This is what it feels like to relax and be stress-free in a store. It was all coming back to me.

As I walked casually strolled and took my time browsing through Borders Books and Music with other like-minded-autistic-child-free adults, I felt a sense of peace. And quiet. The kind of quiet that doesn't require a "shhhhhhhhhhhh" or a covering of the mouth with your hand.

The last time we were at Borders within ten minutes the Doodle set off the emergency exit alarm, threw a buttload of books on the floor and screamed. A lot.

I walked through the store browsing the Bargain Tables and tonight it was buy 2 bargain books and get the 3rd for FREE! I loaded up on all kinds of stuff I didn't need including a book on cupcakes which ought to be fabulous for my diet and a book about Pirates. I even bought a couple of $5.99 cd's: One Republic and Train, two of my favorites.

As I approached the check out counter and momentarily had the sick feeling of forgetting the Doodle somewhere since he wasn't with me...I had a vision of an unflattering security camera picture of the Doodle violating the emergency exit and me falling on my butt taped behind the counter to alert the clerks should I attempt to bring him in the store again.

My unnecessary purchase went off without a hitch. No one commented on what was wrong with my child or tried to pretend not to notice his tantrums. Somethings, I've decided, I should not force on the Doodle. Bookstores and Libraries are two that come to mind among about another thousand places I should add to that list. Maybe someday the Doodle will find a love for reading and like being in a bookstore as much as I do without taking his shoes off and knocking things over. But, for now, I will enjoy the bookstore all by myself.

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