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Thank You to the Random Mom in Target With the Organic Lollipops

Updated on August 26, 2015

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!


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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.

Here's What it's Like to Take a Kid-Free Trip to Target

What's the Worst Shopping Trip You've Ever Had?

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I see that you like to write about how a brief encounter with a stranger can be so important--just as I do. Especially when the stranger is kind to you. Random acts of kindness are wonderful things. I have a whole series of "People Almost Met" stories on this topic.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this kindness with us! The other people in line mean nothing. That other mom, however, is a heroine. Btw, those organic lollys, well I send them to my grands (for both them and their moms) :)

      Hope your post starts a new round of random kindness post/comments.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      What a neat thing to do. I remember "those" days, it's so hard to do errands with little ones in tow. One day I was working as a bank teller, and a customer gave me $5.00 to buy a sandwich for lunch! I was so surprised, and it made my day. It would be nice if more people did things like that for each other. Maybe we can start! Glad your errand worked out, it's awful when you get an audience of rude people, as if your own situation isn't bad enough, you don't need their comments.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      What memories! My own kids are well into their adult years, and two of my grandkids are adults now, and the other two are catching up fast.

      But I do remember days like this. I was not the patient mom putting up with it all. I would hiss at them "stop the crying, or I'll give you something to cry about!" (Not that I was into hitting or beating my kids--but the remark always caught them off-guard and shut them up.)

      Most of my shopping drama happened in the grocery store, and it was actually when they were MUCH younger...still babies...and no matter that they had JUST eaten, or JUST had a diaper change, it would be while shopping that they would decide they were hungry again, or to refill their diaper, and proceed to scream about it! Aagggh!

      You did indeed run across a very nice lady, and I wish there were more such people in this crazy world.

    • Lori Worsencroft profile image

      Lori Worsencroft 

      4 years ago from South Carolina

      Love this story! I can completely sympathize since I have a very insistent 2 year old that won't sit in the cart (has to push) and grabs things off shelves. I'm glad the random mom/guardian angel was there to help in your hour of need :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk

      That is a great story. The kindness of stranger, just when you needed it! I have often thought about buying a bunch of flowers for someone at the checkout just to see what their reaction might be. Now I know a better way to channel that kindness, from now on I shall just carry around a bag of lollipops for all those Mum who have 'threenagers' Thanks for sharing that.


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