Outside Target, mothers previewed for their toddlers and pre-schoolers the agenda for the shopping trip. The children who were old enough replied, asked questions, such as: “But where are we going for lunch after here?” In the store their mothers, sunglasses perched on their heads, ask their children’s sage advice on which juice to buy: pink or orange? And which ice cream would be best? And which peanut butter does Daddy like?
One board of tiny advisors played patient in interesting aisles, but revolted when their Mother took a moment to admire a pair of ballet flats. She started to turn the cart, then opted to leave it there on the end, near at hand, to move closer, to move freely, past the row of less sensible wedges to peer at those shiny red numbers…
The Mom being hailed gave a blink of impatience, still wooed by the shoes, but shook herself and pushed the cart on, her son seated inside, her daughter walking along–looking after her own baby doll. The girl snared a wave of mischief as they rounded the corner by hosiery. She grabbed her mother’s leg, trying to hold it as they walked. Her mother stumbled, smirked, carried on with one heavy limb and passenger. The little brother brightened up at the game. And they laughed together, all in a jumble, straight up the aisle with the coffeepots.