How dare you bring your screaming child into this store!!
I actually had the luxury of going into Wal-Mart for some fruit on Saturday morning without a toddler in tow. I love going to the store with my boy, but we all know how much easier a quick trip in and a quick trip out is without kids! I just wanted to share a story with you guys... and see what you think.
As I walk into Wal-Mart I turn left into the produce section... but even before I had walked into the doors I could hear it. I could hear the blood curling screaming of a child. As I turned to the apples I found the culprit. The little fella was screaming bloody murder because his 'mom' would not let him have more snack. Apparently she had opened the box of gummies and given him a pack and now he wanted more. Little boy would NOT stop screaming and throwing a fit. He was climbing into the shopping cart going over all of the food that mom had so neatly prepared and grabbing at the box. Mom would calmly take them away and he would continue yelling and screaming, kicking.. "Snack! Snack!" When I first heard the screaming I really expected to see a little dude around my boys age... but this little guy was probably at least 4. I kid you not that this fit lasted the whole time I was shopping in the produce... It seemed each place I went mom and her little guy were right there with me. Mom and her daughter just continued doing what they needed to do and time to time took the snack box away from the boy and said calmly, "I said no!" I was so amazed by this mom... For a few reasons which I will tell you about in a little bit. But what struck me were the other moms around us. The moms who casted judgement stares because this mom was allowing her child to throw this fit. Disgusted looks given to this child because he did not have self- control. Prideful smiles because "my child isn't acting like that." The moms who so rudely jerked their buggy the other direction as they talked to their friend about the child. I was not shocked or upset with the mom who had the crying son... or the son that was starting to give me a headache. I was upset with the other patrons in the store. It made me want to scream at them. But what happened to me next surprised me...
You see, at first I felt sorry for the mom because she was having to deal with this. Then I admired the mom for continuing her shopping and being so CALM. When my boy acts out in public, I start sweating, embarrassed and do everything but beg him to just stop. But as I looked at the grapes for the best ones and this little family stood about 15 feet from me, with the continued yelling... I started crying. I broke down right there looking at grapes. As the other moms starred at this woman in disbelief that she was allowing this, I cried. I cried because... we don't know her story. I have to admit to you that I LOVE when I think outside the box and I am not standing there like the other moms and judging. I love when I can remove the selfish part of me who wanted to relish the quiet, alone trip to Wal-Mart and I can realize that we have NO clue where this family has come from. There are so many scenarios.. but what made me cry was this.....
This "mom" could have very well been their mom, but she could have also been their Grandma. We have no clue. As we cast these stares and snide remarks to other moms in the grocery store, we have NO clue what is going on. I cried because I envisioned that she, like my own mother, is calm with these kids because they are her grand babies and she has been surprised by the new task of helping take care of them. You see, our mom is Gammy.. and Gammy now has to play such a vital role in our brothers kids lives. When Shane, our big brother, passed away in December of 2009, it was a shock and it shook our worlds... As he left three small children behind, our parents began to help support them. They have taken on such a huge task that I know they would not change. I cried because I could only imagine how our parents must have felt at times when the little ones would throw a fit in the store or restaurant and people gave them 'the look'... the look that says:
HOW DARE YOU BRING THAT SCREAMING CHILD OUT IN PUBLIC!
I cried because again, we do not know what the story is. I do imagine her story was much deeper than just allowing this small boy to scream and yell. But what about the boy? If this 'mom' was actually indeed new to taking care of this child... we have no clue what this little boy is going through.
I want to always think outside the box and not judge other moms. What gets to me the most about all of the stares, annoying looks, and snide remarks made to this mom was... HELLO! Have we not all experienced this at one time or another with our own child. Maybe not quite as bad for some-- but come on!! I want to always remember... kids will be kids.
I was mostly amazed by this 'mom' because she did not let it get to her. She didn't let it phase her that other moms were being so rude, she didn't get nervous and anxious, and she did not show any anger toward her child. The best part yet.. she did NOT give in to him.. she did NOT let him have another snack. She just let him throw his fit. I learned from her that day and today I wish I had said something to her. But I couldn't you see... because I was standing there.. looking at grapes.. crying.
What do you think? What do you do when your child throws a fit? Do you handle it right then and there or do you ignore it like this mom did? Are you a mom that cast those judgemental stares? Do you get annoyed seeing kids in stores throwing fits? Please share.
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