Thursday

JUST AN FYI and PLEASE BE VERY AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!

This happened on March 14th in Houston, TX at a Target Store.

I need to share this with whomever it will help. Today, I went to Target on Bay Area Blvd in Houston, Texas. As I was entering the checkout line, two women came up behind me. Both white females, one in her late 40's and one in her 20's. The younger woman had her hair shaved short and a speech impediment. The both stood entirely too close to me, one on each side so that my exit from the line was blocked. Both were so close, I could have put my arm around either of them. I was wearing my son and had my 2 year old daughter in the cart. The younger woman instantly asked me how old my children were and what their names were. When I didn't answer her about the names, she retorted "what, you don't know their names?" She asked my daughter her name, and when she didn't reply, she said "that's ok, she doesn't have to tell me right now." She continued to ask me about my children. I was incredibly uncomfortable. Every alarm in my body was going off that something wasn't right about this situation.

I asked them to back up so that I could turn my cart around. I made a rather big deal about turning my cart around in line - because NO WAY was I putting my kid out of arms reach while I unloaded my cart. I kept my daughter next to me and turned the backwards cart at an angle so that I could reach the items to place on the belt. This way, the cart was between me and the women and my child was next to me.

Again, the older woman asked my daughter's name. By now, this was the 4th time one of them had asked her name. I replied and said we were learning about stranger danger and she didn't have to reply. The younger woman answered this by saying "oh at some point, she will have to talk to strangers. What if she gets lost in this store? Try as we may, you'll take your eyes off of her at some point." She stared at me as she said this. WHO SAYS THIS? The older woman again asked my daughter her name, to which I loudly instructed my daughter not to answer her.

By now, I was acting so uncomfortable that the cashier was aware. Two other cashiers came over to help her. They scanned and loaded all of my items for me because I was not leaving my child one inch. I paid for my items and left. As I loaded my things and my kids into the car, I watched the door and parking lot. The two women never came out of target. This happened around lunch time. I am a prime candidate for being targeted. I have a child of the "right" age and am "distracted" shopping alone.

I am an ER nurse. Part of my skill set is that I can rapidly and accurately assess a situation - my patients lives depend on that skill. This situation and these women...there was no good intention in this situation. Whatever their goal, and I have my ideas, it was not for good. I called the manager as I left the store and am thankful she took my concerns seriously. She immediately sent her security team to find the women.

I am 100% convinced I encountered evil today. I am 100% that our God kept my children safe. This world we are living in today is full of scary and sick things. I am overwhelmingly thankful that there is a heaven. ONE DAY. One day, this world will pass and evil will lose. One day, our world will be safe and God will rule. One day, these worries will be erased. Until then, "I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Psalm 130:5

26 comments:

Taleia said...

I gotta say - and I so rarely say this - I feel like you under reacted lol! I would have been pitching a fit and telling them to back off, get away from me and my child, etc. Or I would have left everything and gone. Scary stuff!

Leigh Raymer said...

I would trust my kid with you any day - good job

Jaxx said...

I agree you should have brought attention to your self also if you could have moved enough you should have called 911 also if the cashier and a few other workers noticed they should have called security immediately. Also I would never have gone into the parking lot, a male worker should have at least gone out with you. But all came out good and I am sure your Guardian Angel and God were watching over you and your babies.

Karen Nomore said...

that's so scary, what a crazy world we live in. God was telling you to be cautious, that those women were no good. I hope they end up in jail. your mommy instincts and your training as a nurse are also what made you make the right desicion for your kids. your kids have a great mom,I'm glad you showed those woman its not as easy as they think to steal a cub from a momma bear.

Karen Nomore said...

that's so scary, what a crazy world we live in. God was telling you to be cautious, that those women were no good. I hope they end up in jail. your mommy instincts and your training as a nurse are also what made you make the right desicion for your kids. your kids have a great mom,I'm glad you showed those woman its not as easy as they think to steal a cub from a momma bear.

Ticked off said...

Here we go with the God/lord/angel comments again. That could have been edited out unless you're trying to alienate a bunch of your readers. If this a Christian blog now I'd rather know

Karen Nomore said...

freedom of religion, freedom of speech. freedom to go else where.

Karen Nomore said...

freedom of religion, freedom of speech. freedom to go else where.

Miss Dani The Nanny said...

Oh my Ticked Off. Who crapped in your coffee this morning?

I think you are missing the point here. It's not about God, religion or being religious. OP is a mother who obviously felt something wasn't right with this situation, and perhaps her instinct was in overdrive. Would you have engaged these weirdos in conversation because they looked trustworthy? It's when we engage in conversation that we sometimes have a momentary detach from the world around us.

I had a similar situation happen over the holidays when a stranger approached me in the mall, telling me I was so beautiful, could he take me out, etc. I worked at least 60 hours that week,mi was sick, tired and just wanted to be left alone. He kept trying to hug me, and I kept looking around to see if he or someone was going to steal my purse. He made me uncomfortable and I told him if he didn't stop touching me the next place he'd see was my fist, followed by the floor. He left me alone but the situation had me shaken up.

I agree with Taelia and Jaxx about bringing attention to the situation. Sometimes doing that will cause the person to stop and leave you alone. It worked for me at the mall.

Thanks for positing OP. God is wonderful and He was watching over you that day....

Leigh Raymer said...

we are only going to edit curse words lol - it's not a "Christian" blog but actually - on that subject - I have worked as a nanny and much more in 4 states - Ca. Ny. La. and Texas. I can tell you that in California and New York you have to be very careful about even saying "God Bless You" when someone sneezes. While in the south people say phrases all the time like "Good Lord willing". An interesting example is that show NYPD blue - The cop Andy would always say "I will put a good thought for you" while all the Texas cops say " I will have a prayer for you" lol.

As another example - I was supervising children's activities at a mall in south Texas which involved walking around interaction. The marketing director, temporary from CA. would not allow us to say " MERRY CHRISTMAS" it had to be " HAPPY HOLIDAYS" - well as soon as we were out of her sight the 2 big guy security guards with me started shouting " Merry Christmas !!!"

And yes the blog is being edited by Texans among others - and we respect any and every view - religious, not religious, even politics

The only caveat is - no cursing and no name calling but the passionate discussions,even disagreements are wonderful and informative.

Good Thoughts to Ticked off!

not JUST a Nanny said...

Now Leigh, THAT was an EXAMPLE of an EXCELLENT rebuttal!! Thank you for posting!

Leigh Raymer said...

haha - OK,K,K--- I've got another one - TRUE story

I was a nanny in CA. and I never was invited as a guest to my little charges birthday party I happily WORKED it for extra money!!$$$

So I was picking up extra things at the party store and there was a cute cassette tape that said " Happy Birthday Song". For those of you who are not sure what a cassette tape is, it used to be applied in something called a Boom Box to play music

So - it's time to sing the birthday song to my cute charge and i turn on the boom box -- ALL joined in the song- " Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday - GOD BLESS YOU - happy birthday to you"

Aww, man - I had not listened to it before hand- half the people made a face like sucking a lemon and the other half clapped their hands together and said "AWWWWWW" in this sarcastic way which meant i was an idiot!

memories.....

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Ticked Off. And no, I'm not the anonymous that everyone yells at to leave all the time...
I'm not so concerned that it's becoming a Christian blog as much as it's just a little annoying. It's one thing to say God kept the children safe, but I think it's another to put a scripture at the end of the story. It's not relevant to the story. I am a Christian, and I think it's wrong. But to be fair, I don't like the story either though. If two women (or men) approached me and did that, I would have asked them to leave and then asked for the manager if they didn't. I don't understand why someone would just stay there and let it continue to happen. I think that the OP could have been much more proactive.

Leigh Raymer said...

There are some Posts previously and coming up where I do edit some religious stuff out with permission of the poster. No one should be ramming one belief over another but beliefs of all kinds are part of the human condition.

We had a OP where the Op was Jewish and had a questionable nanny ramming her Evangelical beliefs on the family - the Op went into detail mentioning religious words, phrases etc and no one got upset with the post

I don't think it's going to be a trend,it's not a religious blog, let's move on - we will have a movie review later today

Kara Ivy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kara Ivy said...

I live in the Bay Area of California. I was raised/lived in Orange County, Ca (Southern California) up until the last 8 years when I moved here to be with my husband...I'm 34. I'm a registered republican and Catholic, I've never seen anyone half clap or give sour looks over me telling them, "God bless you" after a sneeze, "I'll pray for you" during a tragedy, etc...BESIDES the AMAZING family I work for whom were raised in Missouri as Baptists (and as they say, "In the Bible Belt"). So, not quite sure it's true that the majority of people in CA at a party would either give a sour look of disgust or a half clap due to being uncomfortable. I've been all over the world, country and state of California and actually have found that the people in Northern California are thee LEAST judgmental (and the whole of California is pretty open minded) and accepting of people of all differences versus any other state or country I've ever visited. Just my experience though.

Kara Ivy said...

Everyone says, "Leigh, you shouldn't moderate posts" (which she says she hasn't) but when she doesn't by not taking something out like a scripture or the word God everyone jumps down her throat. Do you guys want to read EXACTLY what the OP is posting or NOT? Sometimes this stuff gets annoying. I wasn't pleased with Leigh's approach when she first took over the blog but I am not beginning to understand where her frustration lies. Even with how this site orginatiated, "I saw your nanny" 99% of the time when a bad nanny post is posted half the comments are, "how do you know it's the nanny?" etc...what's the point of even posting a bad nanny sighting if all anyone is going to do is put it down or question the validity of it!

Leigh Raymer said...

Kara - good points, I was a little tongue in cheek about CA. vs the Bible Belt, but as someone raised in the Bible Belt and moved to CA. I noticed a big difference, but that is just me.And CA. was wonderful,ideas galore, great nutritious food, TALENTED people everywhere.

You have made a great point - many readers of the blog have their own pet peeve about what they want censored - some do not want nanny sightings, some don't want anything else BUT nanny sightings. I personally did not want to read about the various types of poop but my admin over ruled me and it was an interesting discussion.

My policy is going to post pretty much anything related to needs and opinions of childcare providers and/or child advocates - nannies, moms babysitters etc so we can have as many Ops as possible.

About the religious reference thing - I am going to take it under advisement. The 2 most quoted sources in the world are - 1. The Bible and 2. William Shakespeare. If we make a rule no one can quote the Bible, then do we do it for WS? Can we quote Dear Abby? Can we quote Dear Abby quoting the Bible?

I personally like quotes of many kinds - they can illustrate a point in an entertaining way.

Having said that - I am getting ready to post a movie review and I will edit a religious reference out just as a courtesy at this time to ticked off and anonymous.

Kara Ivy said...

Post whatever the OP writes...Period. That's the only way to keep the site genuine, sincere and real. If they go above and beyond and say something like, "go kill yourself" or, "f this and f that". then don't post it and then block them but other than that all views, opinions, beliefs and points should be able to be made as long as they remain in the context of being a positive advocate for children and children's issues. If someone feels the need to throw in a biblical scripture in the mean time to help make their point so be it and let them and then let the comments/commentary deal with it. That's the only way to keep it real. Plus, I think you've learned from our little, "situation" drama breeds more readers. ;)

Anonymous said...

Call me a skeptic but this story doesn't sound believable to me that two child abductors would do this right when the child is right next to her mom in a store full of people. They usually go after children who have wondered off. I keep my kids safe by keeping them close by. What really scares me is this movement called "free range parenting" which ENCOURAGES people to let children wander around unsupervised; those kids are at risk. When the predictor sees a parent right next to the child and proactive, they will give up and go for an easier target.

Jaxx said...

I agree post what is wrote ,of course with common sense editing and or blocking. We are all adults and can stop reading the post at the point we no longer have interest or feel comfortable. No different than a movie you can turn it off if you don't like it. If you can't take heat get out of the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

shutup, jesus freak.

Jaxx said...

Anonoymous
Really, you need to grow up!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you and I live in San Francisco! I don't buy her story one bit

Anonymous said...

This showed up on the debunking website Snopes.com -- http://www.snopes.com/target-strangers-facebook-warning/

Generally, if a story sounds too good/unbelievable to be true...

Anonymous said...

I've seen this story circulate a few times. While it may be a fake or embellished story, I think the idea behind it - trust your gut is a good one. If something is making you feel uncomfortable, speak up or remove yourself and your kids. If this happened to me, I'd have no problem saying "get away from me" in a stern, loud voice. Or I'd ask the cashier to get security or the manager. I think sometimes, especially women, are trained to be polite and not make a scene. Sometimes you should make a scene.