Sunday, May 19, 2013

Grocery Stupids

Anyone who has had the pleasure of grocery shopping with children before, surely will understand the absurdity, ridiculousness, and hilarity of this story.

We needed a full on grocery run.  It was necessary, otherwise I would have waited until later that night instead of venturing to the store with both Annika and Mayzie along for the ride.  They were wound up, and I wasn't in the mood to yell at them.  They were just being kids and exploring their surroundings and not really bothering me at all.  Just behind us in the store, there was a woman with triplet boys.  She had one of those wagons with three individual trailers, and her boys were sitting quietly and eating a snack.  I complimented her on her genius and she intimated that it was the only way she could get anything done.  Oh, the woes of a mother of multiples!  We shopped on.

I was standing and picking out produce, when all of a sudden an elderly lady addressed me:

Woman: Did you know that your daughter is running around with a bag of brussels sprouts?

Me: Yes. They're her favorite.  How lucky are we to get a 5 year old who loves brussels sprouts?

Woman: Well, both of your kids are being wild.  I saw a woman over there with 3 boys who were better behaved than your children.

Me: [astounded and too stunned to speak for a moment] Well, all kids are different.

Woman: [scoffs and walks away]

I laughed and went on with my shopping until the mother of the triplets turned the corner.  I HAD to tell her what that lady said.  I relayed the story and we shared a laugh.

She: Well, I guess I'll take the compliment.

Me: I knew you'd love it.  It didn't bother me.  After 5 years of this, I've learned to let stuff like that roll off my back.

She: Well you know what my husband always says? "God must really love stupid people, because he sure made a lot of them."

Me: I'm totally stealing that.

We finished shopping, and I warned a woman on the way in with a kid to beware of judge-y elderly people inside.  She laughed and said, "Thanks for the tip."

Two thoughts occur to me upon reflection:
1. I really LOVE the camaraderie between parents.  We're really all in this together, and I adore parents who just GET it.
2. Exactly how long does it take before you forget what it's like to be a parent of small children and to become judge-y and arrogant enough to feel that you have the right to tell others how to handle theirs in public?

Here's hoping I never get like that.


  1. So true! It is easy to forget what it's like to be a parent of a small child.

    I was at a church reception when my daughter was a quiet, obedient 3-year-old (yeah, I was lucky then, but I'm paying dearly now for the crash course in behavior modification skills I had to acquire when she turned 16). Anyway, my daughter was looking at the treats at eye level on the table, hands behind her back, as she'd been taught. After deciding which treat she was going to get, she got up on tiptoe and carefully reached for an iced cookie at the front of the plate. A woman in her late 50s (with 3 young-adult progeny) lightly slapped my daughter's hand before she even got it to the cookie and told her gruffly to be careful because people didn't want her germs on their food. No smile, no "I'm a sweet, but dotty woman" expression on her face.

    My daughter was shocked; I could see a cry building up in her. But she could not have been as shocked as I was. I took a step to the woman and told her that my daughter hadn't touched any of the items, then I positioned myself between the self-appointed food monitor and my daughter and told my daughter to pick up whichever items she wanted and put them on a plate. And then I took an extra couple of cookies and wrapped them in a napkin to take home for later. My feelings about this woman were not the most Christ-like and forgiving. And I hope those feelings will remind me always to be kind to parents of small children and special-needs children (and adults).

    1. Great story about your daughter! The complete lack of empathy really gets me. Here's hoping we remember to be better when we're older.

  2. People are so annoying. And rude. And I love that you were able to relate with the other mom!

    1. It was a great moment. Without fellow non-judgmental parents, this whole endeavor would just suck!

  3. People are so annoying. And rude. And I love that you were able to relate with the other mom!

  4. The looks and words I get from people when Oliver gets overwhelmed are amazing. I just want to say "talk a walk in my shoes".

  5. I always want to say "take a walk in my shoes".



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