As I was placing my items on the conveyor belt, I heard, “Get over here!”
I mean, I really try not to judge parents at stores, because I’ve been there. Trust me. I would never, ever claim to be the best mom. And, shopping with my kids is normally less than glamorous. I do, however, try to whisper when scolding my kids in stores.
I, then, let out a sigh of relief, because, at this moment I was shopping alone.
I watched her small child wander through an aisle and back up toward the front of the store. After a really harsh, “Where were you?” the scolding, clear as day, continued, “You’re driving me crazy!” and “I’m really getting annoyed!”
At first I started feeling bad for the kid. Then I started feeling bad for the mom. She was probably just having a really bad day. But, come on lady, use your inside voice when yelling at your kids. It’s making me uncomfortable.
Really, though, I promise, I’ve been there. There was this one instance, I can remember it like it was yesterday (and it was over 5 months ago). All I wanted to do was buy some bananas at the grocery store. Just one small thing of bananas. That’s it. I debated going before I picked the kids up, then I thought, “Nah, it’s only a thing of bananas and the kids like going places.”
Enter grocery store:
Maya: Can I have a cart?
Me: You don’t need one, we’re just getting bananas.
Maddox: Me cart! Me cart!
Me: Maya, what about if Maddox pushes one of the small carts and you pick out the bananas.
Enter the produce aisle:
Me: Those are great, now let’s get going.
Maddox: Me nana! Me nana!
Me: Maddox, we don’t need any more bananas.
Maya: Maddox, how about I put the bananas in your cart and then you can push them.
Me: Maya, that was very nice sharing.
Maddox: NO! Me nana!
Me: No, buddy, we don’t need any more bananas. (As I start moving all of the bananas from the lower shelf to a higher shelf)
Then comes the waving hands, stomping feet and then the worst happened… He dropped to the floor of the produce aisle and he licked it. He. Licked. The. Grocery. Store. Floor!
I was so embarrassed. I’m not even sure how we got from the produce aisle to the check-out, but we did.
At this point, I was mad, but I’d kept my cool. At least to the outside world, I was calm. Inside I was so mad.
But, then he was very adamant about carrying the sack of bananas. Except it was too heavy for him so he kept dropping it. Every time I’d ask if he wanted help, he’d firmly answer, “No! Me do it!”
After the fifth time, I finally picked him up, under one arm (this kid weighs at least 33 lbs), with his little legs kicking and flailing about and his loud scream piercing my eardrums. Then I grabbed the bananas with the other hand and asked Maya to follow me to the car. I was sure someone would think I’d stolen him from his loving mom and dad.
Once to the car, there was more screaming, kicking and back arching, as I attempted to strap him into his carseat. Of course, all of this was done while keeping my head buried in my chest, to shield the judging faces of the shoppers passing by.
I closed his door and walked around the car to finish buckling Maya in. Just when I think I’m going to burst out crying, she so kindly says, “Mommy, it’s a good thing I was so good in there. Maybe next time you should go to the store by yourself.”
Yes, Maya, maybe next time I’ll go to the store by myself.
PS, I just signed up for a free webinar tomorrow: Get Kids to Listen without Reminding or Yelling. I’ll let you know how that goes. (: