Smile Politely

Hitting the Target

After multiple trips to grocery stores over the weekend, I completely spaced the kindergartener’s snack day responsibility and was forced to make an emergency run to Target. Yes, Schnuck’s and County Market are much closer to my house, but if I have to go buy Goldfish for 24 random, snot-nosed punks, I’m gonna get a little something for my trouble — this time it manifested itself in the form of an adorable little black and white skirt.

Casually, the kids and I made our way to the snack section — aisle G32 to be exact. G32, for those unfamiliar, is right next to the patio furniture area in the back corner of the store. Mid-snack-selection, the four-year-old in the cart forcefully announces, while placing his hand on his crack, “I need to go poops!” Immediately, I orient myself to the location of Target’s potties. You’ve got to be kidding me. They couldn’t be farther away — right by the front door. Ok. We got this, I say in my most convincing voice.

Our cart is facing the wrong direction, so I speed northbound in G32 before pulling a U-turn and heading south in the next aisle. Two women occupying G31 scatter like roaches, throwing their carts into the shelves while The Poop Crew rushes by. They both heard the child’s announcement moments earlier, and accommodated us with grace, for which I thanked them.

Wearing my purple footless tights and the sensible shoes for which I’m known — this pair is worth a pause in the narrative — they are adorable, black, open-toed, wedges with tiny little zippers up the back — we sprint westbound on the main thoroughfare before turning southbound again and bee-lining it past the check-out lanes. My six-year-old, running beside the cart, helps clear our path with his impression of a police siren. Whizzing by the slow drivers, we slam into the front of the café, and I rip the diarrhetic child from the cart. Running toward the bathroom, I can smell victory.

Then I see it — an industrial sized garbage can with a gigantic yellow sign straddling its top — CLOSED FOR CLEANING. The bin completely blocks the door. We all panic for a moment. I consider busting into the men’s room, but devise another plan. I shout, while moving the trashcan out of our way, “We have an emergency here! We’re coming in!” A nice man adorned with a Swiffer obliges our plea, and ushers us into the big stall. We made it. Barely. But that’s what counts.

Afterward, I likened our experience to Clark Griswold and his family heading to Wally World. They desperately make their way across the country only to find out, “Sorry folks. Park’s closed. Moose out front should have told you.” I pulled a Clark here. Unfortunately, our reward, Target’s toilet, wasn’t quite as thrilling as a day filled with roller coaster rides. Although, we were celebrating pretty hard as we calmly headed back to G32 donning imaginary crowns and medals.

And the parent of the year award goes to…

I sacrificed my dignity and made a trip to Party City this week, preparing for Saturday’s big birthday bash. To make it worth my while, the kids and I first pushed a cart through the liquor store where we dropped a hundo like it was our job. A trunk full of booze made picking out crap for the goody bags slightly less irritating.

My girlfriend’s six-year-old has been learning about religious figures from a friend at school. He asked his mom about God and Jesus Christ: “If they’re so good, why are their names so bad?”

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