We go to Target a lot. By a lot, I mean practically every weekend. My daughter could point out the red bull’s eye as the Target logo by the time she was two. Rainy day? Go to Target. Bored? Go to Target. Need toothpaste and paper towels but want to end up with new linens, popsicles, razor blades, a hula hoop and a three-ring binder? Go to Target. After many Target trips, I have made some observations about the type of parents that frequent the store as much as I do.
1. The Exercise Gear Mom Who Has Not Exercised: She is at Target in coordinating, tight-fitting workout clothes. Her knee length yoga pants have a neon teal stripe running down the leg that matches the teal and white pattern of her racer back moisture-wicking tank top. Her hair is in a ponytail. She may or may not be wearing a sun visor. She is in full makeup and wearing jewelry. She has not recently broken a sweat. She can be spotted in the athletic wear section sipping on a venti iced coffee. She is sans kids but has kid stuff in her cart.
2. The Dad Flying Solo With The Kids: You will find him in the toy aisles. The kids will be wearing pajamas, each holding a new toy, eating popcorn and drinking an Icee, regardless of the time of day. He will be pushing the two-seater cart while making race car noises as he maneuvers through the store. He is the Hans to his daughter’s Anna, singing “Love Is an Open Door” as they cruise the princess aisle. He may or may not park the cart in front of the Wii demo to entertain the kids while he browses the electronics and video games.
3. The New Dad: He is wandering around the baby feeding supply aisle in a daze. He looks bewildered and confused. He is clutching the list his wife gave him. He is juggling three of the four items on the list: a jumbo box of diapers, an economy-sized package of wipes and a chocolate cake. He keeps looking at the list and squinting at the rows of bottles, nipples, and breastfeeding paraphernalia. He sheepishly asks a woman in the aisle what lanolin is and where he can find it.
4. The Unshowered Parent: These parents are spotted early on a Saturday morning. It is barely 10 a.m., but to them it feels like it is already 5 p.m. Their kids have been up for hours and they just needed to get out of the house. This mom or dad is wearing the same t-shirt they slept in last night. Dad is wearing a hat, mom has the remnants of yesterday’s mascara under her eyes. Her hair is in a haphazard ponytail. Their first stop is the in-store Starbucks. As they consume their caffeine, the kids ride in the back of the cart, sipping juice boxes and leaving a trail of puffs throughout the store. They are in no hurry and leisurely meander up and down the aisles.
5. The Last-Minute Birthday Party Gift Mom: It is Saturday around noon. She is in the princess aisle with her daughter. She is asking her 5-year-old if Madison likes Frozen. Does Madison have this Elsa? Does she like Anna or Elsa best? Does Madison have this Olaf? Are you listening to me? Does Madison like Doc McStuffins? No, we can not buy that for you. Does Madison like Sofia? She is clearly in a hurry. Her daughter is more interested in trying on the princess crowns than choosing a gift for the friend. She mutters to herself, grabs an Elsa doll, balks at the price, throws it in the cart, and drags her daughter out of the aisle.
6. The Two-Kid Cart Rookie: This mom thinks she scored when the coveted two-kid cart was available. She just knows her kids will love riding in it. This trip to Target will be fun and drama-free. She straps the two youngest into the seats and puts the older kid in the cart part. She starts to push the thing and realizes it isn’t that easy. By the time she makes it down the first aisle, kid in seat number 1 has grabbed the sippy cup from kid in seat number 2 and tossed it on the ground. Kid in seat number 2 has smacked kid in seat number 1 in retaliation. The kid in the cart wants a turn in the seats and is trying to climb out. She is approaching the spot that requires her to turn. She shifts her weight and heaves the cart to the left. She runs into the end cap and knocks over a display of towels. She realizes she can’t maneuver this behemoth through the kids’ clothing. She has a close call with an employee’s ankles and almost runs over a toddler. She makes her way to the paper goods, manages to to grab some toilet paper, and decides their trip is finished. She will never use that two-ton beast of a cart again.
Confession time: I am the unshowered parent. Every weekend: ponytail, t-shirt, bags under the eyes, kids leaving puffs all over the place … that’s me.
Who have you seen when you make your Target run?
Related post: The Seven Stages of Going to Target With Children