It was my turn

Posted on: September 21, 2011

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and seen the woman with the screaming child?  You know who I’m talking about. The poor mother walks up and down the aisles attempting to get her grocery shopping done as her child sits in the grocery cart screaming.  The mother, with an extremely embarrassed expression on her face, desperately tries to quiet her child and at the same time sneaks a peak to see if anyone is staring at her.  She then does her best to avoid eye contact with anyone around her who in fact is staring at her with the “shut that kid up” expression on their face.  Well, that was me Tuesday night.

I took “G” with me to Wal-Mart to do some grocery shopping.  He’s usually very good at the store.  He loves sitting in the grocery cart and looking at all the people and “talking” to them as we pass them in the aisle.  Tuesday night was no exception.  He was his usual self and in a very happy mood.  He was laughing, “talking”, and squealing with delight.

It was the squealing that caused the commotion.  Sometimes, when my little man gets very excited, he likes to scream at the top of his lungs.  Most kids do that when they’re upset, mine does it when he’s happy.  Go figure.  So, he decided to scream very loudly while at Wal-Mart.  Over and over and over and over again.  There I was pushing my cart down the aisle with the afore-mentioned embarrassed expression on my face, telling my 10 month old son, “no screaming in the store”, despite the fact that he had no clue what I was telling him and also didn’t seem to care.  After all, he was having fun.

So there I am walking around shushing him and getting stared at.  A few women who heard his joyous screams smiled and laughed and gave me a “how cute” (notice here that I said “women”.  The only ones who would sympathize and understand and possibly find this cute).  However, I did also get the “Can’t you control your kid and shut him up” looks.  Not so fun.

But, you know what?  My little monkey was having a ball!  It’s not as if he was throwing a temper tantrum and crying in misery (although, I’m sure that’s in my future somewhere), he was HAPPY and having fun.  So, yes, it was embarrassing, but it could have been a lot worse.  But, since I know that somewhere down the road I will be the one with the screaming temper tantrum child, I say this:  To all you people out there who chose to stare and give us moms with screaming kids the “look”, please try to have some compassion instead.  Unless you’ve been there yourself, you have no idea what it’s like grocery shopping with children.  I know what you’re thinking, “so go shopping without them”.  Well, that isn’t always an option.  So, please stop staring at me and giving me dirty looks.  Thank you.

2 Responses to "It was my turn"

Whether a child is having a tantrum or squealing at the top of their lungs in delight doesn’t matter. A child is a child and we cant control their impulses until they are old enough to be taught how not to throw tantrums or to know to control themselves. To think that its a control issue over a 10 month would make you ignorant and closed minded.

My son “M” was a little cyclone, curious and chatterboxy and zoomed through the isles knocking things down and touching everything in sight. All the cooing, distraction strategies, pleading, speaking through clenched teeth and tears wouldnt slow him down. Couldnt even if he wanted to. He suffered from ADHD, which he has outgrown now at 23.

Now, when I see a child making his mother miserable or her telltale side glances, I sympathize and sometimes intercede and try to help. I remember all too well those looks. Just ignore the eyerolling, and the tisks and heaving breathing and continue about your business. I used to say to my hyperactive monkey, “Lets go honey, theres people around here with breathing problems and I dont want you to catch any nastiness from the air.”

BTW-your little monkey is absolutely adorable.

Thanks for the solidarity. It drives me nuts sometimes the way people think and the looks they give me. I’m sure you’re also familiar with the nasty looks given when you take your child on an airplane. That was an adventure too.

Love your comment, “Lets go honey, theres people around here with breathing problems and I dont want you to catch any nastiness from the air.” HYSTERICAL!

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