Moms love Target. The Internet proves that, as do our credit card statements. We write status updates, create memes, and write articles about our adoration for Target and its array of miraculous products. Target is even a hot topic of conversation during our rare girls’ nights out.
I am no exception. Where else can I get every single thing I need for managing my household in one place and manage to pick up a cute, affordable pair of ballet flats that I don’t need but am completely in love with, all at the same time? Target’s allure is simply magical, and getting to go there alone? Well, that’s almost akin to a weekend retreat in Jamaica.
Most of the time, though, we moms have to take the kids with us to Target, and most of the time this is at least … tolerable. As long as we can avoid the one thing every mother dreads, the only thing we honestly hate about Target: the restroom.
Going to the Target restroom with kids is one of life’s most dreaded activities. I try to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go. What could possibly be so bad? Can’t you just get in and out and carry on? Umm, no.
To bring light to my suffering, here are the 19 stages of going to the Target restroom with kids …
- Do you have to pee? Maybe not. Wait, yes. There is the unmistakable twinge of your full bladder. Maybe you can hold it.
- Look! Porcelain deer antlers! How cute would these look over a window box of plastic succulents? We definitely need these coral and gray chevron throw pillows. Oh, wow. You really have to pee. IGNORE IT.
- Why must they put a Starbucks in the entry to every Target? Why did you fall prey to the wiles of marketing and buy a venti iced green tea butterscotch latte?
- The denial stage kicks in further as you ignore your body’s increasingly more urgent signals and continue to peruse $40 Smith & Hawken dried flower wreaths and wonder if $40 is way too much or actually totally affordable.
- Realize that, fantastic, you now also have to poop and that there’s no way you can get the rest of the items you need, make it through checkout, strap the kids in their carseats, and drive home in rush hour traffic without crapping your pants.
- Carefully maneuver your enormous cart through the store, while your kids precariously reach out and try to grab every single thing you pass.
- Try to “release a little of the pressure” thinking you can easily blame it on the kids, when naturally they begin to sing “Mommy has to poop!” at the top of their lungs.
- Your kids demand to use the family bathroom. It is locked. It is always locked. When people go in there they never come out — it’s like a wormhole to Narnia.
- Abandon the cart outside the door and hope for the best. You see an old lady eyeing it from The Dollar Section. If she steals anything out of it, so help you …
- Enter the restroom and notice a weird smell. The kids instantly start freaking out about the smell. Growl through gritted teeth, “IT IS A BATHROOM. IT SMELLS.”
- Shuffle your entire family into the stall with you. You now have to go so badly that you are in a cold sweat. There is pee all over the seat. Try to put the paper cover thing on the seat as it repeatedly blows off while the automatic toilet decides to flush itself uncontrollably.
- Beg the kids to try to go to the bathroom while they are in there, and they all steadfastly insist they do not need to go, not even a little bit. “JUST TRY!” you plead. Nope.
- Finally! Relief! But the kids are all over the place. You yearn for one of those harnesses that strap children to the walls of bathroom stalls, which you once found barbaric, but now think are genius.
- Your daughter seems to delight in saying embarrassing things. Great, you just got your period too and she is shouting to the entire store that “MOMMY IS BLEEDING!!!” You are mortified, and also pooping.
- The children have successfully liberated themselves from the confines of your bathroom stall and are taking advantage of your being temporarily incapacitated by stuffing paper towels in the toilets of the empty stalls.
- One or more of your offspring will freak the hell out over the very loud hand dryer and try to escape the bathroom in sheer, blind terror.
- You try to wipe and pull your pants up as quickly as possible, and suddenly you understand why your mom always wore elastic-waist polyester slacks. What were you thinking buying button-fly jeans?? Vow to immediately get yourself five new pairs of yoga pants and wear nothing else ever again.
- The children have touched, licked, and basically rolled on every available bathroom surface. Everyone needs a Silkwood shower in Purell.
- You finally get out of the restroom with everyone’s hands washed and all the kids back into the cart, when suddenly you hear, “MOMMY? I need to go pee-pee.”