1. Denial — I need to go to Target. I have a child. We can do this. It won’t be like last time or the time before or the time before that one. We will go in for the toilet paper and the milk that we need and leave with the toilet paper and the milk. There will be no tears, from either one of us. This time will be different.
2. Anger — Why me? Why is this happening again? Why do I breed children who are completely unable to make it through a freaking store without completely melting down? This is bullshit. I can’t stand my fucking children.
3. Bargaining — How about if we stick to the Dollar Spot? You can pick out any toy from there! OK, TWO toys! A glow stick! And a plastic pail! Or, a pad of paper and some stickers! Or, a Cars pen and a foam sword! So cool! The Dollar Spot rocks! Candy? You want candy? OK, M&Ms it is! The breakfast of champions! Cookies? Sure! How about it?! I beg of you .. I’ll do anything … Just don’t melt down.
4. Guilt. What have I done to end up with a child like this? Was it the formula I fed him? The pacifier he sucked for way too long? The co-sleeping? Late potty training? Why is he so toy-dependant? Does he not get enough affection? Enough love? What am I doing wrong???
5. Depression — I am the worst mother ever. I will never be able to take my children anywhere, ever. This sucks.
6. Acceptance — Alright, fine. Just pick out a goddamn toy from the toy aisle. You win, I lose. There goes my fun money for the week, kid. Here, take it. Take your new toy. Better? Happy? Good. That’s one of us.
7. Regret — I should never have done that — what on earth was I thinking? Lesson learned. Again. Target and children simply do not belong together. Never again. This time, I mean it.
Followed by: The Inevitable. Did I seriously forget the freaking toilet paper?