Friday, January 15, 2010

OT On sale in the produce aisle


The other day at the grocery store, a man offered me his child.

And I completely understood.

It was one of those moments when you size up what's been going on between a parent and child in .05 seconds and think, thank goodness I left mine at home.

I'd walked into the store without my children, for once. And like every time I'm without them, I get this silly, almost nostalgic attitude toward all other children. Children I never even notice since I'm usually busy trying to keep mine from knocking over the huge soda display or tossing six toys into the cart and covering them with the bread so I won't see them until we're in the checkout.

There she was, with the cutest pair of ponytails sticking straight up. She was maybe two years old, and was not sitting in her seat in the cart, but slightly above it, her father keeping her safe.

"She's so adorable," I said as I headed toward the broccoli.

He took one look at me, lifted her up, and pretended to hand her over. That's when I saw it. This child had just completed a full-blown melt down.

She had all the classic post melt down signs. Glistening eyes. Ruddy cheeks. Calm behavior.

And he had the classic survivor signs. Stiff back. Throbbing temple. Expressionless face.

I wanted to say, I have so been there, Mister. I feel your pain.

Instead, I just laughed as he cracked a slight, weary smile.

Yes, I've been to melt down land, to that moment when you wonder about not only your child but the entire human race. Is this any way to populate a planet? Fill it with crazed people who at any given moment will have a total cow in the grocery store and refuse to sit in the cart with their seatbelt fasten as is CLEARLY indicated on the illustrations?

Frankly my children modeled for the illustrations of what NOT to do on the grocery cart.

So I turned down the little girl with the ponytails that day. Cute or not, I know now what I'd be getting into. Plus I finally got mine to sit down!


Okay, just for a minute, but, hey, it's progress.

...

5 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

Wrecking Crew decided that an Epic Fit in WallyWorld was in order a couple months back. I used it to point out the benefits of BIRTH CONTROL to a smart a$$ punk teenaged girl, who was rolling her heavily made up eyes and sighing and making comments about children and their parents...

I said, "Just think. If you don't use a condom, this could be YOURS. And I bet when YOU had melt downs like this in public, your parents wished THEY SKIPPED THAT NIGHTS FOOLING AROUND."

She walked away.

Wrecker quit his fit.

And I laughed all the way home.

Michelle said...

Ahhhh.....just the thought of that potential melt down is enough to keep me scurrying past any pig-tailed kids, cute or not. Mrs Mom's comments cracked me up! I love it.

Cheryl Ann said...

I have 20 students in my third grade class and BELIEVE ME, by the end of the day, I'm glad to see MOST of them GO HOME! Bye, bye! And off they go to their parents. Then I sit down and have a nervous breakdown! This class is a handful! They are VERY disrespectful, they blurt out, they talk, they can't walk in a straight line, they talk loudly in the library...the list is endless. I waste about 75% of my time on discipline with them!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I remember those days too and now I have my 3 grandchildren to babysit a few times a week. I try to NEVER take them shopping with me, getting whatever I need ahead of time saves my blood pressure from soaring. The 7 month old has just learned how to have a fit worthy of an Oscar. Keep smiling!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I remember one time when my two year old was having a melt down in the store. I got so angry that I slapped her leg. Unfortunately, she was wearing shorts and I hit bare skin. It left a red hand print on her skin. OMG, I was so appalled/embarrased/ashamed. I wanted to die right then and there. I was sure they would come and arrest me for child abuse! The crazy thing was, she knew she had been misbehaving and she never said a word, didn't even cry! She also quit throwing such tantrums...