Today, while running a long errand at Kohl’s, I encountered a terribly ill-behaved child. He was trying to “ride” one of their little hand carts. They aren’t like grocery store shopping carts, so it was making a terrible noise and was probably marking the floor. His mom would occasionally call him to her, but he ignored her each time. He also through the sections being loud and annoying.
When I was almost done with all that I had to do, another child was nearby screaming and screeching. His mom just ignored him. When his big sister finally tried to do something to appease him, he hit her. Just as this was going on, idiot child #1 reappeared and was “shopping” the same rack that I was. I gave him a look that dared him to mess with the stuff I was trying to see. It’s my lifeguard look from back in the day…and a talent I inherited from my teacher-parents. He got the message.
At checkout, I told the woman at the register that I didn’t know how they did it every day. She said she was glad that part of her life was over and I chimed in with “every day I’m glad we skipped that chapter in life.” At the end, she asked me to take a survey on the store’s customer service. I told her I’d be happy to and that I’d suggest one ChildFree shopping hour per month. She didn’t seem amused. I explained that I’d spend more if I could stand to be in the store a little longer.
Now, I know that people don’t have anywhere to put their kids when they run errands. It’s not necessarily something they can just hire a baby sitter for. What I don’t get is how anyone can “shop” for “fun” with an audibly upset or disruptively bored child in tow. I remember how boring shopping was as a kid. Even if they clothes and shoes were for me, it was a chore that took much too long. Finally, I do not understand why kids aren’t expected to behave in public spaces. If I had acted like either one of these kids, I’d have been in big trouble.
So, on the way out the door, I had zero problem disciplining child #1. He was far too old to be chewing on the handle of the hand cart they had been using. He was away from his mom, “putting it away”. I gave him a direct look and told him in a very stern voice, “Don’t do that; it’s gross!” He looked shocked that a stranger would dare to cross him. I walked out mumbling “it takes a village….yeah, it takes an entire village to raise that one idiot.”
There is a reason the grocery stores have wipes for the shopping carts. I think I’m just going to lug a gallon of Lysol spray with me when I have to go any place with those kinds of kids.