Oh. My. Gosh.
A couple with five kids came in the store today. It was crazy. They walked around the store screaming their heads off. Twirling the Leaning Tree card rack, snatching the sparkly cards from the rack to clutch to their chests and wrinkle. They were grabbing the baby ducks and the baby chicks by their necks until Bob made them stop. They fought with each other, they screamed at their parents, their parents screamed at them. They wanted toys. Over and over, the tattooed mother said, "When we leave. We're not done yet. When we're ready to go." The youngest threw a full scale temper tantrum. They began to go in and out of the dressing rooms slamming the doors on each other. "Don't take the cards out of the rack please," I said. "Put down the ducklings right now," Bob said. The parents just roamed about the store obliviously. I think they liked the attention their brood was attracting. A volatile little red haired girl began screaming for what seemed like the 100th time, and a customer said, "That's awful." "I'll say," I replied, "but I'm telling you, these are not horrible kids, these are horrible, horrible parents." The customer agreed quickly. "How long have they been here?" another customer asked. "Over an hour," I said. And our banshees screamed up and down the aisles, fighting nonstop. When they left, Mom and 'Steve' got black cowboy hats. The kids did not get the toys that they were promised repeatedly. There was more screaming at the register. The oldest girl fixed her mother with a look and said sternly: "You just wasted $40 whole dollars!"
We got a new shipment of chicks in today. Much to my horror, there was one chick that was being attacked by the others. Customer after customer reported it. I stopped inviting kids to go back to look at them, because a couple kids were upset by the sight. The chicks are under stress and it takes them about 24 hours to settle down, Dave explained.
I thought of those aggressive stressed out chicks all night long. I decided that children and chicks are not all that different.