Monday, November 06, 2006

If you don't have a child who is publicly displaying the evidence of his sinful nature . . .

. . . please don't tell me how to take care of mine!

Luke has lately been a real pain in the neck when I'm running errands. I don't have many mornings to do them, so I try to do everything on Monday mornings. Last week he threw a lying down screaming fit in the middle of Target so I decided to only do the grocery store on Mondays until he gets through this phase.

Which is what this is! Any parent with kids past it knows it. It's frustrating to me, and embarrassing when it happens in public, but I'm not going to get worked up about it. Everyone will tell you the best thing to do is ignore it (unless they're endangering themselves) and try to avoid the circumstances that invoke it. Since I can't avoid the grocery store and don't want to go at night, I'm willing to put up with a little at one store once a week.

Today I almost lost it, though.

Luke was doing really well until we got to the check-out. I shop at a store called Aldi. It is really cheap, but there are some drawbacks that I'm considering might be big enough to pay more at the regular store to avoid. You have to pack your own groceries and usually by the time you're done putting your things on the belt the checker is almost done with your order. This means you get through quickly, but - and here's the kicker for us now - if you have a kid in the seat you have to transfer them to the cart that now has your groceries in it. That doesn't sit well with a 21-month-old who is already antsy.

Today I had to take him out and he started to fuss when I tried to put him back in the other cart. I stopped and he followed me to the shelf where you pack your groceries. The shelf goes almost the entire length of the store, is well over 2 feet deep, and has a big picture window behind it. I set Luke on the shelf so he could look out at the trucks. He is very steady and just stands there looking out and commenting on what he sees. I always have one eye on him and it helps me pack things quickly if he's not fussing. Well, Nazi-fake-security-lady immediately told me to put him down. I knew exactly what would happen next.

He screamed. He threw himself on the floor. And she walked over and started to tell him to be quiet and that he was not being a good boy. I was so mad it was all I could do to keep myself from turning and decking her. I figured that would probably compromise any kind of Christian witness or dignity I had left, so I just gave her the cold shoulder and packed up as quickly as I could considering that I had a screaming boy hanging on my leg.

When it was time to go I had to pick him up. Do you know how hard it is to push a cart full of groceries while you are carrying a struggling, kicking, crying boy? Add being 5 months pregnant.

I wish people would be a little more understanding when it comes to kids this age. I'm not a bad mom. I hate being looked at like I'm a fool and incompetent. I hate discipling my son when it isn't completely his fault in the first place. And I hate people telling him he's being bad when they are the ones who provoked the crying.



KTP said...

Yeah, I would have decked her. I'm not a very good Christian.

OddMix said...

I think I am with Kim, emotionally. Though I probably would not have done it, I sure would have wa nted to. And I do thing I would have informed her at length that she had just stepped waaaaaay over the line. *snarl*

OddMix said...

I get fat fingers when I get mad. LOL

Gayle and Rob said...

I think you handled this well, Katie. Restraint is so difficult, and yet it was the right - and good - thing to do. Ignorance is a terrible thing to see in people, and any comments you could make to the security Nazi would not get rid of her ignorance. It will not make you feel better now, but you have no regrets about words spoken in haste, either.

Mom Underground said...

What you've described (minus the annoying Nazi lady) is what happens 95 percent of the time I take Gabriel anywhere. It's not fun and it requires a tough skin and I completely feel your pain.

One thing I've noticed is that when I'm shopping with the kids and they pull stuff like this, it feels as though I'm the ONLY mom in the store with this happening to her. But when I shop alone, I realize that it's happening to so many more parents than I ever notice when I'm in the middle of it myself.