over the weekend, i witnessed something i know all too well while grocery shopping. a toddler, maybe a year old, having a full blown tantrum in a walmart cart. his harried mother was trying everything in her repertoire to calm him, to no avail. he was not having it. i looked around at the responses the other shoppers. some, like myself, were looking on with sympathy. but others were downright scowling. if looks could kill that kid would've been an orphan. i wanted so badly to put my arm around this stranger and promise her it will get easier.
as someone who has been in this position more times than i can count, i felt her pain. it is frustrating, embarrassing and maddening. add to it glares and judgmental head shaking from strangers and you have a full fledged episode. i can't help but wonder.. have those head shakers ever shopped with young children? if so, surely they can remember how stressful it is? do they just not know any better?
i'll never forget trying to leave my grandmother's funeral visitation. theMr was at work. i was 8 months pregnant with esme. it was 8:30p and well past time to go. i was carrying the 2 yr old sideways like a football while he had a screaming meltdown. i was literally dragging the 4 yr old by the collar while threatening the older two under my breath. all the while hoping i didn't give birth in the parking lot. i got to the door of the funeral home and the two employees standing there just stood and stared as i pushed the door open with my (ample) hip and dragged everyone outside. no one offered to get the door. no one offered to help me. not those employees nor any of my friends or family inside. i got everyone strapped in their many carseats. i wasn't sure if i wanted to cry or cuss. in those moments you feel invisible, even though everyone is watching.
as someone who is just about past the stage of public tantrum throwing, i just need to offer a little encouragement. to all of the mamas still in the trenches... the ones who fear they will never be able to make a trip to the grocery or the doctors office or the park without someone losing their two year old marbles... it gets easier. i promise. a day will come when all of your children will be able to make through an entire well visit without screaming or trying to bite the nurse. when they can all walk without holding anyone's hand. when you can use a regular shopping cart instead of the cadillac sized one that holds four kids. and when that day comes, and you see a mom with a screaming child in her car and a baby on her hip: pat her on the back and tell her "this too shall pass". and look all those scoffers in the eye and tell them to beat it.