Category Archives: Parenthood

Dear Target (Part 2),

About that Boycott (2 months later) or Dear Target Part 2

It’s been a couple months since I wrote about my concerns over Target’s announcement that their bathrooms were essentially gender free. With a lot of thought, and significant sadness, I decided to stop shopping at one of my favorite stores. Since then, I have read many responses to this issue and I want to be very clear about where I stood and where I stand now. I would like to say a few things about my stance:

I am not a bigot. Please take my post as it is written, in honesty and believe that I am NOT covering up bigotry with fabricated safety concerns. That is categorically untrue. I would like to re-iterate emphatically that my choice not to shop at Target was not because I have a problem with transgender individuals using the bathroom. IMG_2075Instead it is because I am firmly convinced that this public announcement from Target opens the door to predators having easier access to my daughters and America’s daughters. I do not think that this is a theoretical risk. I am confident that this is a definitive and undeniably dangerous situation that Target is placing the public in. There is evidence of this already being an issue:
*Man uses Women’s Locker Room 

*University of Toronto reverses policy due to abuse

*Man undresses in front of children at Walmart

*Jason Pomares records hours of customers in store bathroom

*Man claims to be transgender to gain access to women at shelters

*Man dressed in wig and bra arrested in women’s room quoted as saying he took “a shower in the girls’ locker room for sexual gratification”.

I am not a half-hearted blogger. I saw a few posts that were making fun of the boycott and saying that if there was another launch of a popular brand (Lily Pulitzer, for example), boycotters would drop their “values” and race with their Redcard to the nearest Target. I can’t speak for any one else, but I did not take my decision lightly. This issue is of paramount importance to me and no discount, event or holiday would change my mind. I have not walked into a Target since my post from April. I have not shopped at Target.com. I have not spent the giftcard in my wallet. It’s fine if you disagree with me, but please don’t attack my character by suggesting I am not sincere. Believe me, if nothing else, I am incredibly stubborn.

Many Rape & Abuse Survivors feel re-victimized by this societal turn. A large segment of society is being ignored. For the most part, Target (and businesses that are following in their footsteps) are ignoring the needs of a LARGE demographic: Rape & Abuse survivors. (Statistics are hard to find for this group, but the consensus is that the numbers are high and vastly under-reported.)  These individuals have been ignored, silenced and often punished for reporting. Kaeley Triller says this much better than I ever could, please read her perspective.

I won’t be quoting the Bible in regard to this. I’m a firm and committed Christian, but I don’t expect Target (or any corporation) to follow Scripture. Target is not Christian and we can’t expect unbelievers to respond the way believers should. However, I would hope they would respond to their customer’s safety concerns as people of all beliefs should seek to protect the most vulnerable of society.

I understand that Bathroom policies are NOT the biggest issues at stake in our rapidly changing world. I have seen lots of people criticizing bloggers like me because there are bigger problems in the world, and that is absolutely true. I am not saying that this topic is more important than terrorism, starvation, child abuse, abortion, or other scores of social issues. I am speaking up about this issue, frankly, because I am a mother of young children, a shopaholic, and I have always been a loyal Target shopper. Also, coincidentally, my Target does NOT have a family bathroom. So everyone saying “just use the family bathroom” needs to realize that isn’t available in all stores.

Target’s response to their customers’ concerns has been inadequate. From the beginning, I never anticipated Target to reverse the policy. I had hoped that they would clarify it, speaking out against pedophilia and voyeurism. I had hoped they would respond with some clear safety steps to prevent what we fear. I had hoped they would express regret that they were alienating a large portion of their customers. I had hoped for sensitivity. Target’s corporate response can be found here.

At the end of the statement, the CEO compares this scenario to Target’s early use of black models in advertising in the 60’s, which was met with public backlash. I can’t even respond to this, because it’s clear that Target is completely ignoring what millions of customers are saying: “This is not about Transgenders. This is about the very real danger of predators, and a Corporation putting our children at risk.”

Target reiterates: “And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.” Clearly not, in this case. Target’s sales continue to go down but they seem to be blaming it on abnormal seasonal shopping trends, rather than acknowledging that many of us are boycotting.

So for me, I still won’t be shopping there. It will be interesting approaching back-to-school season and the upcoming holiday shopping season, when I typical hit multiple Targets dozens of times. (For those of you who are skipping Target in the future, be sure to follow my blog for all the non-Target deals I round up. ) My wallet will be in better shape from this lifestyle change. With all my spare time not shopping at Target, I’ve managed to do more cooking, a couple of DIY projects, and I even went to the gym and worked out for the first time in four years.

Dear Target, now that I’ve gotten some distance from our relationship, I realize it was never a very healthy one. You were just in it for my money, and you never really cared about me at all. I’ll miss you, but we’re apparently better off apart.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to my daddy Alan who led me to Jesus as we sat together in an orange recliner over twenty-five years ago. No gift could ever be as precious as that, but he has loved me every day of my life and showed it through actions and words. And sometimes by making fun of me.  Despite the loss of his own father as a young child he has been the ultimate example of a supportive and committed parent to his four children. He also loves his four grandchildren with the blinding light of a thousand suns.

Happy Father’s Day to the strong and godly men that have been a light in my life: Mr. Gerald who gave me a deeper understanding of God’s character than I ever had before and has always encouraged me. Mark, my father-in-law, who has shown me kindness since Day One and takes advantage of time with his grandchildren to really get to know them.

Happy Father’s Day to the amazing man who is father to my children: Craig Prescott I love you and praise God for your love for your family!
And here is the kids’ poem to their Daddy:

On this very special day

We have a lot to say

We’re thankful for you

And all that you do

You go to work before the sun

We know your office ain’t that fun

Some days you’re the only one

To stay till all the work is done

At home you press on without rest

Helping us to do our best

Mowing, cleaning, cooking too

Sometimes it seems that’s all you do

Clayton loves the star wars play

You do it almost every day!

You often win at Monopoly deal

But you still care about how we feel

You read to us and make us laugh

You give the dog a bubble bath

You teach us lots and lots of facts

You pay the bills and all the tax

Daddy, we love you and we pray

You have a Happy Father’s Day

Love,

Your family

Sibling Day

Sunday was Sibling Day, and on that day my sister and her husband gave me an unexpected gift. They let me join them for the birth of my nephew. It was a scary, sweet, and breathtaking moment that I will never forget. The experience gave me a new appreciation for almost EVERYONE. I appreciated my mama, for going through that four times. I appreciated my dad for being with her and caring for her. I appreciated my sister for letting me step into that private moment and for her amazing strength and calm. I appreciated her husband for being there for her with so much love. Also, my appreciation for my husband is magnified because I truly didn’t understand the enormity of experiencing childbirth as the support person (I wasn’t even in that role myself, just observing it really). Now I understand a little bit better how that must feel.

hanlove

I am sure I will soon post again about my sweet nephew Han. I am overwhelmed with amazement. He is so precious, beautiful, smart and strong. I am also amused at my desire to tell everyone, even strangers, about this new addition to our family. (I have seen this second hand, but never experienced this myself.) Happy Birth week, dear baby Han! And thank you Caroline for the best sibling gift ever!

Flashback Friday

Once in awhile, it’s productive to remind yourself of your own past. In my case, it’s encouraging to remember that however chaotic today is, I’ve gotten through worse. Here’s a description I wrote of a normal day in our lives about four years ago; back before my son came on the scene….back when diapers were double…..back when I still thought I could win the battle against clutter in our home…..and before I surrendered to the inevitability of takeout on the weekly menu. It still makes me laugh, and cringe a little. It also makes me miss those two little curly heads that have grown into big girls with even more curls.

067

There isn’t enough Prozac or Febreze to fix this terrible, awful, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Why, oh WHY is it times when I have my sights set SO high on getting SO much done that the entire world seems against me? Let’s go chronologically, shall we…

6:00 AM Psychotic beagle wakes me up, running around the room for no apparent reason. Take off her collar so it will stop jingling, then put her on my bed, which is typically off limits. She proceeds to jump up and down and run around the house so that I cannot fall asleep.

6:35 AM I fall back asleep finally, right before the girls wake up, grumpy as usual.

6:50 AM Try to entice the girls with TV, but wind up having to fix breakfast and spinelessly give in to feeding them in the living room. I feel like I have already compromised my values and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.

7:30 AM Since things are already on a downward spiral, it seems like the appropriate time to prepare for the inevitable Walmart trip.

9:30 AM We’re finally ready to go. Leave front door.

9:45 AM Leave drive-way. Yes, it does take that long, I swear. Have you ever tried to carry two toddlers to the car along with their accompanying accessories while simultaneously blocking a headstrong beagle from escaping the front porch? It’s no wonder I have tendonitis. In both wrists.

10:00 AM I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart, I really do. I mean, I even worked there for awhile and I have found some great deals. Besides, where else can you find lawn furniture, pizza crust and diapers all under the same roof in the middle of the night?  However, in the huge, vast Super Walmart there are only two, count them, TWO double carts. Thought I was lucky to find one then realized it was soaking wet. Get cart dried off, then realize straps are broken. Too late to back out now. The girls ride standing in the front of the double cart. Do NOT try this at home.

10:15 AM Tell the girls 27 thousand times to not stand on the seat. Stand on the floor of the little front cart car thingy. DO NOT STAND ON SEAT.

10:45 AM Criss-cross ginormous store finding about half of the items I actually needed, forgetting the other half. Remind twins DO NOT STAND ON SEAT.

11:00 AM Spend 15 minutes locating a manager to politely suggest, ask, then desperately beg, that the store “invest” in at least 2 working double carts. At this point, I’ve clearly abandoned all self-respect, not to mention publicly admitting I’m a frequent Walmart customer. Manager looks at me as if I am a little OCD and then asks how old they are. “UMmmmm. Old enough to need to be buckled into a cart, and not old enough to walk along side it.” Old enough to realize that a store this size NEEDS more double carts!

11:15 AM Unload groceries, get kids into house, take incessantly barking dog outside, try to start chopping veggies to put in crock pot for soup. Turn around and the twins have sprinkled flour on roughly half of the contents of our pantry, and generously dusted themselves as well. Close door on pantry and try to forget that. Wasn’t that door supposed to have a child lock?

12:00 PM Give girls lunch, realize (once it is too late) that all ingredients will not fit into the crock pot. Recipe is probably now ruined as I haphazardly scoop out “half” of the ingredients.

12:10 PM Naively decide it is a good time to clean out fridge, so pull out most of fridge stuff all over the kitchen which is already covered in groceries, half chopped soup ingredients removed from pot and flour. Decide I should either clean out fridge much more often, or never.

12:25 PM Girls have taken applesauce and milk and made a paste that is now coating chairs and table, and their flour-dredged dresses, which, might I add, were new until today. Scarlet cries because I refuse to replace milk she has deliberately poured all over kitchen.

12:30 PM Clean girls off, strip dirty clothes. Sophia wails because I will not let her continue living in filthy dress. Trash can is starting to smell from fridge which is still open and half scrubbed out. Counter is now covered in empty cans, choppings, half of ruined soup and the contents of fridge.

12:40 PM Something SMELLS. BEAGLE HAS POOPED IN LIVING ROOM. The girls are screaming and gagging in horror, still naked. Fridge remains open, food is all over kitchen. Applesauce/Milk paste is covering furniture. It gets worse.

12:45 PM Realize too late that BEAGLE HAS stepped in poop and tracked it on rug and floor. Capture beagle and cage her, while telling her of all the places she could live that would make me quite happy, realizing all the while that I will now have to bathe beagle and clean cage. DD1 starts crying because apparently, she has wet her diaper and that just CANNOT WAIT. Clean poop off of floor, apply carpet cleaner to rug and search in trepidation for more.

1:00 PM Take girls to bedroom, change them, dress them and put them in bed for nap. Sigh in relief, start to leave bedroom. See poop-covered Croc (Croc Mammoth OF COURSE) in corner and realize the poop has now been theoretically spread from living room, down hall, and into girls’ room, covering throw rugs, laminate floor, and carpeting in its journey.

1:15 PM Cook chicken pot pie, fattiest food item I could find in freezer and eat it with a taboo Mt. Dew. Slowly come to accept reality that we must now move to get away from the omnipresent poop.

It’s crystal clear that getting off Prozac was a huge mistake.