Mom’s Day Mayhem at the Hardware Store

From the Archives: May 2015

It was the morning of Mother’s Day and due to the travel the day before I was last minute shopping for my mom at Lowe’s.  I thought it would be neat since it was her first Mother’s day as a grandparent to get a plant planted by my (at the time) three year old step son in a cute pot.

While my husband and I were standing in line at the garden check out, I took a moment to take in the warm west Texas weather as the large iron gates were spread open for the large amount of spring weekend traffic.  Crowds of people walked in and out in a constant flow.  Behind us in line was a father with his three children, we will say they were approximately 6, 4, & a little over a year and a half.  The father had started talking shop with a friend he had incidentally bumped into, in between conversation he asked the oldest daughter to keep an eye on the two toddlers.  The six year old girl was excited for such a responsibility, but even more excited for a little freedom.  With this freedom she and the four year old began to play hide and seek, and over time forgot about the one and a half year old.

I actually myself was not sure at this point if the one and half year old was with the man or the family in line in front of us as the smallest toddler spent equal amounts of time standing near both families, and no one acknowledged the child’s existence.  Finally the family in front of us was leaving, and the tiniest toddler toddled behind them, across the street and into the parking lot.  I looked back to grab the dad’s attention, but then thought better of it.  Surely if the tiniest toddler did not belong to the group of older women in front of us, they would have stopped and said something.

As we were checking out, the dad began to notice the incorrect math on the number of children that remained…

Quick Aside: Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for dads.  I subscribe to every dad blog I can without even flinching, I just find their perspectives on parenting fascinating and fun.  Perhaps it was because I had such a close bond to my father, perhaps it was because I lost my father at such a young age, either way, I love dads!  So understand I’m not being hateful when I say that this is a typical dad conundrum, sometimes they forget the kids are younger than they appear (not to say some mom’s are not guilty of the same thing).

…The dad turned to the oldest and asked, “where is your baby sister.”  The young girl stopped her playing and dashed into the garden center to began searching aisles.  The man started yelling after her, and then complaining to his friend, all while I do attempt to tell him where she went.

At this point I had only just recently had my own daughter and the mommy hormones in me at this point are panicking.  Without a word to my husband I throw the pot and plant in his arms and dash past the gates, out in front of the insane traffic up close to the building.  I spot the tiny toddler halfway down the parking lot, no longer where cars are parked and heading for the only major highway in town.  The years of long distance track came in handy.

When I approached the young girl I had to think how to not frighten her.  I didn’t want to just scoop her up as that would only result in looking as if I was making off with her.  So instead I talk softly, you know, “Hey cutie, where are you going?”  She stops, and then hesitantly begins to head towards me as I slowly stretch out my arm.  She grasps hold as we make our way back the decently long trek to the storefront where the father and children are still frantically looking for the young girl.

The return was not as welcoming or heartwarming as I imagined, but instead, out of fear, the man came off angry yelling at all the kids, the youngest for wandering off and the older two for not watching the youngest.  I could understand his frustration.  He ripped the child from my grasp as we were crossing and didn’t even make eye contact for thanks.  Again I assume out of embarrassment…

Until next time fan boys and girls—>



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10 thoughts on “Mom’s Day Mayhem at the Hardware Store

  1. Yikes. I get panicky at our home when our youngest 2 y.o son isn’t making a sound! My first instinct is to yell for him and then ask my other two kids if they’ve seen him. Eventually we find him, but there was one time when he left our yard then crossed the street to check out the neighbour’s cool new truck. Thankfully the neighbour saw him and came rushing out while I was doing my best Usain Bolt impression through the yard towards him. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand that these things happen, but not people being rude towards those who help them (though, as you say, could well be embarrassment). I remember years ago, on my lunch break at work, I was in a shop and saw a little girl, probably about 4, who seemed to be with her dad. I then saw her get distracted by the toys aisle, and him leave the shop without noticing. I wasn’t quite sure what to do – whether to take her to him. But I was worried about scaring her, or it turning out she wasn’t actually with the man I thought she was, and therefore it looking like I was removing her from her real parent. So I decided she would probably stay at the toys a while anyway and went chasing after him to tell him that if he came to the mall with a child, he’d just lost her! Just as I got near him, I saw him look around and realise. I just said ‘you lost her at the bubbles in the toy aisle – she’s still there!’ He did say thanks and went running back.

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    1. We were at Macy’s with B, my step son, on a busy Christmas shopping day. My husband was selecting special jewelry and I had long since left with our daughter who was then just an infant to stroll the clothing racks.

      I came back to check on the jewlery progress when I noticed B was no longer standing next to my husband, “Where is he?”

      He looked up, “I told him to go find you.”

      “You told a four year old to go find someone in a busy department store.”

      Considering he’s my son, but also someone elses I was twice the panicked, tears were building in my eyes as I raced around the aisles searching and searching.

      When I saw him he stood with a middle aged couple who were attempting to help him find us. I was embarrassed, relieved, frustrated, and most of all furious with myself for allowing this to happen, like it was all my fault.

      I took B, didn’t make eye contact, just a quick and angry “thanks”, followed with a slew of lectures to B never to walk off if you don’t see the other adult you are looking for.

      Afterwards I realized just how I must have come off to the other couple, and to this day it haunts me. I should have kissed them, hugged them…not been so cold.


  3. Good thing you were there and saw the kid walk off. That could have been a tragedy. After three kids, you’d think he’d know that you have to keep your eye on them, because kids will pull a Mandrake like that without any warning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG. You did the right thing!! Kudos to you for keeping an eye on those kids. Non-kudos to the dad, who handled pretty much everything badly. 6 year old too young to be keeping an eye on the other kids.

    Liked by 1 person

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