Lesson Learned

March 1, 2010
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Venturing into the mall a week before Christmas seems like an adventure worthy of a great story, but the mall as a whole definitely pales in comparison to Bath and Body Works. Women and men, alike, are fierce about their scented soaps and lotions, but if you ever look at the children forced into this escapade you just might learn something.
As I embarked on a very fragrant adventure into Bath and Body works, I did not expect to learn anything, let alone from a three year old boy.

Every year, my dad and I go Christmas shopping together, and every year he buys my mom stuff from Bath and Body Works. This year was no different. We looked around, for twenty minutes or so, as I watched the line grow longer and longer. I saw a four year old boy parked in his stroller in the middle of the store playing games on a cell phone, a twelve year old boy following around his mom desperately hoping they could go look at video games when she was done, a teenage girl and her mother shopping for everyone on their list, a group of husbands huddled in the corner to avoid being sprayed with scents of all kind, and a three year old boy smelling everything his nose could reach. It was this little boy who stood in line behind us for twenty-five minutes while we waited to see the cashier. He was definitely dressed for comfort, wearing his blue sweatpants and long-sleeved shirt, on what was undoubtedly a long shopping day with his mom.

As we approached the cash register, he spun in circles, and danced around. Soon enough we had reached the register and the little boy had only a couple moments left before he could escape the grip the scented lotions and soaps had over his mother. As my dad handed the cashier his credit card, the boy’s mother picked up her bag and purse and readied herself for her position as front in line. Maybe she had acted too soon. As quickly as the boy had become infatuated with the lotions he lost his composure, and started crying. His mother asked him what the matter was and he held back his tears as he replied “I’m about to poop in my pants.” His mother had as appropriate a response as a person could ask for. She gasped in disbelief, “OH MY GOD! Unbelievable.”

She then, very calmly placed her sack next to the counter, vacated her spot at the front of the line, picked up her son, and ran like you wouldn’t believe to make it to the bathroom in time. This woman was a good mother, but it seemed to me that the past hour in Bath and Body Works may have been a waste. If the women came back, she would surely have to wait in line again, and as patient as the boy had been the first time around, he might not be the second, for he had already smelled all the lotions and spun all the spins he could handle that day.

That little boy and his ever-so patient mother taught me that if you can not leave your child at home when the Christmas shopping needs to be done, always put a pull-up on him or her, no matter the age.





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