First let me say, I don't hate parents, families, or kids. In fact, I often stop in the middle of the aisle to admire someone's baby, or observe a toddler's amusing antics and smile. I accept that if I venture down the toy aisle, I'm going to encounter children playing with the merchandise. And I expect that during certain times of the day the store will be busier, which will include more children, and possibly whole families.
And I do not believe it's a major breach of etiquette to have a child in tow while in public. Nor should they be kept from light of day until their old enough to drive. I am not a parent, but I can appreciate what an enormous challenge it must be to raise a child. [And scary.]
But I remember when kids ate dinner around sundown, and were bathed and put to bed shortly thereafter, and there were times of the day--and night--when you knew the adults would have it more to themselves. It was like a silent agreement among us that seemed to include respect for the feelings and needs of everyone.
Maybe it's me, but that seems to have gone the way of payphones.
Seriously, does a small, tired child really need to be at Walmart in the middle of the night?
And what about safety?
I made a scheduled trip myself on Monday evening, after coincidentally watching an installment on Dr. Phil related to this subject. At one point, two little ones, about 2- and 4-years old, practically collided with me in the dairy aisle, trying to keep up with a female adult quite a few steps ahead of them. And trying not to collide with any other adults busily shopping in that department. I personally would have coralled them in a basket if only to protect them from someone who was shopping for a child instead of cottage cheese, or being trampled by a bunch of adults, half of whom were multi-tasking on their cell-phones.
But again, maybe that's just me.
Again, don't get me wrong--I'm not saying children should always be left home, nor do I assume it's always possible. I'm just hoping for a little compromise.
And I'm probably a little cranky 'cause it's way past my bedtime.