I worked at The Big Box Store last night, and it was complete Bedlam; people everywhere, stuff everywhere and almost every small child in the place screaming his or her head off. Luckily, it kept me busy enough that I didn’t have time to get bored, so the evening went by quickly. However, I observed several things when it comes to shopping and small kids that I’d like to share with you, my 18 Faithful Readers. It’s a bit of a rant, so please bear with me.
What follows are, in my humble estimation, a list of guidelines to consider when taking small kids shopping. I know that sometimes you just can’t help but take your kid out when they’re having a bad day, so what I’m really doing is poking fun at idiots who just don’t care about the ramifications of their actions.
#1 – If your baby has a dirty diaper, for the love of all that’s holy, please take your kid to the restroom and get him or her some clean drawers. I know that you have important shopping to do but, by delaying the inevitable, you not only make your child and yourself miserable, but also everyone else around you. The desperate screaming is bad enough, but dragging your poor little kid through the store trailing an eye-watering stench behind you is just mean, especially when you walk right by the restroom and look at it and keep walking.
#2 – Please don’t drag your small children out to go shopping at 10pm at night for fun. Everyone has times where they have need to make a quick emergency run because they’re out of diapers/milk/food/whatever, but taking a leisurely stroll through a busy store with small kids late in the evening just because is insane. Your kid is tired, doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t appreciate that you dragged him through the toy section and didn’t buy him anything, and is now screaming his head off. Wow, amazing how your kid has lungs the size of the Grand Canyon…are you that proud that you like to show them off?
#3 – For those of you who live in any place that is now experiencing a heat wave of 40-50 degrees, like North Dakota, please do not truss your child up as though he or she will be traveling through an apocalyptic blizzard. I see you wearing your light jacket unzipped, no hat, no gloves, and no snow boots. Why, then, do you stuff your child into seven layers of clothes and expect that they will not protest being in their own portable sauna? The angry screaming and frantic tugging at their clothing would be the big clue here.
#4 – I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying it again. Please do not come to My Toy Department for sight-seeing purposes, and bring your small child with you. Unless you have to shop for a gift for some other child, it’s not a good idea to tell your kid, “We’re going to the Toy Department now, and I’m not buying you anything.” All I will say here is that you reap what you sow, buddy. The begging and pleading for a toy, following by angry screaming when you make them leave empty-handed is very predictable, and you knew better. Did you actually think this third time trying that would work? That’s right, I remember you.
#5 -My Toy Department is not a babysitting station. Leaving your kid to play with the toys while you shop for TWO HOURS is not only wrong, but the mess they leave behind is a testament to your lack of regard for everyone else. If you needed time alone, leave your kid with a friend or loved one.
#6 – Feed your kid before you come to The Big Box Store, or at least bring a bottle or snacks with you, if you intend on shopping at supper time. Your poor kid is running on empty and hasn’t got the ability to hold in the frustration of feeling like he or she is starving to death while you go up and down rows and rows of food that is to be seen, but not eaten at the moment. Your child will not appreciate the long wait in line either. I guarantee that you, and everyone in a quarter mile radius of you, will be much happier if you plan ahead a little.
~~Ok…now I’ve worked myself into a complete snit. One moment please, while I take a deep breath and calm down. I’ve arranged to have some familiar Muzak playing while you wait. While I’m getting myself together, you’ll be treated to the dulcet tones of Suicide is Painless and The Girl from Ipanema, the two Muzak songs that always play in elevators. Ok…much better now. Thanks for your patience! ~~
Lucky #7 – Pay attention to the full moon. If you see a full moon out, please make every effort to stay home with your small child. You think I’m kidding, but I’m drop dead serious. If you think about it, the Moon controls the tides of our oceans, and our bodies contain a lot of water. It’s no wonder The Big Box Store turns into absolute Bedlam on a weekend with a full moon, like this one.
So now, it’s early Saturday morning and I am getting ready to go back for more fun and games. The good news is that most people don’t take their kids shopping at 8am. They are all sleeping in from staying out too late at The Big Box Store too late last night!