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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Target Curse


The closest Target to me is about 20 minutes up the road.

I love Target. Love, Love, Love, Target. So 20 minutes is no big deal.

However, I firmly believe that this particular Target is out to turn me prematurely gray, and that I may have to increase my commute time in order to visit a safer (for my family anyway) Target.

Do any of you know what a code yellow is at Target?

I do. Only because I've been fortunate enough to experience it, 3 or 4 times now.

I've lost count.

Code yellow is what they say over all their walkie talkies when a child is lost.

Yeah, that's right, when a child is lost.

And yeah, I know cuz it's been my child, the same child, 3 or 4 times now.

At the same Target.

The first time I lost this Henry, I was trying out how he would do walking next to the cart.

Pretty quickly he figured out he could hide amongst all the clothes.

Which meant it only took a very short time for me to lose him completely and then to get crazy nervous that someone took him.

So I asked for help.

Some cute young associate came back with Henry on his shoulders after finding him hiding behind a row of belts, where he had gone to hide so that he could poop.

The second time I lost him, he just plain old ran away from me. And he is faster than me. Normally I would ditch my cart for a few minutes to try and chase him down, but on this day I had two smaller children in my cart, and I had to decide what to do. So I calmly walked as quickly as I could after him while pushing the cart, calling his name.

After 5 minutes of not being able to find him, I asked for help, and they called a code yellow.

This time an older, hulking, bald associate found him and Henry and this man faked back and forth until the guy could catch him.

Nice.

Today was scarier for me. The first two times, I was nervous, but today I felt something else nudging me into panic. I don't know how to explain it, I was just more worried.

Let me tell you what happened today. At Target. The same Target as before.

Henry has been much better at staying by the cart, and he wasn't feeling well so he hadn't wandered off at all.

I was looking for a specific cereal I had a coupon for. I had my eyes off him for about 30 seconds.

When I turned and he was gone, I called his name figuring he was just around the corner.

He wasn't.

So I looked up and down the few aisles that were near me, calling his name. Then I figured he may have gone back to look at the candy that we had just passed.

He hadn't.

Then I thought, maybe he wandered over to the toys where he had expressed interest in one particular toy.

He wasn't there either.

So now I'm feeling concerned. I've searched everywhere we were, everywhere I think he might have tried to go.

At this point I want to ask an associate for help (yet again) but I'm nervous since I've asked for help before and he has always just been hiding somewhere and not in danger. (And what if they remember me? No one wants to be THAT mom)

But finally, my motherly paranoia kicked in, and I said "Screw it, I'm askin!" and I asked an associate for help finding my 3 year old.

She, of course, did not know what the code for missing children was called and had to ask two other associates before someone knew it (why I didn't know it, I have no idea, and not super comforting that Target associates don't know the code for a lost kid either, by the way).

So they tell me to wait up by the front.

As I'm standing there, I hear some chatter on the walkie talkies about a red headed kid, striped shirt being outside.

So an associate tells me they think they found him outside in the parking lot.

What!!!???

At this point I think, was someone stealing him, why was he out there?

So this very nice lady and a security guy come walking towards the doors with Henry between them.

So of course, the first thing I do is run to him, scoop him up and start bawling like a baby.

They tell me that he was just standing by our van. Waiting for me, apparently.

And the nice lady (thank you so, so much nice lady) tells me that she asked him where his mom was and he wouldn't have anything to do with her. He kept inching away from her and it wasn't until the security guy came and they said they would take him back to his mom that he went with them. But even then he wouldn't let them touch him or hold his hand.

Good boy. I'm glad someone nice found him, but I'm also glad that he was giving them a hard time.

When I asked him why he was out there, he said "I couldn't find you, I went to our car to find you".

So in the 30 seconds that he couldn't find me, he decided to walk out to our van to find me there.

Does he really think I would take off without him? Does he have abandonment issues?
I'm sure he'll send me a bill for therapy someday.

But in the process of crossing the parking lot, by himself, and finding our car, by himself he didn't get hit by a car or stolen by someone.

It goes to show that small miracles happen everyday and that strengthens my testimony that there is a God in Heaven that loves us.

So now I'm thinking that Henry is banned from the Kent Target.
That big bullseye has his name written all over it apparently.



8 comments:

  1. Hello,

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  2. Henry's Grandma GMarch 31, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    What would Henry say if you told him Target and several other stores have a "leash law" for children who don't stay right next to their parent while in the store? Seems harsh but could save his life and save you from a heart attack. Past that, sad to say, wooden spoons can be used for more than stirring soup. At home, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh man. I've lost a child or three in my time...nope -- it was the same child. it's terrifying. TERRIFYING.

    That's why Malcolm wore a harness and leash. Period. He didn't like it. I didn't like it. But love him.

    And Target can do that to a person ~ between losing children and overcharging you for items.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh I am SOOOO glad all ended well! I will never forget the story of Ann Marie (I think it was her)and you not being able to find her and she was asleep in the crib? As a parent I can't imagine anything more scary then not knowing where you child is... I swear it takes about 5 years off our lives!

    Love you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. And I LOVE the comment from Mike!!! Ya going to do it? DO IT!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Okay, Bonnie's comment is the best! My mom was just giving me a suggestion of this sort recently. Funny. Poor you. I HATE losing children. It ages you ten years per minute of them being gone!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was a wandering child..still am ..wandering that is. There was a time when you as the adult could stay in one place and the child would come back. Times have changed and you can no longer be just wait..there are too many strange people out there. Lucky for Henry that he has you as his Mom. The fear of a stick ( before the wooden spoon era..) got me to "sort of "stick around.My idea....he goes IN the cart with super glue on his butt!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Been there done that...as scary as those code yellows are, the most embarrassing for me was when I was at Target and Nickie was misbehaving, so I told her we were leaving. She refused, so I picked her up and started carrying her out when she yells, "Help, this is not my mom, HELP!!!" As everyone stared at me I offered her to anyone who was willing to take her. All refused and I continued to the car!!!

    Now I embarrass her and she leaves me to get in the car!!!

    ReplyDelete

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