Friday, November 27, 2009

In Store Meltdown


We've all seen it - the in-store meltdown by a child who has had ENOUGH. There is no placating him, no toy, no candy, no promise big enough to quell the whining and tears. The only recourse is to leave. NOW!

And there is nothing like having that meltdown happen in your own cart by one of your own. Seeing it happen to someone else brings out a knowing sympathy.

Today was Black Friday. After four hours of non-stop shopping and line-standing we came to Walmart and a boy at a neighboring checkout quickly ticking down to his own little explosion. Mom and dad saw it coming, was trying to hurry along as best as the slow line would allow. Fortunately there were two parents on this outing so one could continue in the checkout line while the other took Mr. Meltdown for a bouncy walk. The other shoppers would have preferred if mom had just taken him straight to the car as his high pitched wailing was really unbearable.

Personally I cannot see any reason to bring a child along on marathon shopping days like Black Friday, although I saw many other people who didn't seem to have any problem with it. There were plenty of strollers, pumpkin seats and kids locked into shopping carts especially after the sun was up. I'm glad to see the kids were not brought to stand in line in the cold, dark morning hours. But after the doors were unlocked and the first rush of craziness was over, kids were present all day long. Whining and wimpering and outright wailing was a constant background sound to the day's shopping.

I guess I'm sprouting into an old lady because I would rather not encounter "that" on my shopping trips. Some teenager or non-shopper out there could make a killing by offering Black Friday babysitting. I certainly haven't participated in Black Friday until now partly because I wouldn't bring kids with me on such a day. Well that and I am not a professional shopper - I'm more of a professional ANTI-shopper.

So do your fellow shopper, and your ticking time-bomb child, a favor and leave the kids at home. Hire a babysitter, coax grandpa into a few hours of bonding time or get your bargains online. THIS is no place for the meltdown prone.

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