Target Lady

October 22, 2009

Yesterday Moo and I went to Target so I could pick up some groceries and Moo could say hello to her friends the Cat, Spider, and Bat (Target Halloween decorations).  She helped me pick out a new coffee thermos for Herbie, we looked at all the Halloween cakes, I resisted the dollar section (okay, no I didn’t, we bought a robot plate), and we were done.

So, whenever it comes time to swipe my card, Moo wants a turn with the pen thingy that you use to punch in your PIN number.  I have always allowed her to do this, after I’ve done my business and it’s just a blank screen, except for the “cancel” button in the corner which I cover with one finger while she taps at the screen.  Moo is not a wild kid.  We have never had to worry about her tearing apart our house, drawing on the walls, chewing on cords, or climbing the shelves.  So far she has never even tried to climb out of her bed.  So I think I’m a pretty good judge of whether or not she can handle a little checkout pen thingy.

I did my business, swiped and punched in my PIN, while sitting in the cart, Moo repeatedly asked me to share.  “I will, I’ll share, sweetie, be patient,” I said.  And then I finished and handed her the pen.

At which point the checkout lady yanked it out of her hand, snapped “No, no, noooo!” and wagged her finger in Moo’s face.  Moo was shocked.  I was shocked.  My first instinct was to snap, “Excuse me, I told her she could use it.  If you have a problem with that, you can tell me.”  But then I had second thoughts, like always, because I am a person cursed with second thoughts.  So I didn’t say anything, and rolled Moo away from the paying area.  I sent out what I hoped were cold, arctic vibes to the checkout lady while I wondered if all previous checkout people had silently cursed me when I let Moo fiddle with the pen.  I looked over at Moo, who was staring at the lady and clutching Hop to her cheek like she does when she’s scared.  So I leaned over and whispered in her ear, “It’s okay, sweetheart.”

“Okay, Mommy,” she whispered back.

I gave the checkout lady one more whithering glare as I snatched my receipt from her and we rolled away.  Right then I realized I should have said something.  Why didn’t I say anything?!  Oh, I hate confrontation.  But dammit, I should have stood up for my daughter, and I think the checkout lady was totally oblivous to my silent hate.

Once we were out of the store, I gave Moo a hug and said, “That lady wasn’t very nice, was she?”

“No, she wasn’t!” Moo cried, sounding relieved that I was on her side.

“I guess she was worried that you were going to break the pen,” I said.  “But she wasn’t very nice about it.”

“No, she wasn’t!”

“Sometimes grown-ups forget to be nice, too.  You didn’t do anything wrong, Moo,” I said, ruffling her hair.

“Okay, Mommy,” she sighed, and I could see the weight lift off her shoulders.

Hey, what can I say?  I’ve got a sensitive kid.  Back off, Target Lady.  …Still wish I’d said something.

So should I not let Moo play with the pen thingy anymore?  And what the heck is that pen thingy called, anyway?


7 Responses to “Target Lady”

  1. Beth H. Says:

    WOW! That Target Lady was a weirdo, who obviously does not deal well with children. I think you handled it perfectly with Moo – she is so lucky that you take the time to explain things to her & treat her with the respect she deserves! Some parents seem to be so bad at that; treating kids like they don’t understand anything at all, when in reality they are SOOOO perceptive! As for the confrontation, I wouldn’t have known what to say either. And with a weirdo checkout lady, it could’ve just escalated into disaster. Maybe it’s good that you just explained it all to Moo outside.

    For the record, I don’t think all the checkout people have been silently hating you for letting her use the pen thingy. I’ve worked tons of retail & I never cared when kids where touching stuff as long as they weren’t rough & destructive (which I’m sure Moo isn’t). The flip side, which is waaaaaay more annoying to everyone in the store, is a child who throws a temper-tantrum because their parent keeps saying “no, no, don’t touch that” to them about EVERYthing! Let her play with the pen-thingy. : )

  2. millie Says:

    This woman needs a good talking to and I would be happy to supply it. Not good customer service. Humph!

  3. Mary Says:

    Broghan and Finley both also like
    to plan with the pen. No one has ever said anything!!! Continue the fun pen
    playing.. 🙂

  4. nathanyates Says:

    Gross. I hate it when people are like that.

    That really steams me. Poor Moo.

    Stupid grown-ups…

  5. Katy Says:

    WHO DOES THAT? Was this woman raised in a barn?

  6. pam b Says:

    what a control freak. yael likes to push the buttons – she has not discovered the joy of the stylus (thats what the pen thingy is called). however, i have told yael not to do it and the checker or bank teller always says “oh no!! let her do it.. no harm!”.. so now i just let her push buttons until her heart is content. and then i joke with the teller or checker that at least she isnt pushing mommy’s buttons har de har har

    all i know is that i do the same thing as you – i sit there wanting to say something, but hate confrontation and then get mad at myself for not sticking up for my child. and the few times i have decided to be confrontational it bit me in the bootay

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