Please Tell Me You've Been That Mom

by Kara Lawler
Originally Published: 
that mom
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Please tell me you’ve been that mom.

I had to make an emergency evacuation at Target. I made an egregious error and brought my little, almost 2-year-old mischief-maker with me to do some shopping.

My first mistake? We got into Target, and she said “this way” and pointed to the food court. I heeded her demands and turned my cart. She was sitting and smiling sweetly. I was duped, like I think we all sometimes are, right?

My second mistake: She asked for popcorn, and I knew it was a horrible idea. I tried to convince her to get a cookie and even a slushy. But this little girl of mine is determined. And she was so cute saying “popcorn”—a word I didn’t even know she knew. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker (curls, blue eyes, and big smile). Please tell me you’ve fallen for it, too.

For about one minute, she ate her popcorn, and I chided myself for doubting her. I felt in control. I shopped for one minute before she started acting like Gretel, leaving a tiny popcorn trail. I calmly picked up piece after piece. I still felt like a capable mom.

Then we stopped for fancy socks for Easter. She had a sailor dress to wear. How sweet would white and lacy socks be? No socks and more popcorn spilled, I picked it all up. By this time, my daughter was frantic. She dropped her fake lipstick in the back of the cart and said “back there” asking to sit in the back of the cart. I gave in and moved her to the back. This is when shit got real. It was my third mistake. Why, oh why, did I put her in the back of the cart? You’ve done this, right?

While talking to another mom, she dumped an entire bag of popcorn in the toy section. Why would I take her to the toy section?! And why hadn’t I taken the popcorn by this time?! The mom helped me pick up all of it, and while this was happening, my daughter tried to climb out of the cart. One hand filled with popcorn and the other arm with her in a stronghold, she pulled my shirt down and was hanging onto my favorite necklace. Another mom with very well-behaved kids came by and just smiled. Her kids looked like little blonde cherubs. But while she looked kind and her kids were adorable, her look was slightly condemning, like, “I’ve never been that mom.” But haven’t we all been this mom at least once?

Right around this time, my daughter spotted an Elsa microphone. “Let it go!” she yelled. I grabbed it to her delight, marched to the checkout, and left. I only bought the microphone. #survival.

And now, I’m in the car shaking. She’s singing into her microphone. She won, and I lost, and I realize I shouldn’t have bought her a prize for her behavior. But I needed out, and it seemed to be what must be done to make that happen.

Dear God, let me raise this little red-headed wonder. Please. Amen.

If you’ve been that mom, I can totally relate. If you’ve never been that mom, I’m not sure what to say other than I hope your luck holds. And to my favorite Target store, I will never buy her popcorn again. Promise.

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