A Trip to Target with My Kids? It’s Magical.

As is the case with MANY (many, many, many, many, many, so many) things with children, events often SOUND more fun than what they actually are.  Things seem fun in THEORY, but then aren’t, in reality.  Plans begin idealistically and end catastrophically.

One of these things, for me at least, are trips to Target.

Once ever two weeks or so (every week, if I”m being honest), I’ll say “let’s all hop in the car and run to Target….IT WILL BE SO FUN”.  You know, some coffee for me,  popcorn for them.  A little bit of groceries, a little bit of perusing.  Maybe I’ll go all “fun mom”, and give each kid money for the dollar bins.

It never pans out to be anything even resembling fun, but last week, I tried something different.  I administered a Pep Talk in the parking lot.  It was a really great talk, and I was convinced that THIS Target trip was bound to be nothing short of a glorious success.

And now I’d like to share with you the transcript of how that all played out:

Me: wait in the car for one second guys, I’m going to go grab our cart.

Them: Fighting.  Tattling.  Interrupting each other to fight and tattle.

Me: Cool, we are off to a fantastic start.  You guys haven’t forgotten our awesome talk now, haaaaave you??

Me (still painfully idealistic, and using my painfully idealistic Cheerful Voice): Ok, so mom is going to look at bathing suits really quickly.  If this goes well, we will head over to the popcorn.  You have to earn it though with your GOOD BEHAVIOR.

(Cue mannequin, missing her clothes)

Oldest Son: Ooooooooh I see BOOBIES.  Mannequin boobies!

Middle Son: Mannequin boobies!

Baby: Mannen boobies!

Oldest Son: It’s not “Mannen Boobies” it’s “Mannequin Boobies”  Can you say “Mannequin boobies”

(He cannot)

Me: I don’t think he’s going to be able to say mannequin, and also, let’s quit yelling out the word “boobies”.

Oldest son: Dad says boobies are just for feeding babies, and there’s nothing bad about them.

Me: yes that’s true, but….anyway.

Middle Son: how do boobies feed babies anyway? Does the baby just suck on them like a straw?

(Older lady walks by.  Smiles strangely.  She’s either thinking “oh I remember those days.  SHE’S GONNA MISS THIS”, or more likely, she is somewhat disturbed and mildly uncomfortable, as no question, my boys are now examining HER boobies, contemplating when and if milk ever came out of them, and if her children sucked them like straws).

Me: Let’s just go get popcorn.

(Oldest son, in a rare display of generosity, has allowed his baby brother to hold his fidget spinner.  In the time it takes to get from Mannequin Boobies to Popcorn Counter, he drops it no less than 9 times).


At the popcorn counter..

Baby (to popcorn guy): Hi

Popcorn guy: no response

Baby: Hi

Popcorn guy: no response

Baby: Hi

Popcorn guy: no response

Baby: Hi

Me (loudly): Oh, are you trying to say HI to this nice guy giving us our popcorn??  So sweet. (Shit man, can you please just say hi back?)

Baby: Hi

Popcorn guy: Hi

Baby: Hi

Popcorn guy: Hi

For the love of literally freaking everything….however much popcorn you’ve scooped at this point, we’ll take THAT.

Middle Child: Hand…scratching…fiddling with..digging in…his butt.  Then plunges his hand down into the popcorn bag.  Eats his popcorn.  Licks his fingers.

Father in Heaven, help me.

Fidget spinner drops again.

I run over it.

It breaks.

Oldest son: Mom, you know Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, right?

Me (not actually listening, because.. EFF. I’m actually here to BUY things, and now I can’t even remember what those things are) Mmmhmm.

Oldest son: Kareem?  You know who he is, right? Like you’ve heard of him? You know who he is? Right? Mom, right?

Me: Ahhh (“isn’t there someone’s birthday present I’m supposed to be buying?” Mmmmmmmm (“do we need deodorant?”) Uh, yes.  Yes, I do.

Oldest son: Ok so mom?  You DO know who he is, right? I’m talking about Kareem.  So you’ve heard of him?

For the love of literally freaking everything (again).

I stop the cart and pull over.

Me: Son, WHAT??????

Oldest son: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar .  Do you know who he is?

Me: Yes, yes I do (vaguely).  What about him?

Oldest son: I just wanted to make sure you knew who he was.

Middle son: Still digging for gold in his butt.

Me: Sweetheart (teeth clenched), what are you trying to do , there?

Middle son: I have to poop.

Me: Is there ANY.POSSIBLE.WAY you could just hold it until we get home? I will go so fast (even though at this point, there is literally not one thing in our cart, besides a broken fidget spinner).

Middle Son: Yeah, I don’t even have to go now, anyway.

Oldest son: Your poop doesn’t just get sucked back up into your body.  It has to still be there.

Middle Son: It DID get sucked back up into my body.

Oldest: That’s impossible.  You’re an idiot.

Middle Son: YOU are the Indian, not me.

Oldest Son (to his little brother, in a whispered voice that is louder than any regular voice would be): It’s rude to say Indian.

Oldest: It’s not nice to call people Indian, right mom?

Me: Well, it’s fine to call people Indian if they are Indian.  Anyway, he was trying to say “idiot”.

Middle Son: So where IS an Indian here? Is that guy an Indian?

Me: (pass by frozen section, and vaguely remember thinking we needed a frozen pizza.  Open the freezer door and say “F**K” out loud, because if you say the F word into a freezer, and no one hears you but the freezer, it doesn’t actually count).

Get to the checkout line.

We have been here for an hour.

We have a broken fidget spinner, a frozen pizza, and a kid whose hand smells like his butt.

Target, you guys.









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