Saturday, May 1, 2010

The downside of a self checkout

Today I took Julia to Lowe's. Hubby needed specific screws (which I took an example of because all I know is that there are a zillion screws there and they are all slightly different from each other). I wasn't planning on being long, and we were between meals & she doesn't poop in public so I didn't even take the diaper bag. Did you know I STILL haven't used a public changing table? My child is almost two. For the first six months it was a kind of fun fact. At this point, it's kind of an embarrassing fact. I don't take her to stores for long treks. I was never the kind of person who could walk around the mall for 3 hours to begin with. Add a kid to the mix, and there's no way I'm going to spend that kind of time now.

Julia refuses to sit in the top part of the cart (where they are supposed to sit). For a while, she'd let me sit her sideways in that top part, so her legs were going along the width of the front of the cart. Then she started refusing even that, so for the past several months I've been sitting her in the big part of the cart. She doesn't get up or anything, and she likes to hold the merchandise in the cart. Keeps her quiet, she has some fun, the main objectives on any outing.

A Lowe's employee helped me find the specific package of screws. "Hold it!" she reminds me, so I give them to her.

We get to the lines, and the self check-out doesn't have a line. She's pretty good about giving me stuff if I give it back. I tell her I'll give her the package of screws back to her. I scan it, but you know with those self check-outs you have to put the merchandise in the bag for it to weigh it. Well, SOMEONE didn't like that. Commence tantrum: kicking, trying to get out, reaching for the screws, tears, and screaming. Lots of screaming. And those self check-outs take forever - press the buttons to pay, slide card, do verification code, sign for it. All the while Miss Thang is carrying on about the screws sitting in the bag that she wants me to give her, but which I can't or it will do that buzzer to the attendant.

So I just let her carry on for a few minutes while I paid. I told her I had to pay, and then she would get to hold it. Of course she was so mad that she didn't hear me. And she just kept carrying on with her tantrum. 18 months ago I would have been completely mortified if my kid was crying in the store. 18 months ago she cried ALL. DAY. LONG. Hence, I don't think I took her to any store until she was at least 6-7 months. At that age she still screamed quite a bit, but she would be distracted by the new environment for long enough to run in & get some milk. Today right after I paid, I handed her the bag, and she immediately stopped carrying on. I kind of wondered if that rewarded her for the tantrum, but I knew during the whole thing that she had willingly given me the screws to scan on the condition that I would give them back to her. If it's a regular cashier, they are pretty good about handing whatever it is back to her. These self checkouts don't work that way.

I was kind of proud that I didn't allow myself to get mortified. I was proud that I didn't take the diaper bag (of course I could have easily regretted that had it been needed). I still haven't taken the step of a diaper change in a public restroom, but we can't conquer Rome in a day, can we?

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Her sitting in the cart like that sounds like my Audrey. It can be frustrating though.

The tantrums don't bother me at all, but I don't think the other shoppers agree.