Scenes: Mall Mom Mode

“I’m running errands while Little Red naps today,” I declare loudly to the entire house, even the boxes of macaroni lining the pantry and the yogurt chilling in the fridge. I want the world to hear this proclamation, because then it will be truth.


Nothing will thwart my solo trip to the store today. Not a tantrum, not a basketball game, not a load of laundry or a blog post. NOTHING.


I will not have a tag-along today, because nothing is more painful than toting littles to the store. For some reason unknown to me they don’t share my enthusiasm for candles that smell like gardens in a jar or sparkly necklaces that perfectly coordinate the bright orange capris that are calling my name.


It’s 2 pm and Little Red’s head has barely hit the pillow before I bolt for the door, car keys jingling in my hand like a bell at the starting gate. I’m off!


The car is my sanctuary, and I crank the radio up so loud the windows shake. I sing along to cheesy pop music like a teenage girl who just got her driver’s license.


I’m free!


“So long suckers,” I yell in my head.


My car rolls to a stop outside Target, the red bullseye a beacon, guiding my way to freedom.


Target Alone


I gather my supplies…


Phone? Check.


Purse? Check.


Wallet {because sometimes it’s not in the purse and that’s SUPER embarrassing at the checkout}. Check.


Shit to return that has been sitting my backseat for a month. Check.


I’m good to go!


As the doors slide open to greet me I feel like retail royalty and resist the urge to jump up and down wildly with a loud WOOT! WOOT!


It takes all of two seconds to switch into Mall Mom Mode.


{Oh, yeah…did I fail to mention our Target is attached to the MALL}


As I make my way into the broad expanse of the mall, I become intoxicated by the myriad of sights and sounds.


The smell of Starbucks coffee flirts with my nostrils and my eyes are drawn to the rows upon rows of brightly colored window displays. The cacophony of shoppers combined with easy listening muzak creates a soothing harmony to my ears.


I am home.


Quickly I regain my composure and get to the task at hand.


With Mall Mom Mode fully engaged I dodge the roadblocks in my path – random people who stand in the lane of traffic chit chatting about the Hawkeyes and why it won’t stop snowing, and puddles of sticky soda threatening to take me down. A stroller darts in front of me, quickly I hop out of its path before it crashes into my shin.


I am a mall ninja, scoping out the path of least resistance –  zigging and zagging my way through a human obstacle course.


“Get out of my way people,” I scream in my head.


Suddenly I see the sign glowing in the dim gray of the mall’s florescent lights, my destination looms in front of me – Sephora. I only need one little item, but the store sucks me in. “Oh, that’s pretty,” I murmur my eyes darting back and forth like a neurotic squirrel.


Must. Stay. On Task.


Mall Mom Mode reengaged.


Mission accomplished.


I must not get distracted. Mall Mom Mode must remain engaged at all times, because only a mom understands that once the items on a To Do list are achieved there will be more FREE time.


This means more time to REALLY shop, instead of just looking and admiring from afar. I could actually try-on clothes and even {if I’m lucky} put together a cute outfit.


The minutes are counting down and I’m still only a quarter of the way through my mission. Next stop … the mom nemesis – Target.


Some moms have been known to go in and never come out. Mesmerized by the bullseye and aroma of popcorn, they become trapped forever.


I will not succumb.


Grabbing my cart I make my way past the snack bar. No littles means no need for popcorn, which means more time.


I quickly work my way through the store getting shave gel, Advil and paper towels first. Methodically checking items off my list.


Sheets, we need sheets.


This could be dangerous. Stay on task…


My eye is drawn to a sale sign and I focus on it alone, only those sheets exist and only those colors. These will work, and plop them into my cart, speeding away to avoid making eye contact with the rainbow of cottony goodness.


My list dwindles and so do the minutes on the clock.


I just need to find one little thing a pair of 4T Jack and the Neverland Pirates underpants. Making my way to the boys department I realize I’m in the wrong section and navigate to where they house the baby clothes.


Pregnant ladies with little guns scan multitudes of baby items and I squeeze past them searching for the elusive underpants. Pink princess, pink, pink and more pink. No boy items anywhere. My frustration level increases for I know I’m losing precious time. I ponder giving up, waving the proverbial white undies in surrender. Then out of the corner of my eye I spot them the little pirates face smiling from the butt of a pair of underpants. I rush over, snatching them up fearing they might run away.


I glance at my watch.


Five minutes.


I have five minutes






Target Alone


For five bliss-filled minutes I scour the clearance racks looking for lost treasures. The colors and textures entice my senses and I fall into a trance, oblivious to the poor mother next to me trying to wrangle her child out from under the racks of clothes.








The vibration of my phone jostles me from the dream and there it is my timer has gone off with the arrival of one text….


“Are you on your way home?”


Reluctantly I make my way to the check out line, load my car and head home.


Of course I sing along to the radio on my way, and revel in my mission accomplished.


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