Wednesday, December 22, 2010

There's Something About Target...

I have a thing for Target. Besides the fact that they have bulk sizes of Sharpies and kid gloves and scarves for ONE DOLLAR - which is awesome because then I don't lose my ever lovin' mind when one of the IHPs lose one forty-five minutes after they put them on - it's also becoming increasingly clear that magical things happen in Target.



Last week I was in Lansing, Michigan. [Editor's Note: Dear Michigan, Thank you for welcoming me to your state by stringing together the coldest. days. in. the. history. of. ever. I think I actually forgot how to breathe when I walked outside. My lungs are still thawing. - Kate] Well, I was in Lansing for about a half hour, but you had a Target and I was in a hurry and, apparently, incapable of traveling without forgetting something important which necessitates an unscheduled stop.

I was in the office supply aisle -- which, coincidentally, led to the bulk Sharpie discovery -- and overheard this: "OK. Stop dancing around. What's on the next card?"

And I was like, "Whoa. Is there a dance contest happening in Target? Because I'm so ready to tap-off."

Across the aisle was this adorable little girl whose main job, I think, was to spin. Constantly. I don't know how she didn't fall down. I just stared at her. And her brother was sort of dodging and weaving around this little human top to capture a small, white index card in his mother's hand. I immediately named them Edward and Catherine (no, not Cullen... the one who was King for about seventeeen minutes. You know, because royalty is always in Target. Not sure what I'm talking about? Here. ) I don't know if Catherine was deliberately spinning in a way to block her brother, or if centrifugal force was at play here, but I don't think the defensive line for the Cowboys could have gotten past her. She was like a pirouetting Brandenburg Gate.

Mom finally planted her hand on her daughter's head and handed an index card to each of them. They both squealed and zipped off down the aisles, and ten seconds later they were yelling, "FOUND IT!" and coming back with their discoveries. He had Windex. She had band-aids. They were announcing what they had to their mom and she was thanking them and praising them and then handing them another card. Which set Catherine off on another flurry of squealing and spinning and dashing off for treasure. Edward stayed.

Edward: I don't know this one.
Mom: What does it spell? [runs her hand over the card]
Edward: C-A-S-C-A-D-E. It's a green box.
Mom: What else do you see on the box?
Edward: Dishes.
Mom: Good. So what is your guess.
Edward: Soap?
Mom: Close. Let's go look.

And then she turned around and sort of looked through me like didn't-I-have-something-to-do-besides-stare-at-her-family? I don't know how long I hadn't moved. Part of it was the fun of it all. The spinning and the squealing and the not hurrying. And the index cards! Because that is soooo much cooler than my list because it had pictures and the kids could help and play Treasure Hunt and why didn't I think of this? 

Then Catherine came back with a box of detergent as big as her and yelled out, "MOM! Move your cane. I can't get the box in." She reached into the cart and pulled out a long white walking stick.

Huh?

By then the kids were trying to heave the detergent box into the cart and as any mom knows, there's that split second right before a big mess happens that you could have prevented it. I jumped in. I might have yelled something like, "I got it!" but it wasn't like she needed any warning. Because despite my love and skill for walking in heels, I am the loudest walker on the planet. I sound like a furkin' Clydesdale. Even carpet can't save me. Forget any sneaking up on anyone. Ever. I might as well wear a bell. But you'd never hear it. Because of all the STOMPING. I even tiptoe loud. It sucks.

Anyway, I clomp over there and catch this box just as it's about to splat all over the place. Catherine spun out of the way and settled herself right behind her mom's knees.

Me: There you go, dude.
Mom: [to me] Thank you. [to son] Say thank you, Edward.
Edward: Thank you.
Me: You're welcome. [to mom] I'm sorry. I'm know I'm going to sound incredibly nosy. But how do you -? I mean, my kids act like crack addicts when they come here and ask for everything. Yours are awesome.
Mom: [laughed] Well, I do cloak myself in sympathy. And say things like, 'I'm so glad I can't see how badly you're behaving.' It's so wrong. But [runs hands around herself like she's touching an imaginary cape] Cloak Of Sympathy.
Edward: We can only get what we have cards for.

And he handed me one. It was a little index card with a picture of Tide or whatever, and then word T-I-D-E and then all the little Braille dots that I assume said Tide. I looked down at him and said, "This is pretty cool."

Edward: And, she counts everything in the cart.

By this point, Catherine had resumed playing Treasure Hunt and was given another card, and sent to go find its match. Mom reached in the cart, felt around and told her son the detergent was maybe too big and heavy to walk home with and they probably needed to get a smaller box.


Edward led his mom to the detergent aisle. Together they put the box back on the shelf and then she knelt down and they talked about what box might be the best choice for their walk home. Catherine came back with shampoo held over her head, yelled "SHAMPOO!" tossed it in the cart, and got a snuggle and a kiss from her mom.

I should have walked away at this point and let them be. I reminded myself that I was in a hurry. Sheesh. I'm always in a hurry. Rush here, go there, clock, timers, lists and my constant announcements of there being "no time!" ever for anything. Whose fault is that? One word: Mine.

I never slow down. I'm pretty sure I've never snuggled anyone in Target. I think I was missing the part of life that happens when you stop, kneel down on the ground, wrap your arm around your son and talk about detergents.

I walked back over. Apologized for being all intrusive - again - and said, "I just really want to say thank you. I'd forgotten to enjoy mine the way you do. I'd forgotten that look they have that just melts your heart. The way they've looked at you."

Mom: "Oh, what I'd give to see that look. I've felt it. Never seen it."
Me: "It's a great look. But it's a better feeling."

Yesterday, we went to Target. I took all the IHPs with me. And, for the first time, we didn't rush. And we had a list. And coupons with pictures. And they went on a Treasure Hunt. And of course they asked for other stuff that wasn't on the list.

But I think they maybe liked the snuggles best.

Who knew you could find snuggles in Target? As it turns out, they're in the detergent aisle.

xoxo, Kate

And, to Catherine and Edward's mom in Lansing, Michigan -- Thank You. Thank you for the best Christmas present ever.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

88 comments:

  1. OMG could you make me water any harder tonight?? This is one of the greatest posts I have ever read. Thank you for spreading it, and giving me a wonderful Christmas gift as well...the reminder to slow down these next couple days and just ENJOY my girls.
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is by far thee best story I have heard in a while! Lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG I BREATHED THE SAME AIR THAT KATE BREATHED!!

    No, I'm not Edward and Cathrine's mother...BUT I LIVE IN LANSING and am intimately familiar with all her Targets.

    You're welcome, btw...for the cold. But really, this is warm for December...the windchill factor wasn't even below zero.

    *mutters about wusses from Texas via DC*

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent - just wonderful!!

    I'll be saving the idea of the index cards for when my boys are a bit older, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i have stalked this blog for quite awhile, but never have i posted a response. you ladies never cease to make me laugh with all of your observations on life as a wife & mother. however, today i did not laugh at all; in fact, i teared up- funny how the first time i didn't laugh was also the first time i felt i NEEDED to respond. thank you for sharing this story, and reminding each and every one of us who are lucky enough to call themselves 'mommy' to stop & 'feel' that oh-so-special look. and a great many thanks to that amazing michigan mommy, for reminding us what we've been missing by just seeing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful - I think I lost the Christmas Spirit this week but look there it is, you found it and gave it back..... Merry Christmas Kate, you are Orsum!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's probably the pregnancy hormones. But this really made me cry. I visit your blog to save my sanity every day. I thought laughter was better than booze (and of course, more socially acceptable while expecting). But who knew you could compose a tear-jerker, Kate? Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well-I'm all teary. Happy Christmas to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fiona from AustraliaDecember 22, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    MMMM your post just gave me the best warm fuzzie :)
    I may try that with my 2 little "Darlings" - treasure hunt - great idea :)

    but P.S by future king did u mean of England, as in William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton??? just asking.....

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh. My. Word. What a fantastic post. I'll never go to Target again without getting snuggles.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, usually I'm crying from laughing so hard, but the sun's not even up and I'm all tear-y. What a great experience and great idea for making shopping interactive and fun. Totally stealing it! She was your "Tiny Tim."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kate, I live in Northern Michigan...and boy do we get COLD. ha Sorry you were frozen during your stay, but I have to say...this brought beautiful tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. This is the best message for all of us this time of year. Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am tearfully eating breakfast after reading this. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ok, that one brought tears to my eyes. We always need to remember to cherish the time with out kids because we don't know what we've got until we've lost it. Great post, Kate!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, who knew I'd be in tears over a story about Target. That was beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. you're not supposed to make me cry!!!! awesome story. awesome reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yep, got me all teary eyed as well. My kidlings are a bit young to go tromping off alone in Target (Hell, one doesn't even crawl yet), but I am remembering this one. I may even start making up index cards (but after the holidays and after we move) so they can point the stuff out while safely in the cart. Love Love love this. Thanks for making what started out as a crappy day (the non-crawler decided to not sleep AT ALL for the second night in a row), a much better one. Screw Target, I'm gonna get my snugglies in right now!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you so much. It's nice to be reminded to Slow Down. I'm crazy guilty of running around like a crazed lunatic all the time. It's time to slow down and savor the sweet moments.

    ReplyDelete
  19. So now I have to do that. Have us a Treasure Hunt at Walmart (we don't have Target here, more's the pity)

    What an AWESOME story...thank you for sharing that!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, I'm all teary-eyed! What a great reminder for all of us "too-busy" Moms to take a few moments and enjoy our children, even during the most mundane tasks like shopping! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you so much for sharing this moment with us. This is yet another reason why I love the internet, you have taken a moment, a lesson, that happened thousands of miles away from me and wouldn't know about and posted it here so I too can learn from this. What an amazing lesson to learn especially at this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for the beautiful post. Although not a native, I, too, live in MI...not too far from Lansing. And I must disagree that Michigan was cold last week...because it would have had to warm up in order to be considered merely cold.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love the way you two tell tales (though sometimes they are a bit too biting for me), but I just had to tell you- this was one of the best posts I have read in your blog. I love it when God gives us something wonderful like that to remind us to slow down and enjoy the life He gave us! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you so much for the beautiful post. I will be be snuggling my kids in the detergent aisle at Target today.

    And index cards. G E N I U S.

    We live in Michigan. It is cold. Always.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kate, every time you go anywhere (especially Target, apparently) you make me cry. Cut it out! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Absolutely beautiful! I hope that mom from Michigan catches your post and can see how much Christmas spirit and joy she spread just by being the amazing mom that she is!

    ReplyDelete
  27. All I can say is Thank you. You rock.

    ReplyDelete
  28. OMG! I don't even have kids, yet, but this makes me teary. And reminds me that I need to slow down too! Kate's BEST stories come from Target....and the library! Merry merry everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  29. amazing!!!

    ::tears welling up and spilling over::

    It's too easy to forget to be thankful for the little things. This makes me wnt to slow down and enjoy my kids more today. Thanks for sharing!!

    (And I am totally thinking index card lists are the way to go....we may be trying this out!!)

    ReplyDelete
  30. That is awesome!!! I love that you didn't just think "that would be a good idea" you did it! And FYI as another LOUD walker, I loved that part!! The thought of me trying to sneak up on anyone makes my husband burst into laughter! I've never heard "Oh I didn't hear you coming!" directed at me!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. oh my gawd so nice! that got me all weepy like. my 5yr old son asked me why i was crying. i said b/c of mommyland. he shook his head and walked away.

    ReplyDelete
  32. OMG crying at my desk at work. And I'm in the Detroit area, so I totally hear ya on the cold Michigan weather. It's been a bit of a snitch lately.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiful post. Bawling into my coffee is a great way to see Christmas-y and I needed that.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Maybe it's due to having PMS for the first time since being pregnant but this post made me all teary.

    And how cool is that method of shopping!? I want to do it too. And not just with my kid, I think I need the pictures for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  35. thank you for sharing this! merry christmas :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you for sharing this, Kate. Beautiful, just beautiful!

    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I just stopped to read this post as a break from vacuuming and mopping the floors and now I am sitting here crying my eyes out... it feels good, though. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  38. ... the feeling is the best... but I'm absolutely grateful to catch the looks too. Thank you. I really needed this reminder today. *goes off to snuggle a rugrat*

    ReplyDelete
  39. As I sit her crying...I just want to thank you for reminding me to take time out and enjoy my kids.

    ReplyDelete
  40. OMG! You were in Lansing and you didn't TELL me? Ilive in Lansing! I know the Target!

    And it totally wasn't cold. My kids didn't even want to zip their coats.

    I think we should put some kind of GPS tracker on you two so we can find you when you're in our towns. Sigh.

    --kate in Michigan

    ReplyDelete
  41. Mommies all over will be sending their kiddos off on Target Treasure Hunts! And then we can just nod and smile knowingly that we are RFML groupies! ;-) And then meet in the T-box aisle. Thank you Kate and mom from MI for a beautiful reminder this time of year, and always, to appreciate the little things...your children. Love love LOVE you ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  42. What an amazing story, and a great lesson, I too forget to stop and snuggle my girls. Merry Christmas to you all!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I needed this today. My daughter had an allergic reaction this weekend and I got NOTHING done. She can't go back to school yet so I have been freaking out about how am I going to get all this done. You just gave me my answer. We're going to prioritize and she is going to help me get it all done, and we're going to have fun doing it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dang you KATE! Again with making me cry over Target!!!

    XOXO

    ML

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sniffle. What a lovely experience, and thank you so much for sharing with all of us who need this "slow down" reminder. And I totally will try this index card Target Treasure Hunt, and then meet up with other moms at the t-box aisle or at the starbucks and wait for the hunters to bring in their loot! My 11 year old loves to "split the list and meet in the middle", and all too soon my twenty month old twins will be doing the same thing...maybe this time with pictures! Thanks for the lovely post, gals. Happiest of Christmases to you!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Posts like this make me so happy and grateful to be alive. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  47. BEST post EVER! THANK YOU SO MUCH for reminding me to slow down and enjoy my son while he is still young! Life is far too short to be in such a hurry-and because of you ladies and this reminder of how precious each moment is-I VOW to slow down, take my time and find those snuggles in the detergent aisle!

    Lauri Jo, Florida

    ReplyDelete
  48. Great message. Thanks to that lovely family in Michigan for finding the fun in the mundane!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I heart this post and I heart the universe for placing you in Target at that place and time! Target is to me what Tiffany & Co. was to Holly Golightly - nothing bad can ever happen to you there. I actually went to Target on the afternoon of 9/11 to calm myself down and get away from the media.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have been in a HORRIBLE mood and not in the Christmas spirit in the slightest. Thank you for reminding me to focus on the beautiful little people God is letting me raise.

    Merry Christmas, Kate and Lydia. I thank God for you. Your blog means the world to me.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Tears...That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that! I don't EVER go to Target...but I would think this would apply equally as well to Walmart...or Kroger...or whatever store I happen to take them to. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  52. That was an *amazing* post, Kate. Thank you so much for reminding us all what Christmas is really about: the love of a child.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I read this post first thing this morning and then got sucked into my day...but it really had an impact on me. I had to take the kids to the mall to get one last gift and I think I ran into every jackhole out there. One woman yelled at my toddler for touching a sweater she was about to buy (my kid's hands were clean) and another guy was waiting for my parking space and yelled at me for taking so long to buckle in my baby. I was SO MAD but I'm trying not to model tantrums for my toddler so both times I just smiled at the offender and said, 'Merry Christmas!' and went on my way...

    But here's the part where Kate's wisdom kicked in: I was still seething on the drive home when suddenly from the back this tiny voice from my 2.5yo says, "Mommy, you were a really good girl at the store today." I totally melted. And then I carefully pulled off the road into a parking lot, got out, and hugged and kissed the dickens out of my daughter. Right there in the parking lot. She thought I was being SO silly and I think it made her day. I know it made mine. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Kate, you made me cry and I'm not even pregnant!

    My Monkey is 15 months old (today! sigh...) and even now it's hard to get out of the busy-busy-busy-no-time-do-it-now mentality. This is a great reminder just in time for Christmas :-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. not target here, but wal-mart frowns upon trwasure hunting children under a certain age (which i discovered from experience...) so feeling you on the loud-walking, tho. myself, my girls & my mom (according to my step-dad - must be genetic, lol) are all stompers. my husband says the house literally shakes when i'm mad & *trying* to be loud!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Awesome. Just. Plain. Awesome. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wow, I certainly wasn't expecting to get teary-eyed when I opened this one up...
    Thank you for this touching reminder..

    ReplyDelete
  58. There should definitely be a tear warning on this post. And what a great idea to entertain kids while shopping.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I loved this post, not only because it reminded me to cherish my own IHP's, but because this Michigan mom reminded me that its not your circumstances that determine what kind of person you are, it's what you do with your circumstances. She used her disability as an opportunity to love her kids. That's so awesome.

    That made me think of something. Can we nominate her for Best Mommy in the category of "Caught being awesome with her kids"? OOOO we could have an Academy of Rants awards and everything with 57 different categories and links to relivent posts an everything. and tiaras. and t-boxes. :D

    ReplyDelete
  60. Thanks a lot Kate, I'm crying now. At my office. Right before a big White Elephant exchange party. Great story though and a good reminder to count our blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Well thanks for making me cry at the office! And also for reminding me to take the time to enjoy and appreciate my 4 IHPs. They really are just the best, most wonderful little people.

    ReplyDelete
  62. One of my Lansing friends saw this on my FB and says she has seen this little family there at that Target before.... I posted this to my FB page and 4 other friends have already re-posted it. I sure do hope someone locates this lady & lets her know how many people have appreciated this! Thanks for such a sweet post!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Loved this!!! I was just at Target yesterday and while I was allowing my 2 1/2 yr old to take off her boots and socks and try on women's fuzzy flip flop slippers (hilarious!) and getting dirty looks, I found myself thinking- I should really do this more often!

    ReplyDelete
  64. best.post.ever I'm all watery and wubberly right now.

    ReplyDelete
  65. You made me ink, that was awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Positively AWESOME post! I have a warm fuzzy with a side order of teary eyes and stuffy nose.

    ReplyDelete
  67. wow, this was just wow. Thank you so much for sharing this story and reminding me to just enjoy those moments.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Sweet story...thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  69. What a touching story. Thank you.
    This story reminded me of a fantasy I had some times. I have so much guilt about screaming at my kids that I have fantasized that I was mute. I should probably be thankful for having all my parts in place and abilities functioning, and careful what I wish for, but I wonder what would happen if let go of the control sometimes..... naaahhhh, I don't want to find out yet.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I wandered over here from Megan's Sorta Crunchy blog. I just wanted to let you know that this story made my day. Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  71. That was excellent. Tis the season and all. What a perfect reminder to stop and breathe a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  72. You totally made me freakin cry and I hate crying. I emailed this post to myself for the next time I screech at my kids for just being kids and dawdling when I am 'rushing'.

    ReplyDelete
  73. In a word...FANTASTIC...what a resourceful and fun-loving and precious mommy you ran into! Love that you stopped and watched and talked to her...sharing this story has touched so many hearts. I often forget that even though I might get something done faster by myself, that doesn't mean it's done better. Sharing the "burden" can bring amazing things.
    Love you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  74. A friend sent me here & I HAD to share your post on my FB...what a beautiful story. Sorry about the cold - that's Michigan for you. I have probably shopped that same Target, although I can't say I have seen that mom. I did have an older lady approach me while nursing (in Target, in Lansing) and tell em how great it was that I was nursing & ask me if I would be offended if she stroked my baby's head while I nursed) - it was very sweet. Then she told me how she missed nursing her babies when they were small & how I should cherish it, etc. I wish THOSE stories would get more press rather than focuses on the few nitwits that give nursing moms a hard time (and yes, I have run into them, but thankfully they are rare). Life is too short to focus on the negative - we need to spend more time talking about & promoting the positive & this does just that. When I see a mom doing an exceptional job with her kiddos I TELL HER SO. And you did just that. Earlier tonight while out at dinner I saw a mom with a couple of teen boys chatting away (all of them) having such a good time, talking about their lives. As I was juggling two very little active boys & trying to keep them happy, fairly mess free & at our own table (dining alone - daddy was sick), I couldn't help but hope that would be us in 10 yrs...so I told her that. I said excuse me (as i was leaving) bent into her ear & said "You are a great mom. I hope I have that kind of relationship with my boys when they are your kids age". She gave a me huge grin & a thanks...she also looked a bit surprised. Why should it be so shocking to any of us to get a compliment instead of those so ready to give you a dirty look the day your three year old is a bit past nap time & has a blow out when in public? I make it my mission to find someone doing things right & tell them so & show compassion when things are going less than stellar (like the 3 yr old blow out).

    Happy holidays to all mommas out there doing the best they can. Pat yourself on the back because my arms can't reach!

    ReplyDelete
  75. This is such a wonderful post! Thank you so much. Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I think this mom you ran into is a friend of mine. She actually has three kids; the oldest was probably at one of her many extracurricular activities with Dad while Mom did the Target shopping with the younger two. This Mom is absolutely amazing. She homeschools her three kids, runs several charities for her church, teaches childbirth classes, and is always there for everybody. My own husband and some of my children are blind, and she has helped provide both a role model and assistance as I prepare to homeschool my own kids in braille. She is Supermom to me, she can do *anything*! She keeps a clean house, she takes her kids to storytime and scouts, she uses shopping trips to help teach lessons...

    Anyway, I sent her a copy of this story. I hope she comes back and says something. I think it's amazing that she's made such an impact on so many people even just second-hand here.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Oh, and I agree with you, it was outrageously cold that week, cold enough that they actually called a snow day here because the wind chills were right around zero. As a transplanted Texan who's lived in Lansing for almost eight years, I still think that's much too cold for humans. And I'll let you know that Hell, MI, freezes over every winter!

    ReplyDelete
  78. I'm pretty sure that even without my pregnancy hormones I would be an emotional wreck right now over this post. Thank you!!! This was exactly the reminder that I needed about the joys of motherhood. And it's a really, flippin' good idea that I'm totally going to use next shopping trip.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I HAVE to use these!!! I just hope I can do it with a straight face!

    ReplyDelete
  80. LOVE this story. Not just as a mom, but as a Lansing (well, East Lansing) ex-pat. Thanks for posting this.

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts