I know Apple Stores aren't meant for toddlers, but when my nearly new
laptop refused to turn on, I had no choice. Luckily, they said it would be quick.
Beatrice and I
arrive for our genius bar appointment. Apple
employees seem to be encouraged to wear hats to express their individuality. They
all wear jeans and that same blue T-shirt, plus most of them also have an “effortlessly stylish” looking beanie or newsboy or stocking hat. This is cute,
I guess, unless you are a mom and your toddler is in a phase of wanting to try
on other people’s hats.
No one wants to
let a random one-year-old try on his hat. So I set my
purse on Bea’s head and tell her it’s a hat. She makes the proudest face.
I’m told my
computer will be fixed in another 10 minutes, tops. I’m glad to hear this
because Bea is blowing through the snacks I packed in record time.
wresting the wrapper off a string cheese, Bea is lying on the floor nearing a
meltdown. An employee almost trips over her and saves them both with
a really impressive leap. We all have a good laugh about it. They say
my computer will be done in five minutes, now so we’re all right.
Neither the employees nor the customers are comfortable with the tickling, but we all agree with our eyes that it’s a big improvement from the screeching.
In case you ever
wondered, the squirting range of a juice box is 10 feet, if squeezed by a frustrated toddler.
I never thought I
would be really happy that my daughter shot an old man in the face with a juice
box. But, in this case, the old man was standing in front of row of new Macbooks. He took one for the team, and I loved
him for it.
I tell an employee we
will have to be leaving shortly if it’s not a quick fix. They assure me: just
10 more minutes.
Bea suddenly gets
really happy and starts doing her happiest high-pitched shriek. I gently
redirect her attention to a book. The shrieking turns from happy to mad. Everyone
in the store gives us the judgey stink-eye, except the old man who got shot by
the juice box. He smiles and tells me that Bea is beautiful and full of life. He’s
chubby with a white beard and, at that moment, I think he might be Santa.
Bea is crawling around
under a counter that has all the new iPhones on it, tickling prospective customer’s
feet and saying “Ticka ticka ticka!” Neither
the employees nor the customers are comfortable with the tickling, but we all agree
with our eyes that it’s a big improvement from the screeching. We have an
understanding that the tickling can continue.
For the first time, one
of the employees admits that my computer’s issue is going to take a while. She
suggests that we get a coffee and come back in 20 minutes. I
walk Bea across the mall and buy banana bread. We eat it together
like a starving lion family, and then Bea kisses me repeatedly on the cheek for
the next 10 minutes. She says, “I love you” for the first time, I think (it was
hard to tell. There was a lot of bread in her mouth but I swear…). It’s nice to feel like we’re a little unified team again. Also, I now totally
understand how people get trapped into patterns of feeding their kids junk
food. I get it.
Bea and I leave the Apple store, battle-weary but closely bonded, thanks to mall kiosk banana bread.
6:30 PM We’re back at the Apple store. I’m sad to notice
that Santa disappeared while we were away. Typical Santa move. I tell someone
that we need to leave, right now, all tough-like. I will take my broken
computer right now please. They disappear into the back and don’t come back for
a long time.