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People of Target for the Win.

I wrote about this on my facebook page the other day, but I thought I’d write out the whole story.

Things have been, eh, busy for us lately. Friday I spent the entire morning working on Abby’s medical crap so she could start school on Monday.  I went back and forth to the school, to her doctor’s, the pharmacy, etc. The Special Ed office in Rhode Island has yet to send Abby’s records (good thing I brought a copy of her IEP), and so all of the medical releases and the medical plan I had done there had to be redone here. That included getting her new prescriptions for her breathing meds because I couldn’t just send an inhaler, it has to actually be in the box with her name and prescription information on it.

Abby goes everywhere with me. It wreaks HAVOC on my body. She’s between being able to ride in a cart in stores that have them and being able to walk on her own without running away at every turn. Almost everywhere we go, I end up carrying her a lot of the time. We’re trying to encourage her to walk more, but her body tires out pretty quickly into it, too.  So after just a couple of hours running errands, I really start to feel it in my back and hips.  By the time we’d gotten to Target on Friday, I was in quite a bit of pain.  I forced Abby into the cart as she screamed in protest. I was tired and on the verge of tears. As I worked through the isles, I picked up a large container of cheese balls, which are Peyton’s absolute favorite treat. I never get them as I really really like not having a house covered in orange fingerprints.  But Peyton has been super good in spite of getting any attention for the last month, so I figured I’d surprise him with it. As soon as the can of orange death went into the cart, Abby FREAKED out.  She turned her body as far as she could go and grabbed the container.  She tried everything she could to get into it, eventually straight up gnawing at the corner of it. The yelling persisted.  Fully beaten down, I opened the container and shoved a handful into her tiny hands, and then threw the container back into the cart. Abby quickly started turning orange, and then figured that she could reach back into the cart, untwist the cap, and grab herself more. I didn’t stop her. I just wanted to get out of there and this was keeping her in the cart and calm.

In my fatigue, I almost willed someone to say something to me. I was so far at the end of the rope, that I knew I’d freak the hell out the minute someone said something like, “Well, I’d never feed that kind of poison to my child!”   I waited and worried as I worked to finish off my list. It didn’t happen. In fact, people were SO awesome about it. One employee came by and smiled and played with Abby and said, “You do what you gotta.” when they saw the open container of unpaid for cheese balls. Two women smiled as they walked by, the younger said, “She’s too cute, I couldn’t say ‘no’ to her either!”  Another lady asked me how old she was and said, “I just love that age…except at the store…the cheese balls are a good idea.”  When we got through the checkout, the lid to the cheese balls came off as the lady went to scan them. A bunch of cheese balls flew out. I apologized as I tried to clean up the mess and wrestle with Abby at the same time. The checkout lady helped me, all the while telling me how she understood the need to just get through the store, and that she was happy to help.

Abby at Target

The tears that I had held back in my exhaustion earlier came as I trudged out of the store. This time though they came because people were nice. People didn’t judge me. They weren’t condescending. They were kind. They didn’t have to go too far out of their way, all they had to do was smile and nod. A quick sentence of understanding.  They had no idea how tired I was, or how hard these last couple of months have been. They didn’t know how much I needed their kindness, or how their simple actions would leave me crying in the parking lot, filled with gratitude for the goodness of people.

13 thoughts on “People of Target for the Win.

  1. Wow, you must have a great Target you go to… I can’t remember the last time I saw that kind of friendliness and manners in a store! I think they should find a way to make cheese balls a little less orange and powdery… I love them too, but I hardly ever get them because I’ll probably make just about as big of a mess as Abby does!

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  2. Yep, the kindness thing gets me, too, especially when I’m about to lose my shit. I remember the day Sammi flipped out when I took her to a play of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at a little children’s theater. We had to leave quickly, but the exit was through the lobby where the actors staged themselves before each scene. They were SO nice as we left, talking to Sammi and me as we passed. She was so shocked to see the people in costume that she stopped crying long enough to say goodbye to everyone. Seeing a little person in a bear suit waving goodbye to her from the doorway as we walked out to our car made me start bawling, and of course my kid made it worse while I was buckling her in by wiping my tears and saying, “It’s okay, mommy, please don’t cry.” Oy… There ARE very, very nice people out there, who understand. Glad you found a whole bunch of them in once place. 🙂

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  3. I love this story. We raised four kids as well and sometimes you just do what will get you through that store !! I have found more people to be kind then mean and I am glad that was your experience !! Us moms need to stick together, not judge and put each other down !! Great job, and great idea !!!

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  4. Hmmmm, maybe you could let her take a bag of goldfish with her, cheesy orange but not nearly as messy! My youngest son had to be kept in carts all the time or he disappeared. He has brain damage and was very hyperactive as a child and mentally retarded, so I can understand the frustrations of it. Now take your daughters abilities and actions and put them in a child that looks “perfectly normal” and guess the reactions we got. Now he is 42, still lives with us and has been known to throw temper tantrums in public at any given time. At 6’2″ and 238# he is too big to pick up and carry off to the car.The rest of the time he is loving and kind, but you never know what will set him off, and I spend many days walking on eggshells.

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