if he balks at me holding his hand. But, most of the time, he likes holding my hand if I make it fun, like we sing a song and skip along. I look foolish but oh well.
We usually have a discussion about the dangers of the parking lot in the check-out line, as we're paying, if he'd been hyper in the store (I don't have to worry about it if he'd been sleepy or clingy). We used to have a problem in the parking lot before but since i started calling on his assistance he's more conscientious to stay near me because i'm apparently so weak! lol