Seriously. Especially if Miles is with me. What could have been a ten minute run in to Wal-Mart by myself turned into an hour-long ordeal that included a zillion mini-meltdowns.
I mean, I get it. Wal-Mart is about the worst place in the world for a toddler*. It's huge. And over-poweringly bright. Everywhere you look, there are products stacked from floor to ceiling in endless rows. Around every corner is a TV, blaring out a commercial for a nearby product. People run in every direction, often with no patience or concern for those around them. And finding anything is a challenge. I almost always walk out with a headache.
I can only imagine what it must be like for Miles. Everything that I already mentioned? He sees that, too, except intensified. A small gym seems like a huge space to a toddler - something the size of your average Wal-Mart must seem like an impossible distance. The brightness makes it hard to look up, which is terrible if everything is above you. The walls of products must seem like a never-ending labyrinth of products so bright that your eye jumps from one to the next before it has had a chance to process. There is simply so much input. And his little brain? Is a sponge. And on top of all that? He is confined to the cart - an extremely small and uncomfortable space that he has zero control over.
I can totally understand why my kid was the Tantrum King today. In fact, I'm kinda surprised I didn't throw a few fits, myself.
Oh, glorious internet, become awesome enough that I don't have to step foot in one of those evil stores ever again. Deliver everything to my door, please. Or, better yet, bring back the dimly lit frontier General Store, with its few shelves of dry goods, attended by a clerk who brings everything to the counter for you.
Because this whole Wal-Mart/Target/Grocery Store idea? It sucks.
*And honestly? Every store is like this. I just happened to be at a Wal-Mart today.