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Apple Store is No Place for a Child

So much white. So much glass.

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.

4 PM

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.

4:30 PM

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.

While I’m 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.

5 PM

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.

5:15 PM

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.

RELATED: Choose Your Own Adventure: the Toddler Meltdown Edition

5:35 PM

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.

6 PM

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.

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7 PM Bad news: my computer needs a replacement part that will take several days to arrive. Bea and I leave the Apple store, battle-weary but closely bonded, thanks to mall kiosk banana bread.

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Image via Apple.com

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