Embracing my #basic side has never been a problem for me so here’s to being “that girl.” I have always loved Target, even before I became a mom and pronounced it (in hushed tones) as “Tar-jay.” Now, Target is my go-to savior on rainy day Saturdays with a bored toddler and weekday nights when I forgot about that thing I should have picked up yesterday. How do I love thee, Target with the hard ‘t’? Let me count the ways…
1 \\ Starbucks greets me at the door.
Do I really need to say anything else? You might as well hook me up every morning to an I.V. of coffee because that is how I’m sitting here, wine glass in hand (uppers in the morning, downers at night), Access Hollywood on, writing this post. I can hear those amens – and they’re not just coming from parents. Starbucks, great job sucking up your pride and agreeing to merge with the suburban behemoth that is Target. Target, you’re a genius. I’m already hanging on by a thread every time I enter through those sliding glass doors and that grande iced coffee is just the thing I need to power through aisles and not get annoyed by all the red.
2 \\ Silent solidarity with other exhausted parents.
I see you, disheveled mom, passing by the toy aisle with a one-year-old dangling from the side of the cart reaching for that Paw Patrol dog and a very self-aware threenager pontificating about how Maddie at school really needs to pay attention and follow the rules. We briefly lock eyes and exchange a silent recognition that only two parents of kids under the age of five can share. I hear the throng of frustrated parent voices rising from different aisles, uniting in a chorus of what-happened-to-my-life harmonized with high-pitched screams. It. Is. Glorious. As I deal with my own toddler saying “cracker, cracker!” over and over again until I begrudgingly give into the habit I can only blame myself for, I am reassured by other parents who are doing the same. If you’re feeling isolated or like you’re doing this whole parent thing wrong, head to Target for a boost. Those without children, please take pity on us parents. We don’t like kids either sometimes.
3 \\ Wine, cold medicine and light bulbs all in one place.
Do you know the one word that will soothe parents as much as those first 10 minutes of spacing out after kids are put to bed? Alcohol, yes, but “convenience” is the word du jour. Children are the most inconvenient type of people on the planet. Have an important 9 a.m. meeting on Tuesday? The pediatrician only has a 9 a.m. opening on Tuesday. About to board a non-stop cross-country flight? Little Timmy just sh*t himself. Leave the house in a hurry to make it in time to the school play? Turn around, you forgot the almighty pacifier. And then there is Target. The clanging of wine bottles in your cart reminds you to grab diapers before checking out. No problem. Oh no, you “forgot” to make something for Teachers’ Day tomorrow. Head to the food aisle and eye the cookies with the easiest to rip off label. They’ll think you went to an expensive bakery. If they’re idiots. One can hope. While you’re on the subject of hope, go ahead and throw those Spanx in. You got this.
4 \\ Reliable cure for cabin fever.
There are days as a parent when there is NOTHING TO DO. Your kid is at that awkward stage where going to a playground is fun for about 10 minutes but let’s be honest, you do most of the work trying to force fun on them when they really don’t get the concept of fun. There are play dates where there’s a glimmer of hope for adult conversation but that fades quickly as someone falls or gets hit. Library story time is touch and go depending on when/if a meltdown happens. And let’s not even mention the shameful thing that is screen time. Just when you think you’re about to lose it, there is the word “Target,” shining in all its beautiful red glory, allowing parents everywhere a small piece of ‘adult’ in their day. A million items to peruse, 30 or maybe even 35 (!!) minutes of a contained child in a cart, and the feeling of accomplishment as you pile $75 worth of that damn $1 bin aisle crap on top of your kid. Now how many hours until bedtime…
Target, I’ll see you tomorrow.