Losing My Sh*t At Target

Losing My Sh*t At Target

I’m not going to lie, I dislike going to Target with my kids. The moment my 3-year-old steps through those automatic doors it’s like she’s entered an alternate universe where the rules no longer apply. SHE. MUST. TOUCH. EVERYTHING. Things she has absolutely no interest in at home suddenly become fascinating to her – like bananas. She’s never once reached for a banana in our house, but as soon as we get to Target, she acts like she’s never seen one up close before.

So whenever we go shopping, I either leave my daughter at home or strap her into a cart. Except for today. Today, she was so well-behaved and sweet (manipulative), I decided to take her with me. I even gave in to her request to walk. (She asked so nicely, guys!) To be on the safe side, I held her hand and moved at a brisk pace. I had a list, and dammit, I was going to stick to it. We made it past the dollar bins and the shoes without having to stop. We even made it past the art supplies.

What the Fuck Just Happened? 

Everything was going great until I paused, just for a minute, to look at a sweater. My back was turned for, like, five seconds.  That’s it. Five seconds and she’s gone. I scan the immediate area. No sign of her. I begin to walk, quickly, up and down the aisles. I’m not panicking – not yet. She’s done this before. Normally I’ll find her just around the corner, hiding in plain sight with a self-satisfied grin on her face. But this time is different. This time, she’s not down the next aisle, or the next, or the one after that. All of the sudden I can remember every episode of “Law & Order” I’ve ever seen involving child abduction.

Any semblance of composure I had when we entered the store is gone. I start running down aisles yelling my daughter’s name. The first store associate I see, I grab by the arm. She’s young, and by the look on her face, terrified. I want to be calm. I want to say something like, “Please help, I’ve lost my daughter.” But what I really say is, “THIS STORE NEEDS TO GO ON LOCKDOWN RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!!!!!!”

This poor Target employee who is probably thinking, I don’t make enough money to put up with this shit, takes a step back like she’s afraid I’m going to attack her. That’s when I feel a tap on my shoulder. It’s a woman pushing a shopping cart with a toddler and small child. She looks like me, except dignified, and her children are both standing patiently beside her cart, not missing like mine. “Is that your little girl?” The woman points to a display of clothes not far from where we’re standing. I follow her finger. There’s my daughter, or at least, there are my daughter’s feet. Behind a row of women’s jeans is the rest of her. And just above her head, a T-shirt clearly designed by someone who doesn’t have kids, telling me to have NO WORRIES.

 

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