What goes around comes around to bite you in the butt.

I mentioned that I was at Target THREE times last week.  Now I love Target, but even I have to admit that three times in a week is bordering on overkill. 

The first Target trip was heavenly.  I had a 5:30PM doctor appointment so Hub came home to watch the children so I could go alone.  Afterwards I took the opportunity to swing by Target sans kids.  KEY WORDS: sans kids.  Although I do believe I may have been the only person in the store without children in tow. 

In case you didn’t know, Target at 6PM is a ZOO.  As I happily strolled along, enjoying my solitary excursion, everyone around me seemed frazzled and wasted.  Kids were screaming and crying, moms were begging and bribing, and the store personnel were wan and tired.

At one point as I was walking down the aisle, a kid darted out in front of my cart with his frazzled mom in tow.  She looked at me apologetically and shook her head disparagingly.

"No worries," I said with a sympathetic smile.  "I have three at home."

As I checked out, I once again thanked my lucky starts for the privilege of shopping without kids.  I commented to the cashier that there sure were a lot of crying kids that time of night.  "There are ALWAYS crying kids in Target," she responded.  "Hey, as long as they aren’t mine," I said.

A couple of nights later, after a long afternoon at the pool, I realized I had forgotten a few things I needed at Target.  I decided to swing by on our way home.  With all three kids.  I’m chalking it up to temporary insanity. 

Not only was I shopping with three kids, the two older ones were picking out birthday presents for parties they would each be attending in the near future.  Trying to keep three kids going in the same direction in the toy department is about like trying to herd cats.  After much hemming and hawing and explaining 132 times that we were not buying for ourselves, we finally agreed on birthday presents.  I even managed to pick out a pair of school shoes for the baby.

When I finally corralled my kids into a spot in line at the checkout counter, I found myself behind an older lady with friendly eyes.  She looked at me with the same sympathy that I had bestowed upon that other mom with the kid that darted in front of me earlier in the week and said, "Oh you poor dear.  You sure have your hands full shopping with three kids.  And you just spent the day at the pool, didn’t you?"

I rolled my eyes and nodded in agreement.  Right then, the register next to us opened and the cashier called out for the next customer to get in line.  The friendly lady in front of me looked at me and said, "Why don’t you go ahead, dear."

It’s my natural instinct to decline any overture of help in those situations.  I don’t know why, but I always hear myself saying, "Oh no, you go ahead, you were here first," even though I really want to accept the invitation.

But this time I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to end my shopping trip a little sooner so I said to her, "I’m going to take it and say thank you, just like my momma taught me," as I proceeded to hop over to the next register before some other patron got my spot.

We checked out without incident and made our way to the car.  I once again swore never to darken the door of Target with more than one child in tow.

True to my word, the next morning I made my third Target trip of the week without kids at 8AM.  This time I shopped without any fussing kids present — mine or anyone else’s.  Note to self: In the future, shop at breakfast time, not dinner time.  Peace and quiet does exist at Target.