The Great Target Tantrum of 2013


Yes. Yes I was *that* mom in Target.

With two trantruming twins impressively flinging themselves about. The cart carrying them, with wheels already off-kilter, jerking in unnatural directions.

We were in need of some essentials – by which I mean more socks for the boys, but because of the hypnotic cherry red bulls eye, would likely return home with hundreds of dollars worth of additional merchandise.

We pulled into the parking lot. I refrained from saying too many (audible) bad words at my fellow box store patrons who turned off the city streets and instantly forgot how to drive. I refereed a heated debate about who would get to sit in the front of the cart, and pushed forward – the man-made recirculating chilled arctic air blasting us with welcome.

Tangent: Quick piece of business advice – tandem front-seat carts. Fewer fights lead to fewer tantrums, which means happier parents. Happier parents with more room in the basket of their carts will spend more time buying more stuff. Your profits will go up. You’re welcome. Send profit-sharing checks care of Stream of the Conscious.

I grabbed the socks and quickly realized the exciting aisles of socks and underwear were directly adjacent to the toys.

“Dusty!” they yelled (Boys saw the movie Planes before our vacation). So I said they could look at the orange airplane. But that Dusty couldn’t come home with us. He lives at Target you see?

It was on our approach that we discovered the Monster’s of Monsters Inc/University display aisle. And here, is where the muppet meltdown began.

The ultimate cause? I wouldn’t agree to purchase monster toys. And why would I? I already had two shrieking ones in my care.

“I want a monster toy! I need a monster! I A MONSTER!!!”

I am now entirely convinced that both boys have outgrown any trace of chronic lung disease. Because they were definitely using every molecule of lungpower, to ratchet the volume of desperate pleas up toward nuclear-blast decibel levels.

Naturally, the stares started. Since we were in the toy area, many came from sympathetic parents – the “been there, done that, sorry it’s your turn today” varietal. And yes, as would be expected, there were a few, “Really. You can’t control your children or leave the store?” looks.

“Performance art,” I said nonchalantly to one woman who’d glanced over almost immediately.

She did not appear to appreciate my insinuation that she was in the presence of modern dance greatness – young children inspired by the musical styling’s of Yoko Ono. Well that or she didn’t realize her horrified facial expression was that obvious.

For those of you wondering why mommies like me don’t just suddenly drop everything when the onslaught of shrieking starts and exit the establishment with a dramatic flourish and train of tearful tiny persons – you are assuming we have any drive or desire to RETURN and re-run errands at some point in the near future. (Time that could be better spent sobbing for monsters within the privacy of our own home.)

So sit back and enjoy this interlude of interpretive expression, people. Today’s piece is entitled “Interpretation of Monstrous Monster-less.”

In the wise words of my mother-in-law, “It’s Target. It was architecturally designed for tantrums. You’re all good.”

Shop on.


Filed under Seriously?, Shopping

7 Responses to The Great Target Tantrum of 2013

  1. Nancy Welker Caracciolo

    Shopping online in the comfort of your own home is sounding more appealing all the time, isn’t it? Think of the $ you’ll save and you can be in your PJ’s with an adult beverage in hand. I apologize, high-frequency decibels and I do not get along. I’d have been the older lady with the horrified look on her face. Here at work they have a dog with a really high pitched yowl and I don’t do well with it.

  2. So this is why I never took my monkey boy to Target! Loved it!

  3. Nana

    That’s hilarious! I applaud you for being brave enough to go out packing two three year olds and stimulating our local economy!

  4. Stephanie

    I once carried my son out of the library, yes the library, screaming his head off. The librarian had just come to politely inquire as to whether there has anything she could do. The judgey looks from smug moms made me laugh in absentia when their inevitable turns came.

    A few years later, I rolled my daughter out of Target (after paying for our purchases) jumping and screaming in the cart while she demanded I buy her a toy. As if I was going to fall for that. She had never done this before and hasn’t done it since. I didn’t look around at other customers because I would have burst out laughing. It was so out of character for my daughter it was hilarious.

  5. Violet

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we all supported each other instead of giving judgmental looks? Trust me, the mother of the screaming child(ren) is having way more anxiety about it than any if the onlookers. Just be nice, people!

  6. Performance Art! Haha. I will have to remember that one. Also, your mother-in-law is awesome.

  7. Also, I drive around the grocery store parking lot until I find the double-seat carts that also have steering wheels and look like a cab or police car. If I can’t get one, and then see a parent with just one kid in it in the store… I try not to, but I get annoyed. And if Target would get those, I wouldn’t shop anywhere else.

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