three things every shopping parent needs

by humanmama on March 27, 2015

Being a parent is hard. Like, really, really hard. Yes it’s rewarding–because it has to be, because who would ever have a child if there wasn’t some huge reward? People who like punishment? Women sitting around taking an online quiz–“Build a Red Room of Pain and Pleasure or Have a Child: Which Should You Do?” Parenting in a nutshell: rewarding, yes at times, but so hard. That, dear friends, is why I have compiled a list of the three things every store should have, everywhere, to make parents’ lives easier and better. Come on, retailers! Take notice! When I am able to make my kids comfortable I am able to spend more time in your store, and we all know time = money, right? So, take heed, and let me know what your remodeling is finished. Me and my money (and my kids) will be right over.

1. ) Playground.
Every single place ever could have a playground, and I would spend loads of money there. Seriously, the costs of liability insurance and of the actual playground would be made back in profits in the first day. Children are much like, say, cattle. They’re ornery and stinky, and they must be herded for safety. If you had a play-area, even, not like an actual swings-and-slides bit but just like a fenced in little corner? I guarantee you more bottom line. Drug store? Have Children’s Tylenol or Tampax sponsor it. Grocery store? Already some are on the bandwagon. Bank? Furniture store? Target? Bakery? Get creative people! In the bakery you could just put a window by the cake decorating area and put a fence around the window. Boom! Problem solved. I am telling you I know about 100,000 interested parents who wouldn’t sue, even if their child was being sat on by another child.

2. ) Bathroom.
There is absolutely no reason not to have a bathroom everywhere I go. I’m not in rural Zimbabwe here. There’s indoor plumbing everywhere I frequent. And, that being so, please drywall off one corner of your store with enough room to turn a stroller around inside of it, have a ledge for changing diapers on somewhere and a toilet. Bonus points for a sink. Also, FYI, every bathroom everywhere should have one of those insane wind tunnel hand-dryers (*you say “hand,” I say “underpants”) and also paper towels. Recycled is fine, the cheaper and more sustainable the better; there’s all sorts of nastiness I need to dry or wrap up that you do not want to know about.

3. ) Drive-thru.
On the days that I just do not feel like going out, you better believe that if I do manage to get my troop in the van, I do not for any reason want to leave it. Enter drive-thru food and banks. And now pharmacies! But you know what I’d drive through if there was one? Everything. You heard me: everything. Drive through Starbucks? Of course. Let’s branch out a bit. Library? Sure! Movie theater? It worked before! Williams-Sonoma? Hey, I’m not window shopping! I just need a spatula! Mall clothing stores? Yes! Here’s my size! I’ll try it on tonight with a glass of wine when my kids are asleep. You see? I’m telling you: there’s money in these ideas.

So if you’re the C-Something-O of a big corporation, give it some thought. You don’t need all three! Just a bathroom or a playground at first would be fine. Maybe I could run for President! I know my campaign slogan immediately: “A bathroom in every store, a drive-thru in every parking lot.”

Hmm, but then I’d have to get out of my van.image

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