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Dear Child, Please Don’t Lose Your Shit in Target {again…}


There are certain situations/times of day – where a moment of silence, a short prayer – or at a minimum, a deep breath and hail Mary are required before moving forward.  Generally speaking, these times for me are every single time I stop my car.  I turn my car to off, release my death grip from the steering wheel and have to unbuckle and force myself out of the safety of my front seat to drag my three kids out of the car kicking and screaming no matter where we are–even to go in our own house–because they always want to do the exact opposite of what we are doing at the moment.  One place in particular for us, which – admittedly is almost daily – is Target.   Yea – usually Target – but it may just as well be Publix – or Kroger – or God forbid, Walmart.  The prayer usually goes somewhere along the lines of:

{Dear God – Please don’t let any of my kids lose their shit in Target today – or have to go pee in a public restroom.  Amen}

However — there is a huge difference between Target and the others mentioned….  If I walk in Publix, or Kroger, or ugh…Walmart…  (the thought of that just terrifies me—stimulation overload—for everyone – them, me….) —miraculously, my prayer works!!!  AMEN!  We make it out alive, sane and in one piece.  Sure – we may have an episode, but no one hurts anyone else, or themselves or me – everyone has somewhere to sit and be buckled.  Secured, so to speak…

But Target…no…not Target…  we pull up, I say my prayer….

And then the chaos begins…

Nora in the front, the twins in the back, but Nora wants in the back because she thinks she’s 3 and the twins want to walk because they are 3 and his foot is touching her leg and her jeans are crinkling on his hand. AND OH MY GOD MOMMY I NEED THAT DARTH VADER ROBOT!!!!  As Oliver, the kid that’s never actually seen Star Wars–because he’s 3!!,  swings one leg over the side of the cart and gets caught straddling the side because his other foot is under Olivia (because that was the only way it was ok to touch her), and he begins yelling in the middle of Target – “Oh my penis, my penis! It’s hurting my penis!”  For real son?  Are you serious?  At about this point people are looking at me like I’m a petophile

As I get him sitting back down, we pass the Marvel section complete with the masks and costumes and figures and F’ing silly string web shooters (which my sister and brother-in-law actually bought him, WTF???), and Oliver is now officially losing his shit —  MOMMY!!!!  I really, really want to be that guy!  Why can’t you just buy me that Ultron helmet so I can be him?!? oh – you mean the $30 Ultron helmet with lights and sound – ummm…No.   PLEEEAASSE MOM!!!  Don’t say NO, that’s a bad word!  You make me sad, mom.  You hurt my heart!  You just hurt my heart.  It huuurrrrts!!!!  In his saddest, most pathetic, tears rolling down his cheek, whining voice…and as he stomps his foot down, he crushes Olivia’s little hand in the basket beside him….and she’s devastated.  He might as well have driven a knife through her hand….and she needs a bandaid. She’s not bleeding, mind you – but she saw some Doc McStuffins bandaids on an end-cap two aisles over (knew that was coming back to bite me in the ass), and she NEEEDS them!  So, we head back towards the bandaids and she sees a few clearance halloween costumes.

Miraculously, her hand is suddenly better.  Now, Olivia is screaching is her best Fran Dresher voice – “Mom-mom- are you hearing me mom!?!!  It’s pink and sparkly and shiny and pink and sparkly and super girl and I think it’s like my size and little like me!!  Can I can I can I have it for my prize today, pleeease!”


….and it’s coming.  Wait for it …  Yep. There is the quivering lip and the giant tears, and her little fists are balled up at her side and she’s going to blow.

But WHHYYYYYY???  I’ve been good and I’ve listened and I didn’t hit Oliver anymore after I hit him earlier and I just don’t know why not!  And she hits the side of the cart —and hurts her hand with her little fist (the same hand), and now she is whaling because her hand is hurt-again…and it will just make her feel better if she can have the pink and sparkly, pink and sparkly super girl outfit.

So, we make it to the groceries and I’m checking expiration dates on the yogurt for the kids ….And then it happens….  The baby has wiggled out of her belt (like always) and she is calling me, Mommy – I ‘tuck. I ‘tuck, mommy!  ‘elp!!  And she is…she’s gotten her hand caught in the metal wire of the seat back trying to push herself up.  She is calm – she’s ok, I’m ok – we’re ok —and then I pull her hand back through….and she loses her shit.  Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow…..You hurt Nora, you hurt Nora!  Tiss it Mommy, tiss it!!  Hold you, hold you, hold you, hold you….HOLD YOUUU!!  Ok….

So now, I’m holding Nora, pushing the cart with the twins (still crying) in the basket and trying to collect what I need (or want – I never really need anything from Target–we really go there for, ya know – the experience) – and now Nora wants down.  Walk!!  Walk!!! She’s yelling in my ear through the store… What I can’t manage is holding her with one hand, pushing the cart with one hand, and controlling the flailing bucking bronco motion she’s using in an attempt to break her self free — someone’s going to get hurt (probably me)—she refuses to get back in the cart —  so now, she’s walking.  The twins are pissed.  Nora is walking – they want to walk.  Oliver tries to climb out again, Olivia is trying to climb in the front basket so she can sit and face me to “talk more to me about her pink and sparkly, pink and sparkly outfit” that she now can’t even remember was super girl – only that it was pink and sparkly.

AND….there goes Nora!!!  She sees bananas.  Nanas, nanas!  and I pick her back up…and she’s freaking out, and the twins are freaking out, and now I’m freaking out – and we are all freaking out—-so it’s official—-we’ve all lost our shit in Target…. and oh, joy!  There is someone I knew from high school….  Hi!!  Oh yea – we’re great!!  How are you guys???  Oh….just GREAT!!!  Just heading to get some coffee….

And there is the truth of it …  the whole reason we come to Target.  I may pay $2 more for bruised bananas and have to pray the rosary before walking in the door —- but – I get to nourish my addiction with a Starbucks on the way out and I still walk out smiling – or fake smiling…sort of…because everyone goes to Target.

So – as a note to Target – if this ever makes it back to the eyes of someone who can control this….and the point of this whole rant…..

Dear Target:

  1.  Thank you for the Starbucks, without it – I would never set foot through your doors.
  2. You’re prices continue to go up – and that’s ok.  I get it.  I’ll still pay them because it’s fun to buy dog food, a bathing suit, baby diapers, and new TV -all while drinking Starbucks – all in the same place—-or just to walk around and look at a lot of stuff I don’t need – that makes me think I need it, while drinking my Starbucks.
  3. As a mom – if you want me to walk around and buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need – or that my kids want and don’t need —  I’ve got to be able to get through your store with my kids.  Yes – that means – I will have kids with me in Target and I will need to put them in a shopping cart.
  4. But wait—–your carts suck.  The average number of children per family in the US is 1.86.   So, obviously, no one has .86 kids, so let’s just call it 2.  The average number of kids her household is 2.   According to your own statistics – 43% of your customers have children at home (I would venture to say that number is a little higher than that – at least for your most regular shoppers).  So – almost half of your customers have 2 children – and you are the only big box store that does not have a shopping cart suitable for 2 or more children.  Yes, I get that not all Targets have the same carts….I am specifically referring to your stores in the greater Atlanta area -I can’t speak for any others.
  5. Get some freaking 5-point harnesses in your buggies–if you have to keep the same carts.  Your seats are too shallow for a single strap and young toddlers can easily maneuver out of them–if they get just one knee raised from the front seat, they can flip over the side.
  6. Get a dead gum two or three seater cart that works!!  No.  No your ridiculous carts that have two toddlers or older children sitting six inches from one another facing, with straps that might as well not buckle, where they can turn and drag their feet out of the back of the cart–and the carts are like 8 feet long –are not a satisfactory or even feasible or safe solution.  (Faces blocked out because these are not my children) – Please note – there is no where for the third child to even sit where they are buckled and to stand back and push this beast — it puts you at least 5 feet from the 2nd or 3rd kid in the basket- not safe for a younger sibling – and if you do HAVE to use this cart with two or more kids — they are only for much older toddlers.  So, if you have twins, or triplets….or God forbid….just siblings that are less than say 3 or 4 years apart—there is literally no way for them both or all three to ride safely in the buggy.  Yes… let me put my 12 month old that’s too small for the back- who just learned to walk and is climbing in the basket – 5 feet away from my reach, so I can strap my 2.5 and 4 year old in the back of this contraption, because they are too young to just walk–but wait, they are either going to kill each other, or free themselves and escape anyway.  So—much better idea—12m old in a regular cart and the older toddlers in the basket—then they are on top of each other and killing each other and driving me insane—such as referenced above—and I leave buying nothing because all of my kids are crying.20140808_105028
  7. If you want me (or any other mom of 2 or 3) to drop $50 bucks on “prizes” like talking Ultron masks and pink and sparkly, pink and sparkly jazz – so be it, but make the experience easier for the people who are dropping a boat load of money in your store.  Give me a way for my kids to ride safely and comfortably through your store.  I’ll gladly buy your coffee and prizes and grab my few groceries, pretty much daily – if I know I can set foot in your store without my kids losing their shit because the only possible option for transporting two or three kids through your store controlled, actually creates utter chaos.  No…  having two toddlers (or even one) ride in the back of the shopping cart and one in the front —while putting all your treasured goods you have to have under the cart on the wire – where they fall off or through-so the kid in the cart isn’t sitting on them—is not a good, safe or well advised solution.  Neither is your solution above, for reasons that I cannot comprehend why – were not obvious to your company.  There is no way in hell that was designed by a mom – much less one who had enough children to use it.
  8. If you want people like me to continue to buy things we don’t need at prices that you are continuing to raise – skip a few prime time commercials – we know who you are — and invest in shopping carts for your stores that make sense and make a family experience in your store safer and more enjoyable.  People will stay longer.  They’ll buy more, and they’ll leave happier.

***In reading this – one may think – or you could just control your kids better…  a) I don’t have unruly or exceptionally crazy kids.  They are actually incredibly well behaved compared to many their age—they are simply, twin 3 year olds and an 18 month old.  b) If that thought crosses your mind – you quite obviously don’t have two or more kids and are in no position to have a valid opinion on the subject.  ***