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7 Places Not to Take Your Toddler If You Want to Keep Your Sanity

Toddlers. They are, how do I say it? Busy. They are non-stop with endless amounts of energy. Though I’m all for being a flexible parent and taking my toddler with me to most places, there are some places that I find are just a recipe for disaster. I try to avoid these places as much as possible, so that I can avoid a meltdown from my toddler, as well as from myself.  Here are 7 of them.

Sephora or Any Other Cosmetics Store 1 of 7
Sephora is one of my favorite stores. I can spend hours there testing out sparkly eye shadows, creme blushes and skin care products. Or I could. Until I had a toddler. Who wants to do the same. The store is full of brightly colored, scrumptious looking makeup. And most of it is set out right at her height. The last time I tried to visit the store, my toddler wriggled so hard to get out of my arms that she kicked me in the ribs. As I doubled over in reaction to the pain, she hopped out of my arms and proceeded to go down the line of Nars eye shadows, manically swiping each color with her finger and painting it onto her face. Then, as we turned the corner, she grabbed a handful of mascara wands and ran out of the store as quickly as she could to get away with her loot. In the future, I'll know better. I'll either go when she's sleeping in her stroller, which seems to be never, or I'll go ALONE.
A Formal Dinner Party 2 of 7
It's kind of your friend, who is hosting a formal dinner party to which you're invited, to say to you, "Go ahead and bring your little one." You think about how you wouldn't have to pay a babysitter. You think about how it would be nice for your friends to see your daughter. Then you think about the possibility that you will end up eating in the kitchen with said little one after you've removed her from the high chair at the dining table when she had a melt down after 8.3 minutes.
Gas Station Stores 3 of 7
Take a toddler into a gas station and she'll want to touch, hold, have everything from packs of Starbursts to trial-size toothpaste, to five-hour energy shots. She'll be pulled by the tractor beam coming from the postcard rounder. And she'll obsess over the Styrofoam cups at the fountain drink/coffee station where a new one pops out of the hole every time you take one. In the midst of a long road trip, it's often tough to avoid taking your little one in to change a diaper or have a break from the car. And because they've been cooped up for hours, they are more grab happy than usual. And you're more a sucker than usual. If you're like me, you may give in to buying her something she really shouldn't have or doesn't need. Like Funyuns. Or a fluorescent koozie.
A Candy Store 4 of 7
You could take your toddler into a candy store. You could also shoot yourself in the foot.
Any Restaurant Where You Can Hear the Other Diners' Conversations 5 of 7
When the restaurant is quiet enough and calm enough that you can actually make out the words that people sitting at tables across the room are saying, it's probably not the ideal spot to take a picky, short attention-spanned toddler. I don't know about you, but I need a spot with lots of lively hubbub to divert attention from the mess under her high chair, a noisy place to mask my daughter's squeals and screams, and noisy enough that I can't hear potential judgey comments about my screaming child from the other diners.
Hardware Store 6 of 7
Access to hammers to bang on any visible surface, which inevitably ends with it smashing down on a little hand or fingers? Open bins of nails? Nuts and bolts to shove up tiny nostrils? All this and more while you try to get a can of paint mixed? NO, THANK YOU.
Your Friend's Dramatic Play Debut 7 of 7
Don't take your toddler to a play... or any theater production that doesn't involve singing and dancing animals or Disney characters on ice skates, and requires members of the audience to not yell, "NO MOMMY," and to not escape from their seat and run down the aisle in the middle of the performance.
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