Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm Just Here For The Food


Anyone with a toddler knows that what used to be a trip to the grocery store to simply buy food to feed the people living under your roof has become anything but simple. The preparation that goes into any trip to a store with other human beings inside of it is pretty much insane. It begins a half hour before you even get into the car to leave. You have to pack a diaper bag (why they call it that is beyond me it should be called the you will not believe how much crap I have in here bag) not only with diapers but with wipes, extra binky’s (paci’s or whatever your kid may call them & if your toddler doesn’t use one well I bow down to you), a sippy cup with juice, a bottle of water for when said sippy cup runs out of juice, a snack cup filled with gold fish, a backup snack, five “distracter” toys, 32 books, a change of pants (because  you never can be too safe) and a wallet to pay for the groceries.

After packing the diaper bag you move onto changing the toddler’s current diaper, getting their shoes on, putting on a coat and then oh wait what’s that smell?! Damn it. Coat off, changing diaper AGAIN. Ok coat back on, grab coupon book, diaper bag and toddler and load all of it into the car. Once you get to the store you find a cart unload the bag, toddler & coupon book. Take a deep breath, beg both your toddler and the shopping gods to please allow a smooth trip and in you go.

As you walk into the store we go to you are immediately in the bakery section (hey they’re not dummies) where they have coffee for sale (YES PLEASE!) and bagels, donuts, cookies etc.  So every week I buy my toddler a plain bagel to keep him happy quiet for the duration of our trip. You may be thinking why on earth did she pack all that other crap if she buys him a bagel? A toddler has the attention span of fruit fly and this bagel, while exciting for the first 5 aisles always seems to lose its luster by the dairy section so I need back up…trust me on this!

So bagel in hand we head to the produce section where we play counting games as I fill bags with apples. I play defense so 150 apples don’t dive to the floor as my toddler is grabbing them. We move throughout the store, singing songs, checking off my list, digging in my bag for a book, a toy, a sippy cup, another book, picking binky up off the floor, cleaning it giving it back and so on and so forth for 18 aisles. I have to hand it to my kid he’s pretty darn good. He deals with all the old ladies pinching his cheeks. He says hi and always says tanks (thanks) to the deli guy when given a piece of cheese and is pretty patient as I dig for 18 aisles for coupons and checking off my list.

Every week when we make it up to the checkout line without a major melt down I want to celebrate but like any good marathon runner mom I know it’s not over until we are walking out the automatic doors and headed to the car.  So today, there we are at the checkout line and as I am loading up our groceries onto the belt I can tell I have a ticking time bomb in my carriage. He’s rubbing his eyes, starting to whine, and giving me the calm before the storm look (every parent knows this look). My heart begins to pound and I start to sweat. The woman begins ringing me up and I am bagging as if I am on some grocery store game show. “Oh sorry honey I just ran out of receipt tape give me one minute” NOOOOOOOOOOOOO this can’t be happening. I look at toddler, he looks at me, I look at woman and suddenly the world is moving in slow motion and I know I’m not winning this race. You know that saying it’s not over until the fat lady sings…well the toddler cried and it was all over. He cried, and screamed a little and I did everything I could think of besides bounce up and down on my head juggling oranges and potatoes to stop it.

In every bad storm you always think it has to pass soon and just when you think it’s going to pass the wind picks up and it gets worse. The hot air wind in this case happened to be a cashier two down from us who was ringing up a single man. It was as if all the noise in the entire store, including my toddler stopped for a moment so that I could hear her loud and clear.

“Moms are so useless and awful now a days’ aren’t they?” Listen to that brat screaming and screaming and she doesn’t even care.” Him: “That would have never happened back in my day. My kids always behaved in public. It’s a shame what the world is coming to” Her: “She probably runs around all day dragging the kid to stores instead of doing anything fun with him, how sad. You should come first thing in the a.m. none of these obnoxious moms’s get here until 10am. Then you won’t have to listen to this nonsense” Him: “I’ll remember that for next time hahahaha”

And just like that a world of emotions came over me. I felt defensive not only for my mothering skills but for my toddler, who I know is anything but a brat thank you very much. I felt defeated. Defeated for preparing as much as I could to keep my toddler happy and in the end it didn’t work. I felt angry and sad that two people who know nothing about us could paint us with such a broad UGLY brush. I felt sad for moms everywhere who are doing the daily grind to the best of their ability only to have people who I can only imagine were one time in our shoes forget what it was like. I wanted to scream but I didn’t. I wanted to go up to customer service but I didn’t. I paid my bill and my toddler calmed down. As we were leaving he proceeded to wave and shout BYE BYE to each and every cashier and when we got to her he said BYE BYE and I said you may have ruined my mood but you didn’t ruin his. 

What I really wanted to say was this: You see lady being a mom isn’t easy. It’s hard and kids aren’t always happy, they’re human. We are all human and we are just trying to get through the simple things in life in one piece. I’m a good mom, he’ a good kid end of story. I spend enough time beating myself up about the mishaps of our day, I don’t need a stranger to do it! We came here to buy food, which last I checked was a necessity. We didn't come to be judged or handed a bag of anxiety upon checkout.  I didn’t say this though. Life goes on, so next week I’ll pack up my giant bag of crap and return as usual. I may however get on her line take away the bagel, binky and toys and just let him have at it. (DON'T mess with a mama bear)
 

11 comments:

  1. Ahhh! Oh, I would have been so angry! Ignorant people. Good for you for not hurling the bagel at their heads! I had something similar happen to me on an airplane...yeah, the grocery store with no escape. Tiny Assistant was wonderful for 6 hours, including two delays and during the last half hour sitting at the gate (another delay!) she got a little impatient and started to act up. Well, in her defense I wanted to act up too! She was 2 and 6 hours confined to a seat is enough to make ANYONE crazy. The 20-something "girl" in front of me turned around and said, "Do you think you could get some control over that?". At first I got nervous and felt guilty for being a "bad mom"- omg, how can I be letting my kid disrupt this lady's trip?? Then, after I thought about it, I change my mind- to hell with that person. I'll never see her again and why should I make my kid miserable to make a person with no compassion content. So, I let Tiny Assistant go nuts for the last 10 minutes we were on the plane. The evil stare from the childless child made my day instead of ruining it. As we were departing, another woman grabbed my arm and complimented my kid on how well behaved she was...people that can relate have compassion, other people judge when they have no relevant experience similar to our lives. Next time, throw the bagel!

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    1. Ok here's what I know about that 20-something...one day she will have a child and she will be in a similiar situation and when someone does the same to her she will have her "light bulb I'm was an ahole moment" :)

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    1. Thank you! He was about 6-9 months in that picture. The bagel thing has been a long standing tradition as you can see. ;)

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  3. I suppose it doesn't help to say that this happens to EVERYONE at least once, like a rite of passage. But we all realize this: people who are mean publicly, it's a reflection of them not of us. What I probably would have said is: "your Mother would be ashamed of you", and I best it's true.

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  4. I don't have kids myself, but I can relate to being judged by those who don't know me or anything about me. We all can in some way or another. That's part of what makes this a great post, so many people can relate to this scenario. You did better than I would have, I would have made an ass of myself and proven them right. So well done.

    Your also very funny. I really enjoyed reading. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you so much Jon. I love hearing that people are not only reading my posts but enjoying them as well. Often when I hit publish I imagine the sound of crickets so your comment makes me glad that's not true. :)

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  5. Karma has a way of evening out the world. They'll get theirs, you will continue to have good and bad days :)
    Thanks for hooking up at the Hump Day hook Up again ;)

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  6. I recall going grocery shopping several months ago with my two boys in tow. My husband usually does this chore and successfully, but I had offered which is beyond me now. My oldest was running from me to carriage and back and forth. I had told him to stop and to sit numerous times, which was obviously falling on deaf ears. I believe he wanted to help and being a boy he can't walk. He has to run. Regardless of who is around. At one point as he was running back to the carriage an elderly man had scolded him (loudly) and had specifically told him to stop running and to sit. I admit I was a bit put off but remember thinking that maybe Richie will now listen, considering it was a stranger who was telling him to do what I've been trying to do. As I turn to get an item, maybe a gallon of milk? an elderly lady, who was standing right next to me says something along the lines of "Mother's and their children", shaking her head in disbelief, annoyance? At that moment I remember feeling sad, defeated, hurt and embarrassed. I wanted to say something but yet didn't want any more attention drawn to myself so instead I gave her a dirty look. I hope she can still feel my eyes piercing into her.

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