Thank You to the Random Mom in Target With the Organic Lollipops
I sensed the tantrum coming on as we exited the toy aisle. My threenager suddenly decided he hated his cowboy hat (you know, the same cowboy hat he insisted on wearing to the store) and wanted it off his head. Immediately.
I put the hat in the back of the cart, but that wasn’t where my son wanted it. He wanted to hold it. Duh. I should have read his mind and known that. I gave it to him, but that was a mistake because he actually wanted the hat in the cart.
You can probably tell where this story is going.
I knew we had to make it to the checkout ASAP, but apparently 57458927365 other customers and a bunch of Target employees had a similar goal. We ended up wedged between the greeting cards and the girls’ clothing section as an employee in front of us slowly pushed 10 or 12 carts through the aisle.
I attempted to go around the worker right as a lady lugging a giant pallet of merchandise grabbed the spot beside him. There were shoppers behind me, so my only option was to cut through the clothing section...and that wasn’t happening with the big, bulky cart I had.
My son continued flipping out about the cowboy hat as I pretended not to notice the whispered comments and open stares from the obnoxious customers around us. The employee with the carts got stuck as he attempted to make a right turn toward the checkout lanes, but it was all good. We were almost there.
The worker finally managed to maneuver the carts around the corner, and I cheered silently to myself. Victory was so close!
Have you ever had a stranger help with your child during a rough time?
I frantically pushed the cart toward the checkout lanes and then stopped. Not by choice, but because the lines were so long. What was this mess? Black Friday in August? Some secret sale nobody told me about? Since when was Target packed at 10 a.m. on a weekday?
I made my way toward the lane closest to the door and prayed the cashier would quickly ring up the 6 or 7 people ahead of me. She didn’t, which gave the rude people in line plenty of time to make comments like “his lungs certainly work just fine” and “Ohhhhhh, did he really just do that?!”
In case you’re wondering, yes, my son really DID just do that. He slammed my deodorant on the ground and then slapped me as I bent down to grab it.
The annoying remarks were getting louder, and I decided I couldn’t take another minute of listening to random shoppers complain about my son. I opened my mouth to tell the perfect parents around me exactly what I thought about their stupid comments, but a gentle rub on my shoulder caught me off guard.
She was also a mom. I knew as soon as I saw her yoga pants and hoodie. She smiled kindly and pulled a plastic baggie filled with organic lollipops out of her giant purse.
“Is it okay if I give him one of these? I bring them with me for days like this.”
My eyes started to tear up, and I managed to choke out a “Yes, thank you so much.”
“No problem,” she told me as she generously informed my threenager he could pick any color he wanted.
I thanked her again, and she assured me it was no problem as she disappeared into a sea of red carts. My son was so caught off guard by her kindness that he completely stopped crying and said, “Wow, that sure was a nice lady.”
So thank you, random Target mom with the bag of organic lollipops. You freaking rock. You saved my sanity and reminded me I’m not stuck navigating through the stressful times of parenting alone.