Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stepford Shoppers

I'm sorry, but has the world of parenting gone crazy lately?

I was in my happy place, Target, this morning, and was sharing the aisles with moms and their loud, demanding kids.  Now, you would hope to hear loud-er moms in response, threatening the old time-out "when we get home, Buster," or removing just-acquired treats from the little monsters' grips.  Instead, here is an accounting of what I heard/saw:

A young mom, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she was in public, happily shrieking a strange lullaby that anyone who had not yet had enough coffee just would not appreciate hearing.  The lullaby had to do with a worm, an apple, and a hill of some sort.  The kid in the cart was beyond bored, and rolling his eyes directly at her (you couldn't blame him - everyone knows worms hate climbing hills; they have no feet.)  I tried to harmonize when she went by, as by this time I knew all the words, but the kid stuck his tongue out at me, rendering me speechless.  I should have done us all a favor and issued a Citizen's Time-Out (similar to a Citizen's Arrest).

The next issue was a mom with a child who was asking her mother over and over again if they could get a pink daisy backpack of some sort before they left the store.  Now, the deferential, sort-of-pleading mom, oblivious to anything but her child's needs (even though, as she patiently explained, a backpack was not in the budget,) rolled over my actual toe with her cart as they went by.  That's right, rolled right over my toe.  Grunting in pain, I backed away, deftly manoevering my cart as I retreated, and they both turned to look at me.  "I'm okay," I mumbled, limping over to grasp on to a rack of bland canvas artwork behind me.  They both stared for a moment, seemingly dazed, and then proceeded on.  Remember the last scene from The Stepford Wives, where the robot-women are out shopping?  Well, in 2010, it's teams of robots - parent-child robots who are taking over my Target before I've had coffee.

Don't mess with my Target, kids.  I'm begging here.


  1. I think I've seen that singing woman at Market Basket but at least when I go there I expect it to be a crazy place !! Target really!! Are there no safe havens anymore ?? MJ

  2. Great. LOL over your article and MJ's comment!

  3. OMG HAHAHAHAHHA....Sometimes I feel like I am the only mother correcting (threatening) my kids. I really think I am.