Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dear Target Mom

Dear Random Target Mom,

I know that you may not know better, but your lack of parenting really chapped my hide, especially today.

While pushing my irritated 3-year old past you (with the standing up, screaming toddler in the "big part" of your cart) I couldn't help but overhear the conversation you were having with the lucky person (I'm assuming it was a person) on the other end of the line, while gingerly holding on to the shirt of your son.

"If I make him sit in the cart, he's gonna freak out."

This did not sit very well with me (well obviously, since it's driven me to the point to blog about it) as I had just recouperated from a mega-tantrum with my own daughter (who I forced to sit in the cart) mere moments before you strolled by. Didn't you see her glaring at you?

Your inability to remove the cellular device from the side of your head and actually deal with your toddler will cost you. Not only in brain cells, but in that lovely power struggle which seems to never go away between parents and children. You're gonna loose the battle, and the war. Your kid (if he doesn't fall out of the cart while you're chatting away looking at blenders) will never know boundaries if you do not teach them.

No, it isn't fun to deal with an angry toddler in a store. No it isn't fun to think that you may have to postpone your "list" until a later time when everyone can behave. No it isn't fun to have a store employee direct a man to where the computer storage devices are located by saying "right there next to the screaming kid". It kinda sucks, actually, to have your own children say to their sister "you are embarrassing me".

But you have to stand your ground.

Or you will never hear this "Mommy, I'm sorry I yell".

Respectfully and Nonjudgmentally,


(The mom with the screaming kid at Target)


T. said...

I've been that mom with the screaming toddler...not the dumbass one with the cellphone though.

Now, I'm the mom with the annoying children who play tag in the racks, and roll their eyes and tell inappropriate jokes in front of elderly ladies...just for shock factor. (I don't know WHO taught them that!)

I'm glad you found me, cause now I've found you. Bookmarked you baby!

jen said...

please come over and be my supernanny.

i'll buy you beer.

tanya said...

So, supernanny...

I have a 2yo and a 1yo. Where am I supposed to put them? No, I have not had a cell phone surgically attached to my ear (don't even own one) but if I had to wait till my 1yo would sit tight in the proper child section of the cart and my 2yo would patiently walk along beside it, well, we just would never buy groceries... or anything else!

carrie said...

Just to clarify...I am NOT Supernanny, Supermom or Superanything...but I would like to shop in peace and since I'd just gotten my screaming banshee to calm down (even if she pouted the whole time) it irked me to see this lady, ignoring her kid about the fall out of the cart and refusing to get off the phone to deal with him.

Tanya - my boys are really close in age so I know how hard it is to shop with 2 under 2. Doesn't your grocery store have a "race car" cart?

The mom who'll do anything to shop in peace, including bribes!

Kristen said...

Mine screams in Target too. and walmart. She goes in the seat. period. so i'm with you!

Chaos Control said...

While I was pregnant, I was Christmas shopping at Cost Plus and a woman was there with her 3-4 year old son, who was screaming at the top of his lungs. Although this woman wasn't glued to a cell phone, she kept telling her child that if he didn't stop crying, she'd have to take him home. He didn't stop. She didn't take him home. They BOTH kept annoying every single customer in the store. They were there the entire time I was there, and he screamed the whole time. It was unbelievable.

It was at that very moment that I made a pledge to myself to never allow my child to disrupt the shopping experience of another. Yes, I've walked out of stores mid-shopping experience. And I'm sure I'll do it again. But at least my kid will learn that if I tell him to stop crying or we'll go home, I mean it. Home we go.

Woman with kids said...

Heh. Boy 1 is 12. We still have to leave the store because of Temper Tantrum - Teen Version.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I am continually the mom of the screaming toddler in stores! I am certain that God gave me Junior Mayhem to keep me humble....or else to torture me! :) However, I realize it is my job to draw the boundaries and fight the good fight NUMEROUS times daily to ensure he stay within them! I am a teacher, so I am already compelled to correct other people's children! It is even harder to resist when they are acting this stupid!

Can we add to it?
Dear Wal-Mart Mom,
No, it is NOT okay to bring your child to the store barefooted, wearing only a diaper!


Super Mom said...

Dear Tanya, It's me here, supper Mom. Do you want to know where to put your kids? In the cart...Double cart...Make them mind. Who cares if they scream...once they don't see you react...they will get over it. And Are you just that self centered that you thought Carrie was talking about you?? Really get over yourself.
If you don't make them mind you now and learn to respect your authority, how are you going to handle them then when they are teenagers?...Bit of Super Nanny advice for you....It's easier to strap them in now and MAKE them behave when they are toddlers,Then to try and strap them in as teenagers. They need to be taught how to act in public places, if you give in to the sceaming....why do you think they scream?? DUH?

mk said...

Cheers to that! I had to deal with my first tantrum last week in Costco - I can only imagine how much worse it can get! Don;t you wish you had her address and could mail it to her! ha!

Mamacita Tina said...

We ALL have to deal with screaming children in stores. But we are the parents and we need to show our children how to behave in public. We have to set limits and think of safety. I use my double stroller when needed since not all stores have "two seater" carts. When Laurel was smaller, I'd use a front carrier and put Ian in the cart. There's always a way to make sure the kids in tow are safe. Or else, shop without them.

Good for you Carrie bringing this up! This irks me too.

Wes said...

Wow, tricky to answer this! I've been the dad in both scenarios - except I can't say I have discussions on the cell phone.

Sometimes it just is easier to let the kids win a battle, but you never let them win the war!

Having kids do the "flop and scream" in the middle of Target just isn't fun. I think I've perfected "stoney face" now though!

Jenny said...

Amen, amen, amen.

Becky said...

could not agree with you more. hannah's been that screaming kid before. all i have to do is threaten the punishment when we get home. if she doesn't stop, then i follow through. you can't let your kids walk all over you...and you can't flake out of a punishment you said they were gonna get. this woman is the epitome of what i hate seeing at the store!

Christina_the_wench said...

Duct tape and earplugs. God's gift to mothers.

Smack that ass. Seriously.

Left Coast Sister said...

Amen, sister.
I've been on both sides of the cart with that one. Unless I have doubts about what's needed in the store, the cell phone stays in the car... two kids and the map of Target is all I can manage at one time anyway. I can sympathize with someone whose child won't sit down... but a screaming tantrum gets either a ride home (and then time out) or if I really have to get this done, a car time out. (which only happens if it isn't 100 degrees and dangerous, obviously). It's a regular time out but in the car seat (strapped in) with me and other child out of the car where the timed out child can't see us. (It's not a scare tactic, just a you-aren't-bothering-anyone-but-yourself tactic.) It works for our kids. But y'all are right... you *have* to follow through or they learn way too early that your word isn't good!
Thanks, Carrie, for this conversation starter!!

Salome's Mom said...

You are so funny and you are also right. Children need boundaries and attention. Hang up the phone and parent your child.

Great post.


sweatpantsmom said...

I don't think I've ever been in Target when there ISN'T a screaming kid around.

Mine are older now. They only scream when the ICEE machine is broken or when they can't find a clerk to open the Nintendo cabinet.

Kevin Charnas said...


And if you don't stand up to them now, imagine when they're teenagers. She's gonna have some fun.

Lisa said...

Oh yeah.... Remember being the mom with the screaming kid at Target like it was yesterday... Oh wait. It WAS yesterday!

Good for you for setting limits and sticking to them. You are a great mommy!

At the Targets in our area, there's a special cart where two kids (maybe even three) can sit safely in the front part of the cart. Even has seatbelts...