Lessons learned at Target

Everyday is filled with learning opportunities when you have kids, both for them and us as parents. I’m constantly amazed at how much their little brains take in and process, and I am regularly surprised by some new skill or ability that one of my kids has mastered. For example, for the past week, I’ve been singing our address to Declan when we pull on our street. Now you can ask him where he lives, and he sings it right back. Cute!

Today at Target, I learned somethings from my kids, and from another customer’s kid. Let me pass my knowledge on!

The first thing I learned wasn’t new to me, but it was something that Declan had introduced me to and Simon reaffirmed this afternoon.

When one of your kids — be they potty trained or in diapers — has to pee/blows out a diaper, it will happen at the farthest point from the nearest bathroom. Guaranteed. Declan has taught me this a couple of times. The first time was a few months ago, we were fresh into potty training, so I was a nervous wreck to be out with him in underwear. As soon as we had arrived, I asked him if he needed to go. “No,” he said. “Are you sure?” “Yes! I don’t need to go potty!”

Fast forward 20 minutes and us standing at the far aisle of the grocery department. “MOMMMYINEEDTOGOPOTTY!!!!!!!”

SHIT! Let’s go!

So off we start, hauling ass through the store, Simon barely hanging on in the buggy as we take corners at 40 MPH, and Declan stopping every 3 aisles to look at something. Of course, my buggy is full, so there’s no where for him to sit, so finally I grab all 40lbs of him, throw him over my shoulder and push the cart with one hand, hoping to God Simon doesn’t go face first on the floor as his infant carrier gets knocked by some poor bystander I run over. Luckily, we made it. I finish my shopping trip panting, red-faced and out of breath, but no one is covered in urine. Score. Lesson learned. Always make him go before we leave or as soon as we arrive.

But I, of course, forgot that lesson, and a few weeks later when we were much more comfortable with Outings in Undies. So there I am in the kids’ clothing section, picking out just a few PJ sets for Simon, so Declan wasn’t contained in the cart (this is rarely a good idea, as you will see later) as it was a short trip. Next thing I know, Declan says “MOMMYIGOTTAGOPOTTY!!!”  as he does. But this time, there was no time to grab him like a sack of potatoes. He just let the stream loose right there on his shoes.

And we left.

Yea, I’m not proud of that, but I was so flustered and freaked out that I just grabbed him and ran. Sorry, Target carpet cleaners.

So now we’ve mastered Declan’s public bathroom habits, Simon has to step up his game.  It is almost a guarantee that if he needs to blow out a diaper, he will wait until A) we are out of the house and B) are, again, at the farthest point from the bathroom. Luckily, his mess is somewhat contained, but why can’t it happen at home? Or in the car on the way? Or right when we walk in? Nope, today it had to happen as we are rounding the corner in the last aisle of the grocery section. I want so bad to finish my shopping trip, but I know that’s not fair to him or his outfit. So off we return to the front of the store, only to head back to the back and then back to the front again. That has to count as exercise, right?

Another interesting fact I learned today is how Declan’s vocabulary has grown. While we were perusing the granola bars, looking like the picture of cute family life, me with my cute little boys happily chattering away, a sweet little old lady, looking like she came straight from her Baptist church meeting, pulled her buggy up behind mine. She smiled at my little boys and I gave her that knowing smile, the one that says “I know, they are so great, aren’t they? So blessed…” and as I walk over to grab some chocolate chip granola bars, I hear my precious 3 year old say something… strange…

“What did you say?”


“What? What DID YOU SAY?”


I looked up helplessly at Ms. Southern Baptist Convention hoping she didn’t hear. But just to make sure she did, Declan repeated it again.


I looked at her with a look that I hoped would convey “OMG, whose horrible kid is this?? Not mine!” but the fact that I had already claimed them with my smugness a few seconds before gave me away.

Then I tried to play innocent.

“Where on EARTH did you hear that?? WHERE could he have heard that??!” I said in a voice that sounded nothing like my own, looking at this woman that clearly couldn’t give a shit that my kid just cussed in Target. But she was a witness to this crime and I was trying to convince her I wasn’t guilty.

She just laughed and said “They only have to hear it once!” and walked away. I wanted to yell “Yes! He heard it once! From TV! Not my TV! We don’t have TV! He was kidnapped and his kidnappers taught him!” but she was busy with her cereal selection. I hung my head in shame and slunk off to the baby section, where I hoped to find other bad moms hanging out, watching their kids smoke and get in fights.

When I got there, I didn’t find any smoking toddlers, but I did witness another woman’s “bad mom” moment. As soon as we were parked to scope out the baby food selection, I hear a woman yell “JACKSON?” and see 2 adult women and an older teenaged guy standing together. They began splitting up and they all were yelling for Jackson. The mom was clearly getting very panicked, and yelled down to some workers “MY SON! HE’S 2 AND WE CAN’T FIND HIM!” and the grandma and older boy were frantically running around the men’s section screaming for Jackson. Finally, the teen boy stooped down and appeared with a red-faced toddler, who had been hiding under a shelf the whole time. The  mom came running over and I know she was torn between beating the ever-living daylights out of him and hugging him to death. She chose to hug him and her relief was obvious.

Three adults amount to nothing when a toddler puts his mind to something. THREE ADULTS lost 1 child in a small section of a store. Lesson learned: don’t ever underestimate the little ones. Ever.



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4 responses to “Lessons learned at Target

  1. Becky Henson

    this is the funniest thing I have ever read!! You have got to send this blog to magazines or newspapers! I know that he has NEVER heard that word from his BeBe!!!

  2. Misty Welch

    HAHAhaha! Love it! It’s so easy to relate to such honesty!

  3. Found you on Blogstar! Gotta say I love this one! 🙂

  4. I too found you on Blogstar – this post cracked me right up! Can’t wait to read more.

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