The Seven Stages of Going to Target with Children


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.

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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.

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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?

Related post: The Top 10 Things Moms Do At Target

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)

From Around the Web


Rachelle Hamilton 3 months ago

#6……ALWAYS #6!!!!

Rachelle Hamilton 3 months ago

I’m ALWAYS #6!!!!

Ashley 5 months ago

My husband refuses to go to the store with me now because of how the youngest acts she just turned 2 at beginning of April, but omg she can’t sit in a cart wants to be carried or to let walk and I hate having to to try and do any shopping with her.

Mamaof3 8 months ago

My husband is generally the push over parent. I DREAD going to the store with the kids IF my husband is going too because our almost 3 year old whines and cries basically the whole time. First he wants in the cart, but mommy isn’t allowed to push, daddy has to. Then he wants daddy to carry him. Then he wants to look at everything (but look, I mean touch and play with). Then he wants to get something and will have a full on melt down for whatever he wants.

Now when it’s JUST me and the kids in the store, my son behaves well. I give him the option to walk or ride, he never whines for anything and is generally a delight. His “reward” for being good in the store is getting to help me put the purchases on the counter at check out… works like a charm. If only I could ban my husband from shopping with us. The clerks have even commented on how well behaved he is with me, then they give me the “what happened” look when my husband is with us.

Rebeca Rojo 8 months ago

This was me yesterday….and today lol. i’m always forgetting something haha

Stephanie Wagner 8 months ago

Twins and stores are horrible. I did the same thing you did, tight them up, and put the food arround them. Except for eggs and that kind of stuff.

Lindsay Aurelio 8 months ago

I’m doing it today too!!! God speed.

Laura Lou Chambers 8 months ago

So funny! I wish we had a target in Nottingham!

Beth Stevens 8 months ago

hilariously true!

Nancy Boley O’Leary 8 months ago

My kids never threw a tantrum HOWEVER if I could find a way to get them to stop touching stuff. EVERY. SINGLE. THING.

Heather Michele 8 months ago

Ummm no

Tabria Thomson 8 months ago

I hate taking my 3 year old shopping with me. He always says I want I need and I have to have it! Ugh what did I do wrong? I just don’t understand why he does that. my 2 year old don’t do it. I love taking him to Target :)

Jessica Gardea 8 months ago

I was spanked as a child and I have cousins that were not spanked. They use to run wild everywhere my aunt would yell and scream where I just needed that “look” I was jealous because I wanted to run around to and have fun. Fast forward 30 years. My cousins that didn’t get spanked are screwed up. Alcoholics or can’t hold down a job. They have this entitlement attitude about them. And I am just boring as can be at the same job for the past 15 years not needing to depend on anyone for anything. So yes when my kid acts up he gets a spanking. I’m not raising a little pain in the ass. There’s too many walking around already.

Rita Childress Heisey 8 months ago

My son always gets to pick something out too. But instead of the popcorn and icee it’s usually a cake pop or an apple. He loves going to target! It’s a win win

Steph Macias 8 months ago

Lol!! Jill

Valerie M Cody 8 months ago

Not like we are calling them brats assholes etc to their faces

Valerie M Cody 8 months ago

I just wait til my bf gets home to go to the store. Or I find someone to watch them. I can’t deal with that shit and it spares the kids me yelling at them too. Win!!

Kieshia Colburn 8 months ago

Ugh it’s one of my most dreaded trips with my 2 boys lol

Crystal Schneider 8 months ago

Sometimes reading these scary mommy articles let’s me know just how well behaved my child actually is, this stuff just doesn’t happen with us. I guess the sassiness and constant outright refusal are my penance. The Lil turd. 😉

Brooke-melinda Parker 8 months ago

I’m very very ghetto I won’t spank in the store because people to quick dcs so I will tell my two oldest look you scream shout yell your gonna get every person who looks told off idc were we are. If I’m trying people should mind their business. I work at Walmart I put up with others kids so other can put up with mine

Christina Williams 8 months ago

Alicia, it’s #4 for me, all the way.

Sanford Shapiro 8 months ago

Maybe there should be a support group for it…:)

Jessica Ingram 8 months ago

Why Target put the Dollar Spot by the front door! Woot! Yay Target!

Dana Brisendine Noon 8 months ago

I love target with my kids! Walmart…loathe. Target…wahoo!

mama j 8 months ago

What is it about parents on here that don’t know how to control their kids or let them know ahead of time hpw to act in a store. I remember being a kid and my parents having all 3 of us in the car before entering anywhere and letting us know ahead of time if we acted like human beings we would get treated as such. Plus my dad would give us “the eye” ic we tried anything stupid.
My baby girl is only 1 and never acts up or does any of the things in OP.

Tammy Harbord 8 months ago

lordy.. I have 3 boys 3 and under… The looks I get sometimes when my kids are acting up .. I get so frustrated.. I repeat my self constantly.. I have tried everything you can think of…. my kids are a handful.. I get it! I’m the one that deals with it… If you don’t like it.. then too bad.. Some times are better then others… Some days we have a great trip everyone is happy and cooperative.. others days it’s a total complete nightmare and I just need to get shit done and there is no other way around it and I don’t know how many times I have got back to my car got everyone and everything loaded.. belted out loud and clear about how I feel for thier horrible and embarrassing behaviors and cried on the drive home…. so before all you prissy little “perfect” moms open you mouths with somthing to say.. I suggest you put a filter between your thoughts and your mouths.. just because you think you”taught” your kids how to behave doesn’t mean that you didn’t just luck out and have kids that are of that nature… I have good kids… but it is not always easy and my kids are a handful and HATE shopping sometimes! that’s just how it is..

jade 8 months ago

Ummmmm…I guess this is for parents that don’t really know how to control their kids or something. ..cuz I have a 1yr old and she loveesssss going out to stores and being out and about. The only time she gives me a little trouble is if I happen to be in the stores around nap time because then she’s restless. And even still she’s smiling and waving at people. I guess I’m just one of the lucky ones.

Tammy Harbord 8 months ago

Omg I was thinking the same thing

Colleen 8 months ago

Maybe I am strange (ok, I know I am), but Target is mom’s store. We hit the toy isle often, but purchases aren’t allowed. My son ‘window shops’, and leaves empty handed…98% of the time. If he does leave with something, he is on cloud 9 for days. Now, if we go to the grocery store and he doesn’t get blueberries, that is when the silent treatment starts (thank goodness).

Jean Hecker 8 months ago

I DO NOT miss those days

jen 8 months ago

THESE comments have me cracking the fuck up!! Im glad im not the only one with a kid who wont sit in the fucking cart!!!

jen 8 months ago


Amy Jo 8 months ago

I love shopping by myself as much as the next mom but my hubby works crazy hours so unless I want to hit up a friend to watch my kids they go everywhere I do. I typically enjoy it, they know when I say no I mean no and they know how to behave in a store because I expect them to behave everywhere we go including family and friend homes. If you raise your children to respect you and behave going out in public is not that big of a deal. The only time I hate taking my kids places is in bad/cold weather.

Cassandra Kulik 8 months ago

This is awesome…totally nailed it!!!!

Rachel Taylor Mohat 8 months ago

It’s like you know me lol

Cathy Nutt 8 months ago

100 %accurate!

Elizabeth Giamalva 8 months ago

Look at all these”perfect” parents on here. LOL

Melanie Paradise Leandri 8 months ago

Target with twins! Enough said!

Megan Riggs 8 months ago


Dorina C Albion 8 months ago

I can’t really relate to this because I have taught my kids to behave and they are good kids. But the Targets in Canada suck ass. They aren’t busy, or stocked at all, the shelves are empty and I find them really boring, but it’s a step above Wallie-world.

Sarah Briggs-Maynard 8 months ago

I LOVE taking my kids to target! Between the large carts and the popcorn, can’t get Better then that!

Shannon Nicole Porter 8 months ago

LOVE this article! I have 3 young kids and one on the way and avoid going to the store with them all together whenever possible.

Lisa Gillard 8 months ago


Marnie Chan Demeterio 8 months ago

Why Target for just milk and TP? Can’t you just go to CVS for that? LOL…

Nicole Slaughter 8 months ago

wow, reading comments. BUNCH O’ CRY BABIES!

Jeannie Esposito 8 months ago

My life

Rena Hadas 8 months ago

I don’t know if its the beer I just drank or if this is really hysterical!

Stephanie Vought 8 months ago

I’m just here for the comments. So many bent out of shape over a humorous article. 😉

Kaara Moyers 8 months ago

I’m an avid couponer, and we take our kids to Target at least once a week. The results are usually pretty good, especially when it’s just our two, vs them plus my two stepsons.

The biggest problems come when they get bored, or when my autistic kindergartener gets overstimulated. We try to go after lunch, or bring a snack, and occupy him with a phone or Kindle if necessary. My 8 year old daughter loves to help me find the items on my list and sort coupons. Because we do shop from a list, they know we’ll rarely buy extras, so they don’t ask much. Most trips, we avoid the toy department altogether. :)

Ann Thompson 8 months ago

Never had a problem. The first time they acted up we left the store and they got nothing. They learned pretty quickly that acting like a spoiled brat would get them nowhere!

LaVonne Perske 8 months ago

LOL. I was going to forward this to you and then saw who posted it!

Kathi Barfield-Brewer 8 months ago

Why I try to jam all my shopping into 30 minute increments between work, commute and a daycare late fee.

Jasmine Stewart 8 months ago

Some of you people are so judgemental. Lord all children are different. The woman who wrote this wrote something a lot of women with small kids can relate to. Mine haven’t melted down in a store either (probably good timing on my part! I got lucky) toddlers especially get in moods and this stuff happens. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with how you’re raising your little one. Especially at this age as they are learning how to act in general.

Samantha Shay Epstein 8 months ago

I have 5 kids. Same discipline strategies. First four are and always have been great in stores. My last one, not so much. It happens and it sucks.

Amy Lile Raney 8 months ago

Wow ladies—this is humor! I’m so glad that so many of you have such well disciplined children and know how to parent.

But this is for real one of the funniest things I’ve read because Everytime, I swear it’ll be different (and it isn’t. One of my 4 will act like a farm animal.) and Everytime I swear NEVER AGAIN (only to drag them there the next week….if I can make it that long)

Laura Hohm 8 months ago

while i absolutely agree with discipline and telling kids “no” from an early age, i once again cannot get behind some of the judgmental and rude comments from some people here. this page used to be filled with non-judgy moms i could share a laugh with, now there is so much arguing and name-calling. i don’t live in a bubble, but something has changed in recent months. how many people are you convincing with the rude, nasty comments (on both sides)?

Laura Spurling 8 months ago

I went today with my 3 & 4 year old. We survived. We go in get a pizza, hit up the dollar section for a source of amusement and get it done. I would go to target all day everyday with my kids vs the grocery store.

Laura Halstied 8 months ago

1. Stop at snack bar and buy kids small icy and popcorn for them and a Starbucks for you.
2. Set them in the cart.
3. Avoid toy section

Sarah Ude 8 months ago

Umm, no. Those kids drive me nuts.

Maude Durst-Glenn 8 months ago


Stephanie Lynn 8 months ago

I my kids to target all the time. As a matter of fact I take all three. They get to pick out 1 thing. If they ask for another they must exchange the first thing for it. This can go on for the entire trip. Often times they end up with the smallest cheapest thing or nothing at all because they put it down and forget about it.

Ariel Hawley-Fry 8 months ago

I don’t get this kind of thing either. I’ve always done my shopping with the kids. It’s not much harder than doing it alone or with a husband. In fact, I get off cheaper just taking both kids. No tears, no fights.

Robyn Chilcoat 8 months ago

Yes to every one of these stages!!

Ashley Varga 8 months ago

My kids and I love target. No meltdowns, no toys, no bribes.

Melissa Boyd Harper 8 months ago

Don’t have a Target here but Walmart or United works just the same. Before the second son was born it was no problem. Now with two (4 & 3 boys) I go to the store before I pick them up from daycare, wait to go till they are with the babysitter or just don’t go till I have to. We hit Walmart together as a family once every two weeks just so they can get out of the house. Even though its a fast trip, its still as described in the story. And forget something every single time they go with me!

Elaine DiSilva McCullough 8 months ago

I live in reality… You are not doing them any favors by not teaching them some behavior is inappropriate, and the begins way before you get to Target. You tolerate this behavior, some of you even think it is cute, others simply throw in the towel, oh well, kids will be kids. Then in ten or twelve years, you get the kid that laughs in your face when you want to put limits on them. You same girls still can’t figure it out. Good luck with your little brats, soon to become big brats. In no way does this include children with special needs that do not, truly, understand limits. And by no means were my children perfect, but they were well behaved, and I worked hard at helping them know the difference in behavior that was acceptable in public and, then , not so much!!

Jo Anne Dickerson Conrad 8 months ago

I never had that problem. I watched so many of my friends go through the same thing so when I had my son I created “rules” for shopping. The #1 was not asking for stuff. We would go over all the rules in the car & it worked everytime.

Caroline Machiraju 8 months ago

Hysterical !! ( did ‘i’ write this?!)

Katie Krause 8 months ago

Wow some of you are sooooo blessed to have perfect children and amazing you are perfect parents. I, however, live in reality. You might want to try it.

Jenni 8 months ago

This also applies to walmart
I’m 36 weeks pregnant and decided my four year old tyrant and I could make a quick stop
WTF was I thinking . Literally five minutes in and I was ready to cry
She walked away w pickles and dinosaur oatmeal and another frozen freaking toy and I did forget the damn toilet paper
Seriously NEVER AGAIN !
(Until tomorrow when i have to get toilet paper !)

Christian John Carlson 8 months ago


Edward Ashley Foust 8 months ago


Edward Ashley Foust 8 months ago

That’s why you disciples your kids from an early age, then you won’t have this problem. When I say no, I mean it!

Heidi Roy 8 months ago

I take my kids to target a few times a week. We always have a good time there.

Amanda West 8 months ago

I only have one child and I know it’s bad but I always let him get one thing. And at age 5 he’s awesome at picking out small things or a snack like popcorn.

Mary Lou Daugherty Blevins 8 months ago

So funny!! I have felt like that only with Meijer’s.

Jennifer Moffett 8 months ago

My kids lovingly refer to Target as the popcorn store

Pam Mistak-Hoover 8 months ago

The dollar section is a life saver!!!

Casey Delano Thrift 8 months ago

Get popcorn and slushies. That’s how I make it through!

Nicole Vessell 8 months ago

Popcorn, icee and a toy EVERY damn time lol!!

Amber Nicole 8 months ago

Anyone else’s kiddos have to touch the giant red ball? Lol

Theresa Seigler 8 months ago

Um…if the child knows you will do anything to prevent a meltdown AND that you will buy them a toy at the end, THAT is why your kid has meltdowns in target. If you calmly pick up your child and walk out of the store (yes, leaving your cart no matter how full it may be, you’ll just have to go back for it – been there, done that) they will know you mean business and the whole meltdown cycle and fear of taking your child to the store stops even being a thing.

Julie Linger 8 months ago

From 12 months to 4.5 years, my son had a horrible case of the terrible twos. For a significant portion of that time, he also took Tegretol (for seizures) which contributed to his moodiness. I tried everything I could think of or read about to stop the tantrums but nothing worked, so for the most part, I just ignored the tantrum and went about my business as best I could. It wasn’t easy concentrating on the necessities with a screeching toddler thrashing about in the bottom of the cart like a flopping fish. Anything I needed went in the seat or underneath. I feel sympathy when I see Someone doing their best with a bratty kid, even if the kid is irritating.

Sandra Hyde-Morales 8 months ago

So funny! I remember these days with Ian Brittany Hyde.

Jennifer Thiele 8 months ago

I saw my cousin at target with her 4 sons! I couldn’t believe it.

Sarah Banks Sudduth 8 months ago

Yes! For real. So now I never want to buy them anything as a treat because they will drive me crazy the next 50 times we go to the store.

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Spanking (might as well say hitting, cause that is what it really is) is NEVER acceptable under any circumstances, whether someone believes “it works” or not. One does not strike anyone…especially a child. I will not waiver on that one…ever. Of course, other alternative methods work for different children…no argument there. On the way to Target. :)

Nancy Welker Fortais 8 months ago

Still gross. Sorry- you’re letting them play with merchandise you have no intention of buying. What really are you trying to teach them? Why not bring a toy they already own? There’s a reason some of us always try to find the item at the back of the rack. I did not, at any point, say YOUR kids could not behave. When I buy merchandise I expect it to be new and unused.

Jacque Tubbs 8 months ago

Omg. Target and Hobby Lobby bring out the evil in my kids. They are awful! I rarely buy the toy aisle toy but the rest is spot on. What did I do wrong? ?? Lol

Justin Howell 8 months ago

Way too true

Shannon Rae-Dufour 8 months ago

Sometimes no matter how much you discipline kids act up in public. Kids are kids and they dont always go along woith our plans.

Paula Voisinet 8 months ago

My kids learned early on no meant no. My kids know that kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Not at Target, not out to eat, not at the grocery store.

Antionette Groening 8 months ago

I actually prefer target with kids, they have a starbucks, so I grab my go go juice (yay mom is happy) I strap both kids into the HUGE cart…done. Let’s shop…people hate my navigation skills with a coffee in one hand, trying to break up fights & swinging punches & trying to push the worlds biggest cart but its much better than having two kids running in opposite directions!

Jessica Josh Pman 8 months ago

No means no. Throw a fit, I really don’t care. We will walk out of the store and but nothing if that type of behavior happens. It’s not being self righteous, it’s about raising your children right.

Jessica Smith 8 months ago

That’s a riot!

Victor Tellez 8 months ago

@ Anita T. Credential don’t mean a thing. I mentioned I worked in education because I have seen many cases of abuse and non discipline. you can turn a blind eye to that. I don’t know how many children you have, tht affects how much time you can spend with each child. BTW I know of cases were educators with outstanding credentials have kids in prison. You seem stubborn in admitting that different methods work for different people. I bet you can’t elp responding to a fool that does not agree with you one vision view of the world.

Lindsey Nicole Elstein 8 months ago

Are there seriously parents that feel this way?!?! I have 3 kids all born about a year to a year and a half apart and I can honestly say I have never been uneasy with taking all of my kids to the store with me. None of this happens, I don’t have to bargain with my children or beg them and if I say no they know it means no (not “if I push harder and cause a scene I’ll get what I want”)… I’ve never had to question why I had kids in the first place or why going to get milk and toilet paper turns into this… Because it never has. Yes taking kids shopping is a hassle but it’s not complete hell. And I sure as heck have never question my choice to have kids because of a trip to target. Anyone who has, needs to reevaluate why you had kids in the first place.

Nicole 8 months ago

I can barely get through the doors without my 3 and 4 year old asking for a pretzel and popcorn and god forbid they pick one to share! If you need to find me just follow the popcorn trail. I guess it’s not the worst thing, they sit in the cart while they stuff their faces. I need to make sure I’m done shopping before they finish eating, but of course that NEVER hsppens!

Kelly Williams 8 months ago

I take 4 kids under 4 all the time (daycare) harden up parents !!!

Tammy Sipe 8 months ago

My 4 year old loves to shop..he cries if I go without him…and sits in the cart with no problem..even buckles himself in. He is the youngest of 5 the oldest being 30 and the next closest to his age being 13..and he never gives me any problems. Guess I got lucky !

Kelly Foxall Fortune 8 months ago

My kids never had tantrums in a store. Ever. You’re the parent…why are you afraid of a child?

Diane Emery Hoffmaster 8 months ago

Say no. And mean it. And do not let your kid play with toys you are not buying. The toy isle isn’t their own personal toy box. If you aren’t paying for it, it should not be in your kids hands.

Rachel Chavez 8 months ago

OMG!!! Yes!!! I’m not alone.

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Bye y’all for real this time. I gotta go to Target. :)

Kasey Conway Gomez 8 months ago

I didn’t say they didn’t know how to behave and we don’t do that in every store. I also wouldn’t let them do that when they’re sick. It’s just a fun little thing they can look forward to. They’ve already started growing out of it and my youngest is 20 months. Like I said, if they cry or throw a fit, they don’t get to do it. That is hardly placating. Everyone touches that merchandise, you should clean it after you buy it if you’re worried about that anyway.

Jeanne Fields 8 months ago

Target sucks. ..i avoid it at all costs and my child loves to shop with me

Sonia Colchado 8 months ago

I rarely take my 18 month shopping anywhere. It’s just easier not to if I can avoid it. She’s a gd kid, but I’d rather go myself. Shopping is stressful enough as it is, I don’t want to be worried about bringing snacks, drinks, toys and diapers in addition to bags, coupons and whatever else I gotta take.

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

I wasn’t talking to you, Cynthia. I was talking to Victor. I don’t even remember what you said…lol. And a rod is a like a staff used by shepherds to gently guide sheep…btw. As in “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Not so comforting to be knocked side the head…lol.

Jesse VanValkenburg Smith 8 months ago

True story!!!

Cynthia Sanchez 8 months ago

Ummm… Which bible studies have you gone to? That’s not exactly the quotes total meaning.

Cynthia Sanchez 8 months ago

Hey Emily, My advice is this: Stick to your guns, never give in ONCE. You’re screwed as soon as you do ‘give in’. They now know you’re breaking point. Stand strong sister.

Faith Giovanni 8 months ago

Cynthia your are misquoting that scripture as many do . The rod in biblical times wasn’t a tool used for punishment. But a teaching tool . The rod was used to keep cattle in line but did not hurt them in any way . So the verse means to not train your children is to hate your children .

Amber Nicole 8 months ago

We take them but I mostly leave them home. I love shopping alone! I have a 15 year old daughter that babysits the younger kiddos.

Emily Conaway 8 months ago

I spank. My kids are still brats in public. Any other advice?

halcyon 8 months ago

As someone who worked retail for several years I can say I am all for those baby leashes. They are so much safer than just letting your kid run around the store. We had crying kids come in our store all the time who had lost their parents. Kids can disappear in the blink of an eye and these leashes can prevent that. When I see a parent with their kid on a leash I don’t think they’re awful parents who see their kids as animals, I see parents who love their kids and care about their safety so much that they’re willing to get dirty looks from snobby parents to keep their kids safe.
Plus they’re so much less annoying that those stupid squeaky shoes parents buy to keep track of their kids.
So to parents who buy those cute backpack leashes for their kids I say good for you!

Anne Wooters Rowley 8 months ago


Michelle Austreng Wachtendonk 8 months ago

My kids aren’t the problem. I (yes, the mom) can’t seem to avoid buying crap that’s not on my list! I need it all-I swear!! Thank goodness for Cartwheel and the Red card:)

Kelly Martinelli 8 months ago

Need I say more?

Cynthia Sanchez 8 months ago

Anita Turlington, I Never said it was after they messed up ONCE. Please point out WHERE I put that. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. If you can find it, then YOU WIN THE INTERNET!!! Smh. I would go through a series of other discipline methods, then as a completely “Last resort” one spank. It seems very hard to comprehend for some people. Extremely hard to comprehend isn’t it? And, thanking “Gawd” as you so eloquently put it, really has nothing to do with this posting. Are you glad that I’m not at your kids’ school because they aren’t well-behaved? By the way, God and the Bible even say to discipline children. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24 You’re welcome.

Faith Giovanni 8 months ago

So true ! It’s all a conspiracy !

Shavonne Longley 8 months ago

Amen Cynthia Sanchez!!!! My kids know better than to act out in public and they know if I say no, that’s what I mean!!!!! My kids are like yours, they always point out brats and ask why isn’t their mom doing anything! Unless you have a child with disabilities or special needs, there is NO need for your child to be acting like an asshole in public!!

Melissa Dekker 8 months ago

Hahahah candy?? A cookie? Here ya go

Katie Trella-Zinsmeister 8 months ago

I was just there today and we still make it by buying 2 things at the one spot! Lol!

Shavonne Longley 8 months ago

Denice, I agree with you. I started early with my 3 kids about their behavior and what I expect when we are in public. I was never scared or embarrassed to take my kids out when they were younger and I’m still not. They knew when I said no, I meant it and it was in their best interest NOT to throw unnecessary fits.

Katherine Moody 8 months ago

I thought this was more along the lines of: First target outing with few weeks old baby, sleeping peacefully in the carseat and enjoying my first mommy outing …. Now toddler target outings are hurry up and get everything I need before she turns into a wet noodle flopping around in the cart until I cave in and let her run around… and we all know where that goes. Hahahaha.

Rachel Kurowski 8 months ago

Hahahahaha!! I love this article!! Fucking great!!

Kathy Porritt 8 months ago

The last time I took my kids to Target I backed into a parked car with my van. I was 9 months pregnant and weeping all the way home!

Sarah Watkins Hromadka 8 months ago

I know what you mean by this. The few times my girls went shopping with their St. Louis Grandma she got them stuff. One time my oldest thought it would be funny to run away from me. Got the place shutdown. Who knew Target had a policy to deal with runaway kids… Anyway, they were confined to the cart from then on. If anyone whines the stuff goes back on the shelf by them and we leave. Now I only go shopping when they’re at school.

Jacqueline Figueroa 8 months ago

Lmfao that’s totally me 100% Esmeralda

Jill Petersen 8 months ago

Haha I’m my own worst enemy at that damn store

Sara O’Brien Farmer 8 months ago

Yep. I say no all the time and ignore any meltdowns.

Leslie Skinner Barnard 8 months ago

Meh even my great kiddo has had a tantrum in target :) it happens

Jessica Pickett 8 months ago

My 2 year old is my shopping buddy! Its the 3 older ones that are a pain in the ass.

Beth Rose 8 months ago

I take my kids to Target all the time and luckily they only have a tantrum 25% of the time and it is usually not over a toy, it is usually because my youngest does not want to sit in the basket, but also does not want to walk or wear shoes or they fight with each other. Anyway I carry on and do not give in, but if they behave they get a juice box or chocolate milk box from Starbucks and mommy gets a coffee for behaving (we have Starbucks instead of the cafe). I also forgot the item I originally went for half the time. Anyone who says their kids have never had a tantrum in public are either full of shit or have abnormal kids.

Meg Pullen Mills 8 months ago

I can’t relate at all. My kids are 6, 3, and 7 months. I remind them before we get out of the car everywhere we go that they need to be on their best behavior. That’s all it takes for us. I take all 3 grocery shopping, church, appointments, etc. I won’t make deals with kids, behave because I said so, end of story. I’m not saying we don’t have some trips that are less than perfect, but overall I feel very confident that they will behave the vast majority of ye time.

Nadine Jones 8 months ago

It’s entirely possible to be a strict disciplinarian, and have no mean no,and NOT spank. Just putting that out there. I’ve seen it done.

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Oh yeah, you fail with every other method so let’s just hit um next…lol. Thank gawd you are not at my kid’s school. (Though I know there are some like you lurking unfortunately.) And if we are throwing around credentials and experience…my degree is in education and child development.

Bonny Fox 8 months ago

Glad I’m not the only one commenting with well behaved children! I have raised five, two of which are still at home. Never have had issues shopping in ANY store. I enjoy taking them for the most part, and all kids have a case of the “I wants” at times. “No” is a word that should be used more often and meant.

Lola Dada-Anise 8 months ago

My son 3.5 is my shopping buddy. its an adventure each time because i get him involved and it becomes a game.I always reward his good behaviour usually a sticker or bubble bath. He loves bath time and other times it could be a book or toy. He knows when mummy gives him the “look” he understands whatever it was he has done is unacceptable and will apologise. Try discipline with love. It works!

Shelley Roberson Long 8 months ago

My kids go to Target, Wal-Mart, all the stores with me. They misbehave we leave. I don’t see what the big deal is.

Nicole Corey Theisen 8 months ago

Lmao!! Let’s do this soon!

Aviva Comet Hoback 8 months ago

You go Cynthia!!!! Do not be bullied by self righteous left wingers. Discipline is the tool used to bring children back to teaching and learning mode when their sin has taken over the moment.

Jen T Wojack 8 months ago

Wash their hands thoroughly!!! :)

Linda Weiss 8 months ago

too too funny

Jamie Geoghegan 8 months ago

I love shopping at target with my kids. They have so much fun helping me with the list and putting things in the cart.

Michelle Richmond-Saravia 8 months ago

Love target with my kids

Jennifer Rocha 8 months ago

Flexibility and patience are key to taking kids shopping anywhere. Sometimes the trips are uneventful and sometimes they’re complete train wrecks. Roll with whatever the day brings. When all else fails, there’s wine at the end of the day.

Sue King 8 months ago

I was there yesterday..a dad..carrying his screaming 2 year old like a sack of potatoes..from the direction of the toy department..he couldn’t get out of there fast enough. :’o

Nancy Welker Fortais 8 months ago

Yeah, I’ve seen parents do this before….I really do not want to buy that toy when it’s been held/coughed on/ been wiped with nasty toddler fluids so some kid was placated by his parents. A waste of merchandise. They simply need to learn how to behave.

Victor Tellez 8 months ago

I see for some of you spanking is like a UFC fight to submission. For you who cannot control yourselves, Please do not spank, For those who do know that the spank is the final act of a series of other discipline methods, One hit to the bum. Yes, we all start with reasonable talks. BTW as an educator of over 20 years. I have seen kids that were abused and kids that never got spanked. They are the bullies at the school.. Enjoy your principal meeting

Michelle Eden-Duval 8 months ago

I can’t agree wither lol Im thinking its luck haha

Chris Becker Omerod 8 months ago

Only once did I have to leave a fully loaded cart just before checking out because one of my boys was acting up. I wouldn’t give in to the tantrum and took the boys and walked out. Never happened again. I did have to go back in the evening, alone, when dad was home.

Amanda Hanan Nafey 8 months ago

I can’t relate at all! I have three kids 4 and under and it’s my favorite place to take them because of the awesome triple carts and all the options! I rarely let my kids get something. If they ask and it’s not available I just say no :)

Jenny Willow Lee 8 months ago

My kids are 19 and 13 and I’ve never spanked either of them. I taught them boundaries and what behaviour is acceptable. I sometimes babysit a two and a half year old. Last time he threw a tantrum, I got down on the floor and had one as well. He stopped pretty quickly. I’ve found that as they get older embarrassment is a wonderful discipline tool. I’ve gone to the bus stop in my robe and slippers before lol Kids have melt downs, it happens. It’s important to have a plan of action on how you’ll deal with it before it happens. Kids don’t need to be physically punished to teach them anything. I live in Canada where spanking your kid in fact is a form of abuse.

Nancy Welker Fortais 8 months ago

We always did this when the kids were little! My husband would buy them the popcorn and they would sit in the eating area while I got to shop….alone!!!!

Jennifer Shea Lord 8 months ago

Me too!

Jessica Frost 8 months ago

I can usually get through an article if I don’t relate to all of it, but this article was hard to read. I can’t even imagine having such an off day.The author let her child walk all over her. It was like she was just tolerating his being there, not even trying to create a cooperative dyad. I don’t get it. I try to think of what my daughter would want out of the experience and make that happen in some way, or make it about her in some way, not just me. She loves shopping with me, it’s an adventure each time.

Laila Valade 8 months ago

Is this honestly what happens to some? Our 3 year old son BEGS to go to Target! He gets his free kids popcorn and he loves the store in general!

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Wow, a lot of people are taking this WAY too seriously. Guess what? If your child goes crazy in Target, even every visit, I doubt he/she will end up in prison…lol. What adult would like to be trapped in a cart with so much wonderfulness to do and see? LOL. Enjoy every minute with your kids, they grow up way too fast. And guess what, that screaming kid in Target may become your honor student who graduates valedictorian in her class, wins scholarships, goes on to a high ranking college… (Pssst…a secret…and never was spanked. 😉 )

Alicia Holz 8 months ago

I take my 3 year old and 7 year old to stores with no problem and i don’t spank they just know when mommy raises her voice and says no it’s no and that’s that

Ashley Roberge 8 months ago

Hahaha my oldest (4yrs) says the same thing! When my husband first heard it he laughed so hard and said “oh really, you come her often?!”

Nancy Welker Fortais 8 months ago

I agree! When you always buy them “a little something” they will always expect it- or else. No means no- tantrums or not. We, too, would look at the toys- but I grew up in a family where the only time you got new toys was your birthday or Christmas. I’ve pretty much kept the same rule and we’re all surviving.

Katie Armstead 8 months ago

Same here. We must be a rare breed.

Analia Beltran-Lang 8 months ago

Probably is that Target is my 8 yo DD favorite store. I don’t typically give in to something. Maybe 1/10x going and if so a couple of bucks worth. But my daughter distracts me. She is a TALKER and then I can’t focus on what the hell I’m doing….forgot the toilet paper. Damn!

Chrissy Fieler Harris 8 months ago

Every time, every.

Jennifer Lopez 8 months ago

So true

Cynthia Sanchez 8 months ago

My children are: 19 years old (in college) 18 yrs old (senior in HS) and 11 years old. I’m a single mom. I raised my kids to know respect for all people, they aren’t helpless or being beaten up by me. Kids are highly intelligent at a very young age. Manipulative even, YOU have seen it yourself with some of your own family/friends/co-workers kids. These kids will cry, scream, yell, talk back to the parents, even cuss!! We’ve ALL heard/seen this in some capacity. Are you willing to admit it to yourself, well that’s on you. With dad kids will act/be one way, and with mom a completely different way. With ME, my kids knew not to push any tantrums/screaming fits, because I’m not trying to: “Save Face” and cave in to them just to keep the ‘quiet’ in a public place like Target or wherever. If they acted up, they got a spanking (just one). My mom never understood ‘just one’ spanking. I got the belt, hanger, wire, chancla, wooden spoon/spatula etc….. I didn’t do that to my kids. So, when I say some people need to know it’s okay to spank your kids, I’m not asking for capital punishment. Am I self-righteous, no. Is my parenting technique ‘Old School’ Yes. I just call it like I see it when I’m out in public. Why is it that some kids will act up, and the mom says: “Do you want me to tell your daddy that you’re being bad?” and the kid is like NO. I don’t/didn’t have to do that is all my point is. Yes, dad is involved in their lives today too. When my kids were younger, they got disciplined. Period.

Ashley Roberge 8 months ago

I guess we were blessed with really good children cause they rarely breakdown in any store usually it’s because our littlest wants to be held not pushed around but that’s if we can’t get a car cart.

They are pretty ecstatic to go to target. Lol it’s actually sad how happy they get to go to target. Haha It’s a family splurge every time as long as we bring dada lol he keeps us in check with spending.

ally 8 months ago

Actually the reason you have 1-5 is because you allow #6. There is no bargaining, no giving in, there is however the word NO. Once your kids realize you say what you mean and there will be consequences (not rewards) for acting up, it will stop.

Valerie Duncan McCabe 8 months ago

Every kid is different and parenting styles will be different. Not my place to judge. I’ve been lucky most of the time… I simply say no and they get it. There have been mild temper tantrums here and there at the store but nothing too dramatic. Most of the time my kids just love the opportunity to window shop the toy isle but there are those cranky times. It’s the youngest of my two that is the one that sometimes has the meltdown. I always give her a hug and remind her why we can’t buy “insert toy here”. After a minute or two things are calm again and we return to shopping. Lol, and then there was the time when my oldest was about 2 and she had a huge tantrum. I was 8 months pregnant and she not only screams bloody murder but goes running off and almost gets run over by a cart as I’m waddle chasing her down. Yeah…. you can imagine the looks and judgment. haha, it’s funny looking back.

Nicol Kocher Thompson 8 months ago

I started when they were babies. We could “look” at the toys, we can touch the toys, but we put them back for possibly another day- we can write the toys on a list that we would “like to have”.
Also, preparing them before even entering the store. I tell them our list and if we have time to look at toys- and we only look at the end of our trip if they have been good.
Not to say I have never had a child meltdown, but I have not had many.

Yadira Castañeda Juarez 8 months ago

^^ because kids are always perfect and always listen

Eydie Flores Davis 8 months ago

I always look at popcorn and slushies as treats for sitting nicely at target. I agree, I hate when people call their kids aholes. This blog is a big hit or miss with me.

Angela Stephen Chandler 8 months ago

If you taught them so well they wouldn’t need to be spanked at some point .

Carrie Ann Bastyr 8 months ago

I say no, and I mean no, but every 3rd time my 7yr old has a “I’m not moving” fit because I did not get something. I just keep on shopping and leave him there until he figures out I am not returning to the scene of that crime. So I get the 7 stages.

Breanna Jones 8 months ago

i guess I’m just blessed with a shopper of a toddler. he loves going to the store, any store, and there’s been maybe three or four times in the last month he had to be redirected. frozen downloaded on our tablet was the best idea my husband has ever had lol

Lindsey Cagulangan 8 months ago

Having a two year old have a tantrum is probably par for the course. How parents handle it is what dictates their future behavior. There is no such thing as a child who is well behaved all the time. Especially toddlers! That being said, I can take my 5 and 6 year old to the store and they behave. They don’t even ask for anything! And they shouldn’t have melt downs at that age on a regular basis. Even age 3/4 children should be learning boundaries and consequences and that they are not the center of the universe. It begins when they r very small though. Even if you don’t believe in spanking there are so many ways to teach children to behave. It’s about consistency, being in control, and giving them boundaries and expectations! They will only ride to the expectations that you set for them.

Jacquelyn Jean 8 months ago

This reminded me of my last trip.. 1.5 weeks post 4th csection with my nb,3,4,9 & brought a 14yr old helper bc I couldn’t lift much & she wanted to do xmas shopping it was like 3 days before xmas #1 9 hits 3 w cart crying bandaid 2 everyone had to pee 3 #3 crying hysterically she hates me on checkout bc I won’t let her push her nb brother or the cart to save other people’s ankles everyone looking at me like I’m nuts bc I’m holding her arm! If I could’ve lifted her up she would’ve been in the truck already & oh my helper? Had to search the store for her while holding screaming toddler & pushing nb while 9 pushed 4! Oh My God never ever again & oh I forjot my motrin!

Jennifer Tipcke 8 months ago

I take my 2 year old son to Target once a week.. I bring snacks and he always gets organic yogurt melts to keep himself busy!

Angela Stephen Chandler 8 months ago

Target sends subliminal messages to my five year old daughter to want everything in their store . They are hidden in that target emblem I just know it ! She loves Target ! It doesn’t happen at Walmart but she wants to stop everytime we pass the place ! They brainwash us early so we spend hours in there when we are Mommys ! Lol

Jen DelPage Olsen 8 months ago

I just took my 3 kids, it’s only horrible when one of then has to use the bathroom :/

Yadira Castañeda Juarez 8 months ago

I got spanked as a kid and I turned out alright.

Felicia Christine 8 months ago

I’m also a mom not afraid to say no, and my kids are great in public!

Jenny Ball Tufford 8 months ago

My kids are all teens and up now and I beg them to come to Target with me!

Yadira Castañeda Juarez 8 months ago

My little boy (3) LOVES Target only problem is I can’t get him out of the toy aisle

Felicia Christine 8 months ago

I have never had this problem, my kids are fantastic in stores/public, they know what is expected of them.

Kim Toth 8 months ago

Haha… I don’t ALWAYS say no to my kids but they sure as heck don’t get anything if they are acting a fool. And I am more than happy to point out to my children the good and bad behavior or other target dwellers. Such as “look how nice and quiet those little kids are being” along with “if you ever behave that way you will deeply regret it”
I’m not getting into it over spanking. I am pro discipline though :-)

Katena Russell-Hood Dyser 8 months ago

My boys love target because they know they can have popcorn and an icee its a rare treat.

Kasey Conway Gomez 8 months ago

I let my little kids hold a toy or stuffed animal through the store with the knowledge they will have to put it back at the end. It’s their special Target friend they get to visit when we go. The toddlers almost always get tired of it before we leave but if they don’t they give it one last big hug and tell it they’ll see it next time. Anything they see that they like we go home and put on their wishlist for Christmas.If they cry, they don’t get to see their Target friend the next time. It works really well and so does the popcorn!

Kathryn Sweet 8 months ago

You know you have a lot of kids when you take only 3 to the store and it feels like a break

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Striking a child is NEVER ok. Striking anyone is never ok. No matter what logic you feed yourself in your head…there is never any “proper use.” I said I wasn’t going to get in a argument about this… I always think I can change someone’s mind, but that never happens. Sometimes I just feel I need to speak up for the kids. And I have done that…

Christy Townsend Sherman 8 months ago

Can’t relate to this at all. Target is my happy place. If it had been Walmart sure, but not in target!

Jessica Marzenell Gross 8 months ago

Umm..its called discipline…try it sometime. Keep giving them what they want just to shut them up and they will walk all over you…and guess what youll still be the parent with the bratty kids cuz you wont pop them one on the ass and put your foot down while telling them no.

Kimberly Tritz 8 months ago

Target is one store I rarely have problems in, because cake pops.

Ashley Bartlett 8 months ago

My son loves Target. It’s our happy place. Granted, he’s only 11.5 months, but so far so good lol.

Rita Starritt 8 months ago

I tell mine no. EVERY TIME. and it doesn’t change anything. They whine , pout and are generally IMPOSSIBLE. I get sick just thinking about taking them to target. And I would spank them but afraid of the bleeding heart liberals in this state!

Amanda Blamire Carpenter 8 months ago

Every damn time!!! Every single damn time!!!

Ashley Bartlett 8 months ago

There are other forms of punishment and disciplining besides spanking. Just because you spank your children and it’s effective, doesn’t mean it would be effective for every single child. Every parent and every child is different.

Debra Hudson 8 months ago

You should be saying pray for my child

Nagi Wrobel 8 months ago

None of this has happened to me. Does this seriously happen to people?

Lisa Marshall Alvarez 8 months ago

So far my boys are good in Target. My 3 year old understands the meaning of no. The 1.5 year old – I see trouble brewing in the future, lol. I usually say they get a treat (fruit snacks) and they’re pretty good.

Rita Starritt 8 months ago

I tell mine no. EVERY TIME. and it doesn’t change anything. They whine , pout and are generally IMPOSSIBLE. I get sick just thinking about taking them to target.

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

No children are aholes.

Victor Tellez 8 months ago

Spanking and being adult about it is not child abuse. It is ok to be a parent and not there best friend. Spanking is not the end all be all parental tool, but if used properly it can used once and effective the rest of their lives.

Gisela Maria Henry 8 months ago

Amen ladies

Melinda Gray 8 months ago


Cynthia Sanchez 8 months ago

Corrections, The “spankers” aren’t raising AHoles. 😉

Brittany Conkling 8 months ago

That sounds horrible lol. I love going to target so I’m glad my boy is content to sit in the buggy and browse with me

Ashley Walker 8 months ago

And no…. It wasn’t because you formula fed him.

Lisa Weihman 8 months ago

The spankers are always self-righteous aholes.

April Cendejas 8 months ago

All the way lol ☺️

Sarah Fowler Colitti 8 months ago

Totally. Target is my sanctuary.

Melissa Marion Henriquez 8 months ago

Target ALONE is heaven. I treasure it 😉 not because they will misbehave or ask for stuff but because there is just so much to see!

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Oh yeah, spanking is such a wonderful discipline method…lol. I am not getting into a big argument about spanking, but when some mom is proud of it I always speak up. Barbaric and ridiculous and should be against the law. There. Now bye.

Jackie Nolan 8 months ago


Kristy Honeycutt Brennan 8 months ago

In the car I would say “we can look at the toys but I am not buying any today.” Start them early with this. Now I am not saying we didn’t have meltdowns. It helped when they got older.

Samantha 8 months ago

I have never been to Target. Of course the closest one is more than a two hour drive for me. But I feel this way going to any store with my youngest, who is now 9. When he was 3 he pulled the biggest temper tantrum ever because I couldn’t afford to buy a 1 liter jar of Miracle Whip. I had to stop bringing him to the store. When I gave him a trial run 6 months later he was better, but any sign of a tantrum we were out the door with or without what I needed to get.

Jackie Nolan 8 months ago

Lol that is so very true

Dawn Meier Hart 8 months ago

My problem isn’t keeping the kids happy. My problem is lifting them in and out of the car seat and cart and taking the overflowing cart out to the car and unloading it and then unloading and putting away once I get home. With a 2 1/2 and 1 year old I feel like I’m getting my exercise! :)

Jessica McLeod 8 months ago

This post is spot on!

Angie Rish Klimkowski 8 months ago

We stop at the cafe and get a small icee. That buys me at least 15 minutes of silence before I need to hurry to the checkout! And bonus if the cashier gives my 2 year old a sticker, that keeps him from trying to escape the cart!

Stacey Endsley Thompson 8 months ago

The first public tantrum my toddler had was in Target. He was on the floor kicking & screaming for a banana. He actually had a banana in his hand but he apparently didn’t appreciate the sticker on it. Once the sticker came off he was fine. However, all the staring people & our lack of experience with tantrums left me kind of upset. I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes & said “oh my gosh, he ruined my happy place”…lol.

Lyn Donner 8 months ago

Spot on lol!

Annie Easter 8 months ago

I take my kids with me to every store and they know how to act.. Its all about teaching them young to NOT be an asshole

Anita Turlington 8 months ago

Popcorn and an Icee right when we got there. Just finish up before its gone. Always worked for me…lol.

Danielle Newman 8 months ago

This still happens to me and my kids are both young adults living on their own, but if either or both go to Target with me it is exactly still just like this!!!!!

Angelle Hume 8 months ago

My toddler loves target. My baby always seems to lose his marbles.

Sherry Size 8 months ago

Totally do number 3!!!

Denice Murphy Graves 8 months ago

Feeling self-righteous I guess cause I cannot relate to most of this. I just told my kids no, kept moving, and wheeled on to what I needed. But, I still usually forgot the toilet paper. Every. Time.

Cristine Nikole 8 months ago

Omg I’m laughing so hard! This happens every week bc I just can’t stay out and my son knows he gets whatever he wants bc mommy has a target problem! Haha

Kimberly Wheat Harrington 8 months ago

I will not take my kids to target … Target is my sanity

Julia D Schriver 8 months ago

My husband took the kids to target right before Christmas to buy presents. In the parking lot my 2 yr old pointed at the store and said “that’s mommy’s store!”
Busted! I take the kids there all the time.

Kristin Hills 8 months ago

Every time….the worst for me is my kids thinking they NEED popcorn and soft pretzels and a soda all because we did it ONE time. Kids think one time=every time….

Shawnda 8 months ago

The ones that look like leashes, yes.They do make ones that double as cute backpacks with a stuffed winnie the pooh, cars characters, teddys, monkeys whatever. Everyone used to compliment mine because they look so much like backpacks that no one even noticed the leashe from the front.

Cynthia Sanchez 8 months ago

My kids got spanked. I could take them anywhere, and they KNEW not to act up/throw tantrums. No meant no. I wish more parents would spank/discipline their children, although hearing/seeing some parents have to battle their little ones in a public place is entertaining sometimes. LOL My kids would look at me, and say: “Mommy, that kid is acting like a brat, and should be spanked.” MY OWN KIDS don’t like bratty ass kids in public places/movies/malls etc…. Please don’t be afraid of disciplining your child(ren). SOCIETY would thank you in the long run.

Maggie Bell 8 months ago

Yea my kid isn’t like that. She knows if she behaves (in any store) she gets a prize/treat. At the end. She almost always is very well behaved. Only detours is usually to the bathroom.

Emily Rose Ramirez Phillips 8 months ago

My 5 year old also calls it the red store,

Nikki Arnold Trauger 8 months ago

Love this!

Lestell Morales 8 months ago

My second home lol take the kids with me all the time. No choice

Jenny Kruschke 8 months ago

I take my 2 year old and my 1 year old to Target all the time. And Walmart.

Tosha Walton 8 months ago

Dying inside… So true!!

Valerie Duncan McCabe 8 months ago

Lol, this is hilarious

Amanda Cook-Rabuck 8 months ago

Stop at the cafe and grab a popcorn and drink to keep them happy. (:

Brandy C. Koleta 8 months ago

Target is (obviously) mine and also my 5 year old’s favorite store! He calls it “The Red Store” lol..

Lisa Bruns Hayes 8 months ago

I enjoyed shopping Target with my 3 kids. It was an adventure. With the right “treat” at the end of a successful trip, we seldom had any problems.

Lindsey Lawrence 8 months ago

I take my kids to Target ALL the time..

Niki 9 months ago

I’m. Sorry but when you’re in a spot where you. Can’t go shopping at all, it wouldn’t really matter. Heck id be cool with it, just the facr that I was shopping, even with my kid her buddies, and a dog, hell I’d be happy. Its been so long since I’ve been able to browse for anything other than bare. Absolute nesessity, which translates into: “I know I’m down to three rolls of tp but we really need to get dishwashing liquid and garbage bags.” All I can di right now is look at scandal, and fantasize about when I used to dress like that. Oh well, most the important bills are paid, and my kids are fed, with a roof over our heads for now. Grateful.

L.A. Say 2 years ago

This very true with any kid. Children see a store automatically think of different things they will beg and plead for when we get inside and so do the teenagers to, the only difference is, one of them is cuter when pouting.

Pam Walter Hall 2 years ago

Sounds like my Costco trip yesterday.

Angela Spence 2 years ago

I'm dying right now! This is me, last weekend. Right down to the stupid foam sword from the dollar section. Thank you for making my night!

Sandy 2 years ago

Totally! Mine are the exact same! God forbid they actually sit in the cart. I’m lucky if I can successfully buy two or three items before I end up spending the next 20 minutes chasing them around the store. They’re not even greedy… they just want to run everywhere and touch everything!

Jennifer 2 years ago

You forgot the stage where they tell anyone walking by exactly what you put in the cart. We’re buying milk!! And candy!! And tampons!!! (Yeah, Mother Nature was at my house).

Keline 2 years ago

I feel for everyone here…I took my son for granted when he was under a year old & had to stay in the car seat in the cart. Now he’s two and I have a 5mo old – I go through the ‘resignation’ stage where you simply resign and decide you will never go to the store with both kids ever again. The last time I did, the car seat was partially blocking my view of my son & he fell climbing out of the cart, smacking his forehead on the concrete floor. I got the judgmental looks as I raced to pizza hut asking for ice. One month later he still has a lump on his head, and anytime he runs into something, it’s really quick to bruise again. It looks like I constantly beat him. I just wait for the day the cops are waiting for me at daycare.

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Danielle 2 years ago

If your son is actually YOUR son, you are not “babysitting” my friend, you are doing what some of us refer to as “PARENTING.” A babysitter is a person you pay money to watch your children so you and your wife can go out together. Babysitting implies that you are doing something special and out of the norm. Parents should share responsibilities so each can have some down time (this helps prevent animosity later) so I certainly hope you never tell your wife that you will babysit your son…

Angie 3 years ago

TARGET POPCORN purchased BEFORE shopping is my lifesaver! It works so well, I am tempted to go in there to buy it when I need to go to a different store to go shopping like Kohl’s or the dreaded Walmart shopping day. Granted ~ my little one is only 2 so I am sure that the popcorn trick isn’t going to save me from the embarrassing meltdowns forever ~ but I will take it for now! Oh and I ALWAYS walk out of Target with unintended purchases… DAMN THAT STORE!

Soares 3 years ago

This was funny! I remember chasing my three year old who insisted he would be good and walk around target while people just stared at this woman chasing her son while pushing a cart with and infant in it! Someone finally helped me out, after going half way around the store, and stopped him verses staring!

I am now thankful that all three kids are well behaved. There a lot of oooo I want this mommy but followed by nos! And we avoid the toys section usually because they already have enough and if they want something new they need to get rid of something! My two year old just sits quietly! And the last time I took my husband into target we walked out with 250$ receipt!

Betty 3 years ago

Sometimes I, too, scream with excitement and want everything I see when I go into Target :)

Betty 3 years ago

Christina, I know what it’s like to get those stares. I’m 32, but I haven’t aged since I was about 14. Up close I have the fine lines forming around the eyes that show my true age, but from more than a few feet away, I look like I’m ditching high school when I go to the store in the middle of the day! I go out of my way to make sure I look like I’m in my 30’s when I get dressed and in no way could be mistaken for a teenager, but it almost never helps. Don’t these people see my diamond engagement ring and wedding band – clearly the accessories of a grown woman – I always wonder. They just see my young looking face, toddler and baby bump, then assume I’m a second-time teen mother. Even if I was, why the dirty looks???

My husband is 29 and smoked up until the time he found out I was pregnant two years ago. One time we went into the store and I pulled out cash to pay for his cigarettes, me being 30 and him 27, and the woman refused to sell them to us. She thought he was an older guy buying a teenager cigarettes and lectured him. I had to go to the car to get my ID and she was convinced it was somehow a fake, but since she had no choice since it was real, she had to sell them to us. We got evil looks from her as we left the store.

Dominik 3 years ago

I love what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!

Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

target luv 3 years ago

Yup, I had to carry my 3yo out of target screaming at the top of her lungs several years aho. I felt every hateful eye on me as I just lugged her unhappy ass to the car to let it out. My infant son melted in there so much that I started with mild anxiety every time I set foot in there. I still rarely take them and they are 11 and 9. Its just better that way.

Kim 3 years ago

I don’t think I could live without hearing that you all go through the same thing when I feel like the worst mother on the planet I come here and then I feel OK like I can go on because its normal and I really don’t have the only demon spawn on the Earth. Whoever said terrible twos didn’t know what she was talking about its the terrible treacherous turmoiled three’s LOL! I do feel some aggravation when a mother needs to slip in that her child is always good at the store, when mine is screaming yelling and throwing a tantrum on the floor because she couldn’t get the hello kitty garbage can for her room that she doesn’t even know what the hell it is used for….she just likes the pictures.

Zommommy 3 years ago

Target is what I call the $100 Dollar Store. Why can’t I spend under a hundred in that freaking store? Are they pumping in special gases that increase spending? Is it the happy overall redness of the place? That freaking adorable Target Dog? I don’t know. But they may as well just take my entire bank account over because they’re going to get my money anyway. Worst part is, my kids love going there too. It’s like a mini vacation! “Let’s go to Target, Mom!” My 2013 New Year’s Resolution: Target is the devil, so you may only go once a month and with only $25 on your person. Yeah. That’ll last.

carie 3 years ago

I am not a perfect parent. I have my battles with my daughter. Store meltdowns are not one of them though. There are no talks before the store, there are no treats in the store, there are no bribes in the store, when we are done shopping, she *might* get to pick out a toy from the $1 section or get a .25 candy. If she is really good she can get both. If I hear whining, there’s no treat. If there are tears, screaming, kicking, running away, or other bad behavior, we leave without buying anything and go home and talk about it in the car. If I hear “I want…” she usually hears “we don’t have money for it today, but maybe another day.” There is NOTHING at a store that I need so badly that it takes priority to discipline. I’m mean about it. She has to behave if she wants a reward, and bad behavior results in no reward. Most trips she gets to pick out a treat and we leave the store smiling. It is the LAST thing we pick out and she can take as long as she wants to decide. There have been days where we don’t get to the door though. When we have those days, we go home and calm down. Then we talk about why we didn’t get to go shopping. The next trip is better. As much as my husband complains that she whines (pot, you’re black!), she generally does a good job now when we are out together. She will be 6 in January. Maybe I’m lucky? Maybe I need to have more kids? Maybe you could try just leaving when the tears start? If you’re going to get to “the inevitable” of not getting what you went for, why not skip the rest of it too?

Danielle 3 years ago

Wow- so true. This is why I love solo trips to Target whenever possible. What a selfish mom I am!

Kim 3 years ago

OMG mine won’t sit in the cart either…and she promises she will on the way there. Then when she sees the cart she starts freaking out saying her legs hurt when she sits in the cart because she’s too big. Give me a freaken break she is 3 yrs old not 10. Then everyone stairs at me because I walk into target with a crying child and the trip didn’t even begin yet. Oh god isn’t she 18 yet???? Grrr.

Kim 3 years ago

Yes this too makes me feel a little less illegitamate. LOL Thanks ladies “-)

kelly 3 years ago

I read this post and thought sheesh someone must of followed me around the store.Believe it or not my two year old isnt that bad because I have her “trapped” in the seat of the cart.. My 9 year old?!?!? that is a diffrent story. He lags behind,dances around,stands in front of people and wont move..Then when we head back home he pouts because I wont stop at McDonalds..

Jessica W. 3 years ago

I can’t even go to the corner drugstore with my son unless I want to drag his screaming flailing body out. Why do they have to put those damn cars right up front! I think I need to just leave them in the car at 7-11 (where I can see them) to run in for milk. It’s ok if I leave the window cracked….right???

Lorna 3 years ago

i bought a monkeybackpack leash for my 15 month old when we were taking her to Disney world for the first time. In my mind, I knew there would be haters but I also knew my daughter was coming home with me….and just because you have your kid on one of those doesn’t mean you have to pull them around by it! It just means you are attached to them! So to me some ignorant looks is just fine if that is what it takes to ensure i won’t lose my kid

Mamma bear Alicia 3 years ago

Ugh, I hate having to wipe the damn cart before entering the store, takes too long to wipe all the parts where my kid usually sucks on, and he gets all frustrated waiting for me to finish wiping!

Mamma bear Alicia 3 years ago

Hahaha! Sorry!, that reminds me we use to laugh at my mom when she would get angry because she would get all worked up + she looked cute while angry, and we definitely knew she wasn’t serious at all!! Then she would scream “stop, stop” and we would laugh even harder.. Poor mommy!! I’ll always love you! Rip

Mamma bear Alicia 3 years ago

I Eco you Christina, I learned not to care for judgemental people, I am not like that so, I don’t appreciate when is done to me. Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like done to you!…. Other than that, I am a hell of a good mommy, I trust my mommy instinct, so it doesn’t matter how young I am! I use to lie about my age just to get people’s approval, not anymore!! 😉

Mamma bear Alicia 3 years ago

Good for you heather, I am proud of your persistence :)

Mamma bear Alicia 3 years ago

True!!!! I am so happy to realize now that that will never change. When I tell my kids in the car before going into target “ok, we are only here for a couple of things mommy needs, no toys” and they say “ok mommy, no problem” I know they don’t mean it because the minute we pass the toy area they start giving me a whole argument of why they need certain toy, even though a toy similar to that one ended up in the trash… Is either they are really smart and know what they are doing or they just can’t resist temptation……?

shama-mama 3 years ago

My lil girl calls it the “Red Dot Store” :)

fayfay 3 years ago

mine is an angel AFTER we go through a series of training. i always want to point out that money wont last, n she has to choose one toy only, no buts

heatherlyday 3 years ago

dirty looks and comments are going to come whether you have your kid on a ‘leash’ or experiencing the stages listed in the blog above. Eh, whatevs. If I can get through the store without yelling at my kid, then it’s a good day. Fortunately, since he’s now eleven and no longer needs a leash, we have several good days a year. :-)

Thomas 3 years ago

Sorry about your experience, sounds like others. But I’ve never looked at my 3 year old running down the aisle and said to myself, he looks and acts like a dog so I’m going to get a leash for him and maybe a muzzle if he is a biter.

Leashes may be for some but be ready for the dirty looks and comments from others.

I’m outta heree…………….

heatherlyday 3 years ago

when i need to go to the store, i can’t conveniently go at set times my husband is home (weird, but I actually LIKE going to the store with my husband). perhaps your wife is better organized (ha!), but i always remember what wasn’t on the list at 7 p.m. The ‘leash’ was a sanity saver when my very active boy who would NOT hold my hand decided to run off in the store. LIKE WITH A DOG, it does keep them from running off and getting into potentially dangerous situations in public, AND teaches them a sense of boundaries. and LIKE WITH A DOG, those little legs can move a hell of a lot faster than yours. Putting leashes on your two/three year old doesn’t mean they’re ‘a dog’ or a ‘submissive’, nor does it mean they’ll have any memory of you doing it. Btw, cutting it up with your knife was a bit extreme–you could have just asked her to take it back to the store.

Theresa 3 years ago

I work at Target and so I’ve seen quite a few times when this has happened. I have three pet peeves about parents with kids shopping. My store closes at 11 pm and I have lost count of the number of people shopping when the store closes with small children is ridicules. The last two are kind of one. I can’t stand the parents that let the kid play with some thing while they shop and the when they check out say they don’t want it. When I have to take it away the kid will start screaming most time. the last one is if your kid is chewing and/or drooling on a toy please don’t hand it to me and say that you don’t want it. While you might be used to your kids drool on everything, I don’t want to touch it and we can’t sell that to any one else.

rnwick 3 years ago

No Kiddin’! The only thing missing is…..then they take off on you. Mine did that me today. Shear panic. Found him and then felt like the worst mom in the world.

ashley dreisow 3 years ago

luckily for me, i don’t like shopping at Target, I feel most items are too over priced! We’re CHEAP!!!!!!!! SOMETIMES when we actually go to Walmart, the ONLY thing my daughter (2.5) is really interested in, is seeing the fish. And we walk right THROUGH the toy isles to get there! Granted she has her meltdowns and I throw goldfish at her, but it’s because she doesn’t like to sit in the shopping cart very long!

Tiarat 3 years ago

Did you forget the parts with the toddler leaving a trail of milk and goldfish crackers through the store? I finally got my 6 year old trained to that we don’t go to the toy section until I have everything on my list. (well, he knows but still whines) Now my 3 year old is the problem child and runs away in the store (last time I found her trying to play the display model of the Nintendo ds). But I do highly recommend time outs in the cart if necessary (ignore the screaming and thrashing if you can).
But in spite of the drama I do like shopping there and the management at the store near us is pretty tolerant. Once my 4 year old slipped in a 4 foot puddle of bubble soap (not his doing this time) and was soaked to the skin. The manager gave me credit for the new shirt and pants I had to buy (at least there were extra underwear in the diaper bag).

Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom 3 years ago

TRUTH! LOL I love Target, I hate Target. I love Target, I hate Target. I love…

xlmic 3 years ago

Hmmmm…no mention of the huge wire cage filled with large, evil plastic bouncy balls…those are the bane of my Target trips. But yeah, taking into account that omission, pretty spot on :)

Tina 3 years ago

Hate to break this to you (though you probably already know) it gets worse as they get older…..

Mine is 17 and female which probably explains why she went shopping to teh supermarket with me and I had a fight on my hands trying to convince her she really wanted the less expensive candle and “Hell no! I am not buying you new bedding on a whim….”

Then you get conversations that start with “Oooh when I move into my own place I am going to buy lots of lovely things from here…..”

How did she get so old so quickly……

I wouldn’t mind but I followed my mum’s example and used to leave her wailing in the middle of an aisle when she wanted something she couldn’t have thinking she would get the idea eventually – evidently that didn’t work.

Luisa Graham 3 years ago

Yeah! That’s one hell of a problem for me as well. But I changed my style. I’ll bring my children along after payday. So there’s nothing to worry about them bragging some toys^^

Becky 3 years ago

I just had this happen today. I am in Hobby Lobby and my 11 yr old is touching everything, up-selling it to me, like I’m stupid and am not aware of what she is doing. While I’m fighting that, my son (8) is letting my youngest daughter (1) stick her finger in his nose. She nicks the inside and he starts gushing blood from his left nostril. My 4 yr old daughter is just hoovering near by, watching the show. We did not make it to the zoo, needless to say. I bought ought the two little ones fast food, to east my guilt of having to take the older ones back home, and the older ones had their discipline the second we got home. Now I’m waiting on the regret to kick in, but it’s hours later, and I feel nothing but justified. I was right.

Jeannie 3 years ago

Omg! Yes! Totally me when I take the kids anywhere!

Anne @One Flew Over the Playpen 3 years ago

YES! Target was evil before in the way it could always lure me into buying things I didn’t need, but now it turns my toddler into a toy-lusting maniac. Ok, so he’s always like that. But Target used to be my happy place, and now it’s hell on earth.

Amy at Best Baby Strollers 3 years ago

I’ve had so much fun not only reading this article that rings true for so many of us, but reading your comments as well. We mothers have the hardest job in the world. Every one of you, give yourself a pat on the back – you’re doing a fantastic job. :)

Penelope08 3 years ago

Ironically, I live across the street from a Target. And sometimes Target is that close, sometimes it might as well be a million miles away because we will never make it across the damn street. Target is my haven, and my hell, in that it tempts me so.

Thomas 3 years ago

Sorry for the second reply, but when this occurred with the leash for children I was in the Army and my wife and I were stationed in West Berlin Germany. I work rotating shifts so therefore my wife was in stuck with the kids between eight to five so she could play cards with their friends, shop and do other things while I watched our boys.

Thomas 3 years ago

My wife bought one of these “dog” leashes for our oldest son. When she hooked Mark up in it I immediately took it off and cut it up with my pocket knife telling her my Son is NOT A DOG. We worked out a arrangement for her to shop or whatever when I was at home to babysit.

Jes 3 years ago

Mine are the kids that are always running in multiple directions with me screaming after them that they will never shop with me again. Unfortunately for me we have to eat.

Tara 3 years ago

Hahaha this is me EVERYTIME I let the boys sucker me into Target.

Momtactics 3 years ago

This is so bloody true. I find starting with the m&m’s help! So what if it’s 9am..I figure I’m going to be judged regardless, so why not start from the beginning, at least my kid is quiet for a few minutes!

Regina 3 years ago

I feel for you. Imagine doing it with a fist full of coupons, and boom, welcome to my world!

I ask myself why I let my kids go with me, instead of stay with their dad. Need to learn to adventure out on my own more often.

BigMamaCass 3 years ago

This blog is perfection! I died laughing from the start! Why do we torture ourselves?!!

peach 3 years ago

Try going to Target with a child with autism who runs away when they get upset. Big stores like that can be very overwhelming.

Helen 3 years ago

DH is lying…you know he is, he just won’t admit he can’t control a 2yo any better than you!

Becky 3 years ago

Bwa ha ha ha. This is my family every single last time we ever went to Target.

Helen 3 years ago

You hit that nail on the head! Mine actually laughs at me…@3! The angrier I get, the more she laughs. Erg…

Helen 3 years ago

Amen to that. I have the opposite problem (though most think I’m in my early-mid 30’s: I get asked if my dd is my grand daughter.

Helen 3 years ago

Mine is EXACTLY the opposite! Generally she’s incredibly well behaved in public. Home is a totally different story…one of us may not make it to her 4th birthday!!!!LOL

The Mommy Psychologist 3 years ago

Someday I will make it out of Target without spending 100 bucks. Someday. That’s my biggest ordeal with Target.

Lori Freshour 3 years ago

This is my life story.

Amanda 3 years ago

Oh my gosh, that is my sons. Actually my six year old. He thinks that if we go and do not buy at least one new toy I have deprived him of life. I would be cool if you could find a small one for $5 or less… but never. I love Target and adore the household area… and my sons are pretty good about going. Yet… the toy desire drive me nuts. Actually, I think any store with toys is just bad news. If only they felt the same way about new clothing…

Beth 3 years ago

Or you can do what I did to my husband. If we ran out of toilet paper & I knew I’d have to drag my 3 little ones to Target, I’d just find substitutions around the house for toilet paper…use up all the tissue boxes, paper napkins, those fresh wipes…you name it! Until my husband needed to take a crap. Then he’d complain about not having toilet paper. I’d then say, no problem! I’ll run to Target, but you have to watch the kids because there was no way in hell he was going to help out until it affected him!

Amber 3 years ago

I have so felt like this with my kids. Especially my daughter, who is so effing dramatic it’s not even funny. I usually do let her pick out a dollar spot toy. It usually keeps her quiet. Usually. Unless she’s in a foul mood, in which case, there goes my delightful Target shopping trip..

Susan 3 years ago

OMG just got one of those back pack leashes! What a lifesaver!! Now when he drops his legs out to get me to let go of his and he is stuck :) Love it!!

Catherine 3 years ago

We were just at Target and my kid opened a can of alfredo sauce and poured it out in the cart, on him and on my bag. Awesome.

T 3 years ago

so true mine are 2 and 4.5 and think everytime we go to target they HAVE to have a toy!! uhhhh wrong!!!!!

lesbomom 3 years ago

THIS is hilarious. Except I think of it in these terms with the Wife and the housewares section.

kathryn 3 years ago

Best yet? Go to store when smallest child has recently learned the sh** word. And says it. Loud. And repeatedly. While older child laughs.

CLBmommie 3 years ago

Wow! it is like someone is following me when we go shopping. That is exactly what it is like.

Lora 3 years ago

I took my kids to Target once, only once. My son opening the emergency exit & getting yelled at by the obnoxious associate was all it took for me to swear that practice off!

Ray 3 years ago

I work there and its my favorite place to shop. Once I clock out I don’t want to stay and shop. And on my off day I really don’t want to take my son in. But without failure it always happens. Sadly, I get it from both sides.

Abby Perry 4 years ago

I recently took my 3 year old triplets to Target – BY MYSELF. Ug, never again. A lady actually stopped my and said “i am so sorry, I am sure it will get better”. LOL

Bellamom 4 years ago

my lovely daughter decided to have her laying on the floor screaming at the top of her lungs melt down right in front of all the cash registers by the doors for all the world to see. I just looked down at her, afraid to make eye contact with anyone. When I mustered up enough energy to cope I scooped her up and ran!

lori 4 years ago

Oh my gosh- that’s hilarious. My kids are older, but that is sooo the conversation I had with my self anytime I had to take them to the store…or out to eat…or to a friend’s house…or to church.

Sara 4 years ago

I don’t think you’re a bad mother, I guess all kids do that!

sarah 4 years ago

i have a 5 yr old Aspie boy…shopping is a nightmare..going to target is simply a trip to the lego aisle…forget that mummy needs shoes or little miss 2 may need clothes..or that its her birthday and we are only there to buy her a birthday gift..ha yeah right..

Regina 4 years ago

This is so my shopping trip every time I have to take my kids!

I have resorted to having a list to make sure I don’t forget things among the drama following me around the store.

Then if people stare at me, I ask them if they want to take the kids home with them. For some strange reason, no one wants to take them. :)

Sara 4 years ago

As a relatively new mom, my son is 15 months old, and as someone who works at Target, I can so relate! He loves “Cars” and anything Thomas the train, and I swear, he can spot anything relating to either of those two things from four departments over! And then he cries and carries on! I always promised myself I was not going to be one of “those” moms who give their kid something to hold as they’re shopping, only to get to the checkout to take it from them with a “no, we’re not getting this”… That comes from years of Target experience as a team member, and seeing it on a daily basis. Then the kid has a meltdown, and the mom or dad gets mad! Don’t get mad at the kid! You’re the one who teased him/her with the item! Now, I look at every mom who shops in my store and wonder if they are a “scary mommy.” lol..

Lin 4 years ago

Hilarious! This actually reminds me a lot of what I go through when I go shopping with my husband. I swear, I can’t take that fella anywhere, haha.

Kerrie McLoughlin 4 years ago

Yep, you got it right on, sister. I’ve been doing it for 10 years and am to taking 5 kids when I have no other choice. Or sometimes I think I’m all mentally healthy and the kids are acting fine so I just go for it and then regret it like $200 later. THEN I have to explain to hubby why I spent all that money and admit that I am a big pushover who gives in and buys toys and gum to shut them up so I can have ONE thought in my head about buying the ONE thing I went to buy!!!!!!!

Mary 4 years ago

Years ago my mother would have to drag all of us to the grocery store with her. She’d give us a lecture in the car and say, “DO NOT ASK ME FOR A THING.” Of course that never worked and we’d be pleading for twinkies immediately. She’d look at us as if we were complete strangers and say loudly, “I’m not your mother.” We’d whine and scream anyway, “Mom, you always do that…” Then at the check out stand she’d request to have her groceries delivered (this was the 60’s) and then give the delivery guy some money to take all of us with her on his runs. We’d sit in the back of the van, no seatbelts, eating bologna and loving every minute of it. And my mom got a good hour or so to herself. But obviously this kind of parenting now might get you put in jail. I understand your pain and so did my mother! Thanks again.

christina 4 years ago

Amen to that. :) I just turned 27.

kisha 4 years ago

Ha, I remember a couple of summers ago, I desperately wanted a sundress. But some evil villain had taken the last two-kid-containing-cart. I was too tired to sling the baby. So my toddler, nearly 3, laid down, on his back, in the women’s dress department and screamed to the top of his lungs for 15 mins. I tried to shop, heck its not like I was going to loose him right? You could probably hear him in housewares. Ultimately, my mom mailed me 3 sundresses from out of state, because I called her from the parking lot crying and empty handed.

Kelly 4 years ago

Haven’t been in about 3 years. It’s just not worth it. :o)
Keep ’em coming! Can’t wait to get your book!!!!

JamericanSpice 4 years ago

Target should only take cash. Leave all cards at home and take only certain amount of cash.

I have little trouble with the kids, but omg Target somehow just takes my money!

mara 4 years ago

Seriously, you don’t need the 7 stages. You need 2.
1. Don’t go to the store with the kids. ever. avoid at all costs.
2. if you must, tell the kids that if they don’t ask for anything while you’re shopping, they each get to pick one thing (set a $ value or you’re buying an electric kid jeep). One nag and they’re SOL.

See, parenting is simple.

Shell 4 years ago

How did you get inside my brain? :)

Teri 4 years ago

My girlfriends and I all have smaller children and we occasionally like to get together and head to target together (something about the Starbucks and group chitchat gets us every time). So as you can imagine they probably hate seeing us walk in the door with 8 kids all under 4 years of age! It is a whining, pleading, hide your head hell fest but we do it anyway.

Nuts about food 4 years ago

Been there, done that.

Kristen Morton 4 years ago

Do we have the same children? ::sigh:: sounds like EVERY one of my shopping trips..anywhere.

Malika Bourne 4 years ago

OMG! too funny. Rushing to go potty, now.
I can assure you that mommies have survivied the Target experience. Ta-dah! I’m now a grandma who can go when I feel like it all by my self if I want to. Sometimes I accompany my daughter with her 3 daughters. Any cleans up in aisle 6 are not my problem. I used to say to my daughter, “I hope you have a daughter just like you some day.” He-he. sweet. Malika

robbin 4 years ago

I was a young mom too….and still get asked if I’m 19 and I’m turning the big THREE OHHHH near the end of the year. We will be thankful when we are 50 and still look good :)

Devan McGuinness 4 years ago

Officially dying of laughter — so funny & so true (though, ive never been to a Target — it’s the same for me in any store!)

NICOLE MARTEL 4 years ago

Well my almost two year old has started yelling at me in the stores when he sees something… I think it’s a natural part of being a kid… it’s not you… but then I do the same thing, just so he stops yelling, I grab what he wants! Not good…. I know but I can’t help it!

hollow tree ventures 4 years ago

I think I’ve seen you there! Yes, I was the one with my cart wedged in the Dollar Spot, weeping into my diaper bag, unable to locate one of my children (but not looking very hard). My ex-husband buys the kids something EVERY time they leave the house, so every time I take them somewhere it’s like I have to retrain them how not to be toy-grubbing whiny little feet-draggers. Sigh.

KrisV 4 years ago

My thoughts and feelings exactly.

Annie 4 years ago

I used to work at Target, and one of the things I was known for was for making kids smile after a meltdown/”I WANT THAT” tantrum. Funny thing is I worked in the dairy/frozen department…

I had one parent I just couldn’t help, though. She was looking quite like a zombie, with a newborn screaming in the car seat and a 3-year-old just kind of walking along beside. I guessed the baby had colic and Mom (and maybe big brother) wasn’t getting too much sleep those days…

tara 4 years ago

Yes! I have a love/hate relationship with Target – I love shopping there, but hate how I feel everytime I get to the register and realize how much stuff I have in the cart and how much it’s going to cost.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 4 years ago

Yup…and I did this shit with TWINS!! Argghhhhhh…

Autherine@BoysRising 4 years ago

Have you ever been to the supermarket with 3 toddler boys? Never, ever, ever again, and I mean it! Took one to Target this week and manage to get out with only 1 toy and no crying.

Vanessa Jubis 4 years ago

On. Target. Bravo. 😉


Jessica 4 years ago

My step one is always circling the parking lot 10,000 times for one of those ginormous carts that will strap down all my kids. Otherwise, there is no going inside. Once we get in we proceed through your steps.

The Flying Chalupa 4 years ago

This actually makes me glad I don’t have a Target nearby. Oh, wait. I do have a grocery store. And a library. And…oh, so many meltdown-worthy places. I feel your pain, Jill.

Hillary M 4 years ago

The Starbucks in Target is a HUGE game changer! Target is often my favorite mid-morning activity (but I’d rather eat glass than take either of my kids into a Toys R Us – those stages definitely apply to that nightmare).

Sarah BB @ East9thStreet 4 years ago

For me, an exciting Friday night is the ability to go to Target by myself and wander up and down the aisles and no, I’m NOT joking! Doing that kidless is priceless.

tracy@sellabitmum 4 years ago

My Life. Exactly.

Joanna 4 years ago

Some how I put my ebay link on there, not realizing it was in my clipboard. Sorry about that. I was just posting about excessive amounts of laundry and selling clothing on ebay on my own blog. Whew.

Joanna 4 years ago

Ah, I remember when my twins were babies and we had this wonderful double carriage where they could face each other. My husband and I would both get Starbucks, most often Hot Caramel Apple Cider, and stroll up and down the aisles, stopping every few moments so people could say, “Oh twins. Oh they are so cute, you must have your hands full.” And we would say, “Oh yes, it’s crazy,” but in stores, in that carriage, and with all the attention, they were perfect.

Fast forward to now: The worse freakin’ invention ever are the Home Depot race car carts. My kids sit next to each other, but end up ultimate kung-fu, kickbox fighting in 5 minutes. They can’t keep their hands off each other. So we either have to push two of those things around and be separated, or watch it all unravel in horror. You would think we would learn our lesson, but we still watch it all unravel in horror, every single time we go to HD.

the mama bird diaries 4 years ago

I knew there was a reason I only go to Target alone.

Tracy 4 years ago

After a trip to Target last weekend my husband accused me of buying a travel Farkle game. I didn’t even know what Farkle was! Turns out our 3 year old stuffed it in the cart and then went outside with me while my husband went through the checkout so he just assumed I wanted it. Gonna have to start watching that little guy…

Middle State 4 years ago

It does not end. Even my 18-year-old plays me at Target by sneaking into the cart little lip glosses and cute socks that I don’t notice until we are in the check-out line.

SouthernButterfly 4 years ago

Sooooooo True. My little guy is seven now, but I HATED taking him to the store and avoided it whenever I possibly could. He was a very difficult toddler, and store meltdowns were an extremely common occurance. Thank GOD for candy, and the free cookies at the bakery! 😛

Erin@MommyontheSpot 4 years ago

Oh, yes. I am quite familiar with these steps. In a weak moment, my almost three year old had me in tears. Why is that they smell weakness and then try to break you by climbing all over the Valentine’s display demanding that you buy every single bag of candy in the aisle?!

abnormalmommy 4 years ago

I still remember the first time my little one threw a fit in Target. I was shocked! He is my first, and apparently I thought that he would be as easy at 2 as he was a 2 months. But I still do the same thing you do. I say I will never do take him alone again, that I’ve learned my lesson….but no! We’ll never learn.

Rachel – A Southern Fairytale 4 years ago

okay – totally giggling 😉

Not Supermom 4 years ago


And mine aren’t two any longer.

Dr. G 4 years ago

I have an extra stage – the People Did Without Box Stores for many Centuries lecture I give to myself in the parking lot of the Target. Never works.

Kelly M 4 years ago

They have these really handy sani-wipes at the Wally world entrance…problem solved. Now if we could solve the leotard & tutu wearing men who frequent my store…

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles 4 years ago

Effing hilarious. I only take both kids with me when there is absolutely, positively no other option.

Suzanne 4 years ago

I honestly think those $1 sections that Target has at the entrances are like crack for kids. Seriously.

And, it doesn’t get better as they get older. I have teenagers, and they seem to think “I need to pick up toilet paper” means “let’s go on a shopping spree and blow the month’s mortgage on clothes you will never wear and you will most likely decide make you look ‘fat’ ten seconds after you cut them up to make them ‘artistic’.”

F**k shopping with any kids. I want to go at 11pm after all sane people are in bed, and let me wander around in a Musak induced semi-coma.

Dawn 4 years ago

This is why I am so glad my kids are old enough to stay home for an hour or so while I go get the groceries ALONE. Just wait… you’ll have your turn soon enough and it’s ALL worth it! Geez, the money I save now is AMAZING! LOL

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 4 years ago

I mostly shop online for groceries but when I have to head out to a store I let mine pick out napkins or such like as a ‘treat’. Yes they are still young enough to consider that a treat and honestly, wiping my mouth with Cinderella-featuring-whatever-stupid Disney-dwarf-napkin is a small price to pay for peacefull shopping trips.

monkeyincowtown 4 years ago

Ugh my children do that too! Why oh why do they insist on licking or sucking some part of the shopping cart? It totally creeps me out, so disgusting!!! Maybe I’ll use your line about their hair falling out next time I catch them 😉

Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} 4 years ago

Wait … were you following me around Target today? 😉

I recently discovered that Target opens at 8am. This extra hour of shopping has seriously changed my life. I can get in and out before everyone else and their screaming kids are shopping, too. Sometimes, I can get there on the weekends before the kids are even out of their jammies. Before my husband knows what’s hit him, he’s home with three kids hungry for breakfast.

Whozat 4 years ago

And because they have a Starbucks. My 3-year-old looooves Target and its Starbucks. The baristas know her by name.

I took her in a free-standing Starbucks when she was 2, and she looked around and said “Target? Target? What kind of Target?!”

Neutronstar 4 years ago

My son is still small enough that when I stop talking to him and walk away, he’ll stop crying about the toy and cry instead about abandonment. That’s better, right?

Kate Coveny Hood 4 years ago

Oh my god…I’m the worst with the snacks. I think my children are now hard wired to expect to be handed a donut when they enter a grocery store. Target is no different.

This was hilarious.

Amanda D. 4 years ago

The meltdowns are the worst! Next time, just tell me you are planning an all-out brat fest when we leave for the store so I just get your bribe toy into the cart first thing. An embarrassed mom avoided!

rookiemum 4 years ago

You’re singing my song sistah! Only it’s Walmart, zellers, ( insert other store here) no matter where we go my 5 year old ( geezus she’s 5! I shouldn’t admit this) does this. Then my 10 yr old Dd pipes in. Then it’s a shit show and i go through all of this. Sigh. Remember Starbucks alone? Yeah me either.

Heather 4 years ago

I bought these fantastic things called Hold-On Handles. They have a huge carabiner clip that attaches to your cart, purse, or belt loop, and there is a handle at the other end that they can hold onto.

Arnebya 4 years ago

Neither of my girls EVER caused me to think twice about leaving the house with them in tow. Target? Not a problem. And then? Then came the boy. The boy at 2 has me squarely living #7. On repeat. But, he is smarter than the average kid and has applied all 7 steps to the grocery store too.

Mercy 4 years ago

Don’t have Target here but I think this applies to any store. I avoid shopping with my kids but if I have to do it, it is so stressful. My 4 year old loves to play in dressing rooms and pick up phones, and he will touch every computer in sight. The almost 3 year old wants to touch everything, and putting my 1 year old down is not an option if I want to make it out alive. Did I mention most stores here have tiny aisles and no carts?

amvo 4 years ago

Go to the store when they are a little hungry… Go straigt to the yoghurt or healthy snack isle and let him pick, then put him in the cart and let him eat while yo shop… Then pay the empty packeges along with the toilet paper and milk… No tears, no tauntrums, no negotiiations… 😉

Rennie 4 years ago

Fail-proof solution: 1) buy them an ICEE as soon as you walk in. 2) Tell them it’s a rule that kids have to ride in the cart as long as they are drinking ICEEs. 3) Threaten them that if they drink too fast, their brains will freeze. 4) Run like hell to get all of your stuff before the ICEE runs out. (note – the longer you do this, the better you will get a packing a cart with items around your kid. I’ve gotten a couple of hundred dollars worth in the cart w/ 2 6 year old.) Time this right, and you will be throwing the empty cups away as you walk out the door.

Mary 4 years ago

I have 2 kids this rarely happens. Cause the first couple of time it happened. They almost didn’t come out of there alive. The learned and the learned quick

Nikki 4 years ago

Soooo my life! I was in tears reading this !

Tanya 4 years ago

I’d squeeze in a stage, between 3 and 4 and call it “Reflection”. Reflection on what a nice time I could be having, had I left them at home. It’s a nice transition into the guilt stage.

Angie 4 years ago

Good point about our fellow shoppers – why do people stare when a child is crying? Do they think sending you dirty looks will make the tantrum stop? I’ve always wondered this. I try to give a sympathetic “I’ve been there” look if I can catch the mom’s eye. (If I could get away with it, I’d offer a co-conspiring fist bump or high five, but that might seem weird to some, so I refrain.).

Evy 4 years ago

So true! One of my daughters first words was target! This is NOT a lie! She would see that red circle and transform! She is now 5, with a little brother to plot against me with. So the target experience can not be more accurate than scarymom put it! And of course I always forget to buy what I came there for!

Mia 4 years ago

This is my life!!!!!

Claudia 4 years ago

By myself-LOVE Target. With the 2 year old hellion, not so much. And WHY for the love of God is he a perfect angel if he goes with his father??? “oh he was such a good boy with me, he sat in the cart and didn’t fuss at all” SUCK IT.

Anna 4 years ago

Target and toys?!? Pshaw! That’s nothing. Just left a sporting goods store with my 5 and 11 yr olds. Exchanging a pair of shoes and the 11 yr old developed attitude because I wouldn’t enter into negotiations with her over a $120 Patagonia jacket or a pair of $28 Nike shorts! Is she on crack?!?

KRISTI 4 years ago

I am so glad my kids are in school and I go to the store before I go to work. :) But yes I have these feelings too!

kalah 4 years ago

totally agree. last time we were there, suki removed socks and shoes in the middle of a main aisle and neva continued to yell “what are you doing mayor sparkles????!!!!!” they should hand out margaritas at the door to make it tolerable.

Alison@Mama Wants This 4 years ago

This pretty much sums up EVERY experience I have, taking the toddler out.

Callie 4 years ago

I live at Target for the same reason. I’m 35 weeks pregnant and am always looking for an excuse to get out of the house and kill a couple of hours before DS’s nap time. The mall is my second choice.

Kai 4 years ago

Truth indeed.

Missy 4 years ago

AND…does any go into Target to get ‘just a few things’ and end up spending like a gazillion dollars????? *sigh. I love Target too. :)

Lindsay 4 years ago

This is SO VERY true! I actually have a pretty funny shopping-at-Target-with-a-kid story – Went to pick out a greeting card at Target and had my then 3 year old in the back of the cart. I had pulled up to the greeting cards and had my back to her while I was looking at cards when I heard a woman laughing and then she said “oh that little girl reminds me of you when you were little!” I turned around and saw that my daughter was standing in the cart removing all of her clothing. I was horrified, and while I quickly redressed her I said to the woman “please tell me they grow out of it.” The woman laughed again, and pointed to her adult daughter (who I now noticed was very pregnant) and said “Not really!” :-)

Angie 4 years ago

This is eerily accurate, and this is why I love this website. I keep telling my husband we are not the only people whose kids mutate into toy-obsessed hellions the minute the big red circle comes into view… ahh…acceptance.

molly 4 years ago

Ha! I love it. This is why I stopped going to Target. Because I was always buying stuff for my kids to keep them happy!

Mark 4 years ago

Yep, that sounds about right!

Moomser 4 years ago

All I can say is that since there’s no target in Italy I seriously envy even the seven stages of target hell. Also, forgetting toilet paper is the best way to have to go back to target after your husband gets home in the evening. Alone. While sipping a coffee… or a cocktail… in a coffee cup.

Amanda 4 years ago

I refused to take my twins to a store of any kind by myself until they were three years old. They’re 7 now and fortunately, most of our shopping trips are not like that. I’d have a breakdown if they were.

Melanie Gaytan 4 years ago

Awesome! I think mine would just leave a trail behind them…

C @ Kid Things 4 years ago

But you forgot shock: “Holy sh*t, I spent how much? That can’t be right, can it? But I couldn’t have spent *that much* and forgot toilet paper, too?” Or is that just me?

Melanie Gaytan 4 years ago

We have the kid leashes bought from Target. It doesn’t help a damn bit if I have my 3 & 4 year old alone unless I tie the leash to the cart and don’t mind chasing the cart all over the store or having kids dragging behind the cart

Melanie Gaytan 4 years ago

Oh thank goodness it is not just me. My mom was just telling me how she used to do it all the time. Um, ok, but I sure as hell didn’t act like mine. Mine run away or do a song & dance for all the customers or try to work the register. They aren’t normal!

Helene 4 years ago

Have you been following me around Target? Because that’s pretty much what I go through when I have to drag my kids (all 4 of them) with me….not just Target but also Costco, Michaels, wherever.

I’m that mom you see in the parking lot threatening her kids, “We are only buying what is on my list. Nothing else. Don’t even ask because the answer will be no. If you have a tantrum, I will not hesitate for a minute to walk away from you and allow a total stranger to take you home with them.”

Ya think that works? Hell no.

Tara 4 years ago

Did all your kids have their own underwear on when you got there? If so, you are one up on me.
Signed, nanny who went to Target with one twin wearing 2 pairs of panties under her dress and the other twin wearing none.

JC Lamb 4 years ago

For us, Target is called, “the popcorn store.” Yes, I am aware that the popcorn is genetically modified crap coated with trans fats, but I don’t give a shit because it’s the only to get through target. We walk in, get the popcorn, pay our $1.08, and then the clock starts ticking. I have ten minutes of time with no complaining, ten more of mild complaining, and then after that begins the descent into shrieking, popcorn hurling, bag-shredding hell. Twenty minutes, we are in and out and buckled in. I take a moment in the front seat to savor a delusional moment of parental competence, and then we go to the park and run off all the wiggles that built up in the store. It works, ladies. It works every time.

Jen 4 years ago

Headed to Target today! Last time my toddler bit her lip (blood!) eating the yogurt melts she ripped off the shelf. It was actually pretty comical. I kept my cool and pretended no one was staring at me.

Heather 4 years ago

Oh I feel you! at 18 months the beast refuses to just sit in the cart anymore. He demands to walk. And walking means pulling EVERYTHING off the shelves. So I have to either put up with the screaming (and stares that accompany said screaming) and make it a fast trip or acknowledge that it will be hours of wandering around hunched over picking things up off the floor and putting them back on the shelves. Then I probably won’t end up with what it was that I actually wanted from the store and I’ll just send hubby to get it for 4 times as much at a local grocery store instead of for a decent price at Target.

Kelly 4 years ago

I am so thankful that my kids turned out to be good little shoppers. They don’t scream for toys or anything. I think I got lucky! lol!

Life with kaishon 4 years ago

Ha ha ha ha! This is perfect Jill.

Anonymous 4 years ago

With teenagers I have gone past this phase to NO just because we are at the store does not mean you need 5 new pairs of jeans and 3 new pairs of shoes.

However with the boyfriend this is a very true statement. I dread going to the store with him, I would rather put toothpicks under my fingernails.

Dora 4 years ago

I need a nap after Target and the 3 and 4 year old. Why don’t they want to nap after???!!! NOT FAIR! I love this post, all are true!

Alexis 4 years ago

I’m just jealous that you actually HAVE a Target. There is no Target in Vermont. Seriously, the entire freekin state has NO Target. We’re stuck with Walmart. Yucky Walmart.

My children like to punish me for taking them to Walmart by sucking on the grocery cart handle. I’m pretty sure that’s why they have that weird rash. It’s from Walmart. I keep telling them if they keep it up their hair will fall out too.

Jadzia@Toddlerisms 4 years ago

I actually used to hit Target at 9 o’clock at night. All to avoid having to take the kids there. It was a half-hour from our house too. And I would walk the aisles reeeeal slow.

jessica 4 years ago

I go through this any time I leave the house with my 8 year old son. Every time I tell him we are going to a store he starts asking for something. And every time I tell him no. 99% of the time at the store I tell him no. He starts with the crocodile tears and temper tantrum. Or thinking he can run the store like a mad man. So frustrating.

Jennifer 4 years ago

I hate taking my kids to the store. They always want stuff, and it is so much easier to just get in. Saturday Bud wanted goldfish, fruit snacks, cocoa puffs, and something else. Of course all of it had to ride in the front with him. He looked like a hoarder.

Amanda 4 years ago

Dang, I feel so lucky. My 1 year old just hangs out in the cart and my 3 year old is ok with not always getting something. Usually a trip out is fun for all of us. We try to make it a game. I usually end up making a fool out of myself but of I have to hop down the aisle to avoid my son throwing a fit…. So be it.

Nurki 4 years ago

For us Target is a must once a week – the kids will only eat pizza there (yes, it’s pizza hut, no, they will not eat it anywhere but Target).

Rebeccah 4 years ago

Hahaha…wicked girl.

Betsy 4 years ago

You are not kidding.

Rebeccah 4 years ago

You forgot the reasoning stage where you ask them if they have ever left the house before. They answer to the affirmative. Then you ask them what you said last time this happened. They look remorseful, one probably pulls a tear or two. Then you ask them why we have to do this again and does it make them happy? No real answer, more remorse, tears. Then you ask them if they think you are happy? Tears, remorse, I love yous, we’ll do better next time etc.
Click refresh screen. Go to Target. Same shit. Exactly the same shit.

nicole 4 years ago

Why do I go through the same stages when taking my husband there? We went for a bathmat. He spent nearly $350 bucks on home decor. I still didn’t have a bathmat when we left.

Katy 4 years ago


christina 4 years ago

I was a young mother, so whenever I went into Target, I always got “the stare.” I also have been cursed with a baby face so I look a lot younger than I am. I would go in there to get some time out of the house with my two kids, but all the stares would eventually lead to us leaving pretty early. I know I wasn’t the only teenage mother in that town, and I could have done without all the judgement. Other than that, the kids were well behaved while I shopped. All the bright, shiny things distracted them from tantrums.

Helen 4 years ago

Get the teddy bear back pack leashes, Mary, it will save your sanity!

Carrie 4 years ago

Bless the hearts of you women with well behaved kids. If I have my 2 year old with me at Target, it is at 8am when they open and she can scream and run free without anyone else around. She’s pretty much an angel at home but once we walk through those doors she wants everything she sees and lets the entire store know it.

And I always forget whatever it is that I went for. Even if I did write it down.

Carrie 4 years ago


I had that very same response to #7 when I left my ex.

Who was pretty much child-like himself.

Robbie 4 years ago

Love this! Of course I am always thinking up excuses to go to my happy place.

Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife 4 years ago

I’m lucky that my boys are still little – I just avoid the toy aisle. If my three year old asks for something I will say ok, ask daddy. By the way, my husband says he is a pain in the ass at the store. Wonder why?

Stephanie 4 years ago

That is EXACTLY what it’s like. Only most of the time it’s the 12 year old complaining, not the 2.5 year old. (.:

Mary 4 years ago

I’m about to head out to Target with my 3 and 4 year olds right now. I think the final stage is exhaustion. Neither of my kids will ride in the effing cart and I spend the entire trip trying to shop with one eye while making sure they aren’t being snatched by child molesters or shattering wine bottles with the other. Dammit, I used to love Target.

angi 4 years ago

There is no part of this that isn’t true.

Natasha Hudnall 4 years ago

Funny! I am lucky 1 child and he is 3 years old, and a perfect angel to take shopping……I dread when I feel ^that way about shopping :)

Erin 4 years ago

This must be because I only have a 2 year old… but Target is my refuge from Tearing the House Apart Hell. I sit around thinking of what I could possibly need at Target even though between my husband and I we’ve already been three times in any given week.