Every morning I wake up and think, “Today will be a good day.” Last Friday must have laughed it’s ass off when I woke up and said that. My hubby had left for the day and I got up, fed the kids, got them ready, and got myself ready. The morning was uneventful and I liked it that way. I had no idea that by the end of the day I would be praying for a child friendly playroom in the store that is my home away from home.
Then we arrived at Target in the afternoon. I give them the “Please behave in here, please act like you are let out in public on a regular basis….blah, blah, blah” speech in the car. I took a deep breath, unbuckled all of us, and we headed in. First stop, the shopping cart. There is the race to find one that is in working order. Child seat belt in working order, check. Cart isn’t cracked where Curls will jump on and off of throughout the entire shopping trip, check. Wheels all facing forward, free of anything disgusting that could have been picked up, check. Then there is the matter of wiping it down. This is my kids version of the car wash. They take the more than required amount of wipes from the provided bin and proceed to wipe one side of it for five minutes while I do the rest. After the cart has been settled, it’s a fight to get Red in it. He is almost four but my heart cannot take trying to chase him while picking out the correct cheddar sticks that Curls will eat. But after five minutes of arguing with him, I cry uncle and let him ride on the outside of the cart. I warn him that if he misbehaves in any way he is sitting in the cart. After this we are finally on our way.
This particular trip required we venture into the toy area. Curls had a birthday party to go to and we needed to purchase a gift. And I know what you are saying. A smart mom would have gone to Target on her own and purchased the gift. But noooooo…..I am lazy. I didn’t want to take the time to put on makeup and go out for one thing. Instead, I would rather be punished for my laziness. I am subjected to, “Mom! Can I have this? What about this? Mom, they have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Sofia the First! Mom! Mom!” I had to stay focused. I went straight to the aisle that held the gift we would purchase and gave Curls two options. After a few minutes of, “But I want it. Why can’t I have it? What about this?” we had chosen a gift.
With what I thought was the worst part over with, we walked over to the other side of the store to get the essentials. By this time Red was in the cart for climbing under the cart and making me almost run over him. He was getting restless, did NOT like being confined, and I was going to hear about it. But instead of telling me, he waits til we get over to the pharmacy section so I can pick up some medication. We are the only ones in line and just as we are called up to the counter, he proceeds to yell, “I FARTED!” He sits back in the cart, snickers, and looks very pleased with himself. I hear the pharmacy techs behind the counter all start laughing. I look up and try to laugh it off. “Bet you are glad you are on the other side of the counter,” I joke. The cashier laughs while one of the guys says, “Tell him he’s crop dusting.” I reply, “I would prefer to not introduce him to that term just yet. But thanks.” I finish my purchase and pray that will be the end of my children embarrassing me while we are in the store. No such luck.
When we get to the makeup aisle is when Red decides he has had enough of sitting and takes advantage of the fact that I am on the hunt for one particular item. A “beauty specialist” comes over and offers to help me. As I am explaining to her what I need Red is unbuckling himself and trying to heave himself over the side of the cart. The sales girl looks scared and says to him, “Sweetie, you should stay in the cart so you don’t get hurt.” She turns to me and says, “He is soooo cute.” I grin tightly and utter a thank you while putting Red back into the seat and buckling him back up. During the time the girl looks for the item and eventually has to call a manager to help her, Red has unbuckled himself enough times and gotten over the side of the cart that I just give up. To add insult to injury, I leave empty handed.
As I try to wrap up our trip, we arrive at the cards. Red and Curls are running up and down the aisles, giggling and screaming beforehand. But when we arrive at the cards, all hands are on deck. They manage to touch all cards within eye level and yell, “This one!” for every one. Every single one of those cards were left untouched to the point that if there was a crime committed in the card aisle at Target, Curls and Red would be the number one suspects.
Our last stop before checkout was a gift bag and some tissue for the present. More screaming, laughing, and running. I grabbed Red’s arm at one point and whispered through clenched teeth in a voice from hell, “KNOCK.IT.OFF.” It had no effect whatsoever. I grabbed Curls’ ear and did the same. She had the opposite effect. Complete meltdown with tears, crying, and “You hurt me!” I go into calm down mode and try to tell her I am sorry. When I look up to see if I have any witnesses (like any good mother does), I see a teenage boy and his mom about 30 feet away talking and looking at me. When we make eye contact they burst out laughing. So before I get myself arrested for defending my parenting, I push the cart towards the closest checkout stand.
I dread checkout. The candy, little toys, and even the batteries are like catnip to my children and I want to lay into every merchandiser that puts that crap out there (Yes, I know why they put it there. But STILL). They each hone in on one item and proceed to play with and ask for it the entire time I am being rung up. I take the item, say no, and put it back. They pick it back up and the vicious cycle starts all over again. After Red becomes bored with his item he starts running circles around the entire checkout. He runs into people but nothing stops him, letting his evil laugh loose. I finally pick him up and hold him sideways while he wiggles and takes away the last bit of energy I have left, forcing me to put him down. My poor cashier doesn’t make eye contact with me the entire time and I can’t blame her one bit. She finally hands me the receipt and I push the cart forward, not caring at this point if my kids are following me.
So dear Mr. Target CEO, I would pay handsomely if you had a daycare located in your stores. All I need is one hour. Even a half hour would do. I don’t even want credit for the idea when you are flooded with letters from grateful mothers who will only shop at your store from here on out because they can do it stress free. So please consider it. I beg of you.
P.S. It has been brought to my attention that IKEAs around the country offer FREE child care so Mom and Dad can get their shop on. Here’s to hoping others such as Target offer suit.