Posts Tagged "Target"

An Inconvenient Truth

Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 | 4 comments

It’s time for me to accept the truth: my son cannot go to the Real Canadian Superstore anymore.  Every single visit ends with him screaming at the top of his lungs at the checkout, flailing his body to the ground and refusing to leave for some reason or another.  I just can’t do it anymore.

Jack used to be great in the grocery store.  We’ve always done the bulk of our shopping as a family, so he’s had years of experience.  The only fear I ever had while shopping with him was the bathrooms at Target – they were horribly loud, and he would scream and grab at the doors to leave any time a toilet flushed or someone came over the loudspeaker.  Considering I spent a great deal of his early life pregnant with his brothers and using the bathroom every ten minutes or so, this was a pretty big issue.  Our amazing ABA Christine spent several Sundays at Target with us, helping him overcome his fear of the dreaded bathrooms.  He’s still skittish, but more often than not he soldiers through.

Past that, though, we’ve never really had a problem with him in stores.  I mean, more than any other young child (we’ve all had that shopping trip from hell with the screeching, flailing, unhappy kid).

Enter the Real Canadian Superstore, and the beginning of the trying times.

At first, we attributed Jack’s outbursts to the free cookies they give away in the bakery.  We assumed there were artificial colors or flavors or another nefarious ingredient causing his sudden decline.  When we put a stop to the cookie train, we figured the tantrums would end, too.  We were quite wrong.  We tried everything: we went before the park, after the park, in the morning, in the evening, on a full stomach, by himself, with his brothers, in the cart and letting him run free.  Every trip has ended the same way, with him completely falling apart at the register.

Sometimes it’s because I didn’t purchase something he thought we were going to buy (craft supplies last week, charcoal the other day).  Sometimes it’s because he wants to put the money into the machine at the U-Scan.  Sometimes it’s just a day that ends in “y”.  There is no pattern.

So today, after an especially difficult time getting Jack out to the car and into his seat (he had been screaming at the top of his lungs inside the store and wouldn’t calm down, so David had to take him out), I gave up.  I sat in my seat, looked at my husband, and gave up.

I want it known that I don’t give up easily.  I fight on a daily basis so that my child can and will do “normal” things like go to the grocery store with his family without losing his mind.  I fight so other people will not judge him or give him a label that locks him in a little box.  I fight out loud so that people will stare at me, not him.  I want him stared at because of the joy he radiates, not the anxiety and frustration his mind causes him sometimes.

But I just can’t deal with the Superstore anymore.  At least not until I can find a Canadian version of Christine to help figure out what bugs him so much about that particular establishment.   It’s a puzzle we’ll solve in time, I know, but today I need a break.  I think Jack needs a break, too.  We’ll find a new store he can tolerate, or I’ll do all of the shopping while he stays in the car with his Daddy.

I’m giving up today, so I can fight again tomorrow.

standing on a beach

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Autism is Contagious

Posted by on Apr 4, 2010 | 0 comments

My home needs to be under quarantine today, as we all have apparently come down with a nasty case of autism.  I did not realize that autism was contagious, but that’s the only logical explanation for the state of my family.

Jack, of course, is his usual spring-break-induced superhero self.  On our trip to Target today he flopped about on the floor much like a fish the size of a 4 1/2 year old child.  Very convenient for the other shoppers.

Kieran caught it first, deciding his sippy cup was an inferior water vessel and only accepting mama’s cup with a straw.  To the point that he repeatedly threw his sippy to the ground (rather than hand it to me, as that would not properly have made his point).

Lennon then got a water spot on his shirt, and had to take it off right now.  Now.  Nooooow.  Not a stain, not soaked, just one bit of water.  But here in Autism Quarantine Acres, that’s enough to be a national tragedy.

Not to be outdone, mama  had to hide away in a quiet spot from loud noises for a little while. 

Daddy appears to be immune to this outbreak for now.  We may have to tap his blood to make a vaccine.


Has autism spread through your home?

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Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Posted by on Mar 22, 2010 | 4 comments

Every parent has encountered it.  From the time you first venture out to the store with your brand new baby, people around you have something to say about your ability to raise it.

“That baby really needs some socks.”

“Why don’t you turn him around in that thing so he can see the world?”

“He needs a hat!  It’s cold/sunny/misting gently out!!”

The “helpers” tend to fade out as the children get older, except those hardy few who will insist they know what’s best for your child in any given situation, especially if said child is misbehaving.  Or appearing to misbehave.  Or breathing.

Add autism to the mix, and let the fun times begin!

If you’ve ever taken a 3 or 4-year-old to the toy section of Target, you’ve felt my pain.  There are buttons to be pushed, wheels to be turned, horns to be blown.  And invariably, older citizens to irritate.  One would assume that, being in the toy section, there might be actual children present.  And, in the presence of a mind-boggling assortment of toys, said children will be on a rampage to absorb every bit of fun to be had before getting dragged along in search of a more perfect popcorn popper (true story).

We must have some sort of cranky person homing gene, because every time I let Jack (or Lennon, for that matter) have their way with the toys, one or more shows up.  With a stern look.  Or a disapproving nod.  Or, thank goodness, advice.

I have been told my child needs a spanking.  That he’s out of control.  That if he can’t be responsible enough to stay with me and not run away, that I should have left him at home (obviously with my high-priced nanny, this being Los Angeles).

Just yesterday, one helpful man pointed out that I had said Jack’s name “about a hundred times.”   Why thank you, sir, I hadn’t kept count.  I was more concerned that my child might escape my sight and be kidnapped while he was counting how many different kinds of cars were on the shelf.  Clearly my priorities were askew.

My favorite recent encounter, though, was during the glorious Target 75% off toys sale (one of my most hallowed holidays).   By some stroke of luck, I only had Jack with me.  This is a “grab what you can get super fast because it’s going to be gone if you look the other way” sale, so I didn’t really want to be chasing him all over the store.  Amazingly, there was a whole shelf of Little People amusement parks for him to, well, amuse himself with.   He sat himself down on the floor with a ferris wheel and played the music.  Again, and again, and…  well, you see where this is going.

The happiest place on earth

I was having a fabulous time with my one occupied child.  That is, until I realized that an older woman across the aisle in iPods and iPod accessories was trying to get my attention.  She politely informed me, from about 50 feet away, that my child was annoying her by playing with this toy repeatedly, and that I really ought not to be letting him play with a toy I had “no intention of buying.”

I politely responded that if she was annoyed, she should probably move to another part of the store.  You know, away from the TOYS.

Nevermind that the amusement park did indeed come home with us, it’s the principle.  If I have happened across the one magical thing that will keep my child focused for more than 30 seconds, I’m going to seize upon it.  If that annoys you, well that’s your problem.

Especially if you’re on the other side of the store.


What “advice” have you been given while out with your children?  Have you ever attempted to “educate” someone who’s given you unsolicited commentary?

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