My husband and I aren’t big on PDA or any other public display of emotion. Still, there’s something about a family trip to Target that wears down our calm, cool exteriors. Obviously, doing anything with young kids requires a certain kind of patience, stamina and sense of humor. We bark at the kids, who are tussling with each other, and then whatever friction there might have been at the beginning of our day just blows up in the seasonal products aisle. I have had some pretty ridiculous fights with my partner at Target and, well, we should probably swear off big box stores for a while.
Target has literally everything. Having so many things in one place usually ends up meaning so many things can go wrong in a simple shopping trip. It never fails to be an overwhelming experience for one of us — a kid who can’t take hearing “no” after the umpteenth time begging for gum, a mom who insists the kids use the bathroom only to dry heave when getting hit by its smell, a dad whose patience runs out waiting for me to pick out all the birthday cards I think I’ll need for the coming year — so we rarely exit through the sliding doors in a peaceful fashion. We may have been able to cross everything off our shopping list (except for at least one item, likely the one we need the most), but my husband and I have also crossed each other.
Box store shopping is an aspect of our family life that doesn’t look to be going away any time soon. My husband and I will just do our best to tolerate the experience with each other, knowing that just the sight of a red bullseye might trigger yet another ridiculous fight, like one of these: