Here Comes the Judge

I have a confession to make: if you bring your children into the store where I work, I may judge you as a parent. I know that I don’t have actual children of my own, which makes my position here a little shaky, but I can’t help it. I may judge.

I work part time in what I lovingly refer to as “The Mommy Mall” and most of the time that is great. We have mostly delightful customers who have equally delightful children. I especially like the ones in strollers. (And may I take this moment to comment on the evolution of the stroller? Some of these things look like they were engineered by NASA.) I really enjoy the opportunity to chat with the adorable little cherubs, only some of whom look at me as if I were an alien.

Our particular store, however, is filled with sharp objects and more glassware than you can throw a toddler at. Please be forewarned: if you allow your children to treat the cook’s tool area as a toy box, I will have to hover to make sure Violet doesn’t lose a digit. If you permit your child to bang away on a $50 All Clad splatter screen while you chat on your iPhone, I will glare. Please don’t make me wrestle this object away from little Seraphina, because she may wail and interrupt your conversation.

If your child adopts an item that you are unwilling to purchase, may I suggest that you ask for it once and then retrieve said item from your child. Yes, I realize Brooks may cry and, while I am not a big proponent of making children cry, I may become homicidal if I have to listen to you negotiate unsuccessfully for twenty minutes. A retail environment is really not an appropriate place to let your children come to their own conclusions or whatever new age parenting method you are pursuing. On that note, I know that it is beyond thrilling that Asher is beginning to walk, but please steer him away from the Reidel crystal (and out the door) if you don’t mind.

While it may seem harmless to allow your children to play with kitchen tools in your home, it is not appropriate in a store. We are attempting to sell these items. When they have been in your child’s mouth they become decidedly less appealing, especially if your child is teething. I don’t know about you, but the only tooth marks I want on my spatulas are my own. The flour sifter you have at home may have been built to withstand sifting a plastic display lemon, but I can assure you, our floor model was not. Also some of the electronics are actually plugged in, so please, please, please do not let Charlotte press the buttons. We all love to press buttons, but let’s keep it to the ones in elevators, shall we? Unless of course, you want to mop up the double espresso that is shooting all over the floor.

Let me be clear, I love children. I really do. And being childless, I appreciate the opportunity to coo and gurgle at babies and have silly conversations with toddlers. I am simply allergic to unsupervised and overindulged children. And I judge their parents. I just do.