My clearest toy store memory was when I was around 5 years old. At that time my family moved away from the Philippines for a couple of years and we were living in Las Vegas, NV. (We were one of the original Vegas immigrants who settled there before Vegas became the cool place it is today. I’ll talk about it in a future post.)
I use to love “Toys Are Us”. When their thick mail order brochure would come in the mail I would look at it for hours and circle everything I wanted.
No one gives you a manual at parenting. My parents thought that the best thing was to indulge a child so my sister and I got most, if not every, toy we wanted. I have definitely not continued this practice with my boys.
One day my Mom decided to bring us to Toys Are Us “for fun”. I saw a doll that I really wanted. At that moment my Mom took a stand and said no to another toy doll that I would just play with for a few minutes and then toss aside.
I looked at her and had the tantrum of the century. I splayed myself on the ground and started kicking my legs and moving my arms, while screaming loudly. My mom’s attempts to comfort me and get me to quiet down did not work.
Suddenly a Toys Are Us sales associate came up to me and said, “Little girl shut up.”
I looked at the lady, stopped and stood up. I left the store silently. My Mom was relieved that the sales associate helped stop my tantrum.
It’s funny how you remember some moments that happen in your childhood so clearly and others you forget. “Toys Are Us” is a great store, but unconsciously I still avoid it because of that moment.
Fast forward to the present. I will tell you a story that I find quite embarrassing, but sometimes I find it therapeutic to laugh at uncomfortable situations.
I am now a Mom who has 2 kids. A few days ago I was at Walmart. I had my 2 boys in the shopping cart because the seat section of my cart was broken. The boys were playing and suddenly the cart tipped over. Luckily no one was hurt so I put them back in the cart and continued shopping again.
While I was shopping a Walmart sales associate went up to me and said that if my kids did not settle down and get out of the cart he would have no choice but to have the manager “kick me out of the store”. He then had stern words towards my 2 year old and 5 year old directly .
I was in such a state of shock at the odd situation that I did not know if I was going to laugh or feel very offended by being told by a Walmart sales associate that he was going to have me “kicked out” (these were the exact words used). I also could not believe that he had words with my young kids.
For those who know me I am quite passive and I am not the “kicking out” type…if there is a type.
Anyway, I love humor so I have decided to laugh at this moment instead of getting flustered about it. I decided to choose happy now.
As for my kids, well their major tantrum and crying started when I left the store without buying the Halloween candy I promised to buy them. My oldest son Massimo didn’t understand why “the mean man” was talking to him. I just told him to let it go and laugh it off since there is no use in “sweating the small stuff”.
When the sales associate at “Toys Are Us” had words with me when I was younger I seemed to unconsciously avoid the store till adulthood. We drove by Walmart today and Massimo said he did not want to go there again.
History seems to have a funny way of repeating itself.
I hope you have a wonderful day where you can laugh a stressful situation away! Remember, life is too short to sweat the small stuff!