I can remain silent no longer. I have a major pet peeve and I have to get it off my chest. Screaming children in the stores are driving me insane. Parents, please take the time to address the needs of your children while you shop. When they are screaming so loud you can hear them throughout the entire Costco Warehouse or Super Target, there is obviously a problem.
Now, before I raise the ire of many a weary mom who has been through this once or twice, let me say that I myself have three children. At the ages of seventeen, twelve, and ten, they no longer scream in stores; at least not that I know of. However, when they were toddler and pre-school age, I did not allow them to scream at the top of their lungs in public. I respected others who were out and about trying to do their errands, enjoy a restaurant meal, or take in a movie.
In the last two weeks, I have had two separate experiences in Target and Costco that involved children screaming so loud that the entire store was subjected to their tantrums. The real kicker here is that these were not babies. I understand that infants and babies cry. These children were very close to three years if not a little older. In the case of the little girl at Costco, she was hitting her mother and screaming so loud that as I was leaving the store, her screams were still audible in the parking lot. Her mother’s solution for this was to let her push the large Costco cart while screaming, alternately hitting her, and running into other people and their carts. There is no excuse for this. Her mother should have removed her from the store until she could calm her down, not continue to shop.
The little beast at Target was a boy between three and four years of age. He was standing in the front of the store screaming at the top of his lungs and pulling items off the shelves to the floor. His mom was standing there, allowing him to make this mess and disturb the peace for the rest of the shoppers. This went on for about fifteen minutes at least. I could still hear him in the back of the store and people were talking about it in all the aisles. One man said that he hoped the Target employees would not have to be responsible for picking up the items that his child was throwing on the floor. Somehow, I think they probably did have to do that; a mom who is so disrespectful to Target customers and employees would not care enough to clean up her son’s mess.
Kids cry, scream, make messes, and throw tantrums. Again, I have three of my own and I know that taking them out in public can be challenging and unpredictable. When my boys were younger, we didn’t try to go out and do a marathon shopping trip during nap time, lunch time, or on a day when they were just not up to it. Doing otherwise would have invited disaster.
Did my kids ever cry or get cranky on a trip to Costco? Yes, but I immediately stopped perusing the aisles or trying to grab those two last items. I parked my cart somewhere and removed my child from the store until they could be calmed down. Just being able to give them my full attention made a huge difference in their behavior. There were also a couple of times when I just could not complete a shopping trip because I had a cranky, tired toddler. That was okay, too. I knew my children’s limitations and I was not going to push them.
Most importantly, though, I respected my fellow human beings and their right to shop in peace. Someday, I knew my kids would be older and in school and I would enjoy shopping in peace and quiet. I didn’t know that the peace and quiet would be ruined by someone else’s children.