How many times have you stood in line in the grocery store check out with your kids in tow? I was shopping the other day and had a flashback (is that the same as #TBT) as the little girl and boy in front of me begged and whined for their mother to buy them gum and candy.
Of course all that mother wanted to do was get her items up on the check out belt and get her groceries as quickly as possible. But of course her children would not relent despite her best attempts at #1 explaining to them why they did not need anything, #2 ignoring their requests, and finally #3 allowing them each to get one item, just because!!
Grocery stores and other chains are brilliant. There are always items at the check out counters displayed at perfect eye level for children of all ages. Lowest shelves with gum and candy and working the way up to iTunes gift cards, Chapstick, and hand sanitizer. All sorts of temptations, especially for those children who are just ready for an “impulse buy” and instinctively know just how to beg.
I can remember being in line with all three of my boys while I was trying to write a check, get out my ID ( dates me) and pay for the masses of groceries for a family of 5. Of course all of the kids were whining, I am sure they were probably taunting one another too (lots of little boy poking and prodding in those days) and everyone had grabbed some sort of candy they wanted. Being the “perfect” mother I said “NO”, the first time! But like many a parent after a bit I just caved and they all ended up with lifesavers and gum. Not the end of the world. The funny part was a patient of mine had been in another line and watched the whole thing. The next time I saw her she asked me how all of those lifesavers and gum were?! She said it made her laugh to know I had to deal with all of that too... many times.
Some things are timeless and the check out counter, whether self serve or full serve requires a child to wait for their parent. What better “easy money” for any chain than to keep putting those tempting items at eye level for those bored children. I would vote for aisles without all of that stuff (or maybe put vegetables there) for all of the weary parents who would rather wait in a longer line than deal with persistent pleading of children for a pack of gum.