To the lady in Trader Joe’s Liberty Station that has 3 well-behaved kids in medical school, thank you for taking the time to point out my shortcomings and continuing your haughty glare as I left the store in tears,
Maybe you didn’t see the fear in my eyes as I entered the store with my three kids, praying we might be able to get in and out without incident. Maybe you didn’t hear my hushed commands as we maneuvered the aisles, hoping to give a wide berth to other patrons so my kids wouldn’t be a bother. I was alert, my senses were heightened as if ready for battle and I was laser focused to get the few items I needed for dinner and get out…FAST.
Yes, each of my girls wanted their own mini shopping cart to “help” mom. We pick our battles and this was not one of them. I knew if I didn’t acquiesce to their shopping cart demands, they would be fighting the entire time and I would be playing referee with “fair” turn taking. It would not be a pretty picture. Yet, you thought we were loud and unruly? I could see it in your eyes as we walked by. That was nothing, but thank you for letting me know your distaste.
I’m sorry my daughter accidentally bumped into you in the bread aisle, but as I made my way back to protect her from your glare and (mama) bear witness to any words you might have for her, I instead beamed with pride as I heard her apologize immediately for her mistake. You see, it wasn’t always like that with her. Empathy is something she’s had to work at. But instead of smiling at her and saying it’s alright, you glared and mumbled some words under your breath. Luckily I couldn’t make them out, and I was still feeling proud at my daughter’s good manners, so I decided to move my motley crew on and not let you get to me.
Laser focus on to the dairy section, or so I thought. The girls started begging for samples. That area always gets crowded, so at first I said no, but I could see a battle coming. Not gonna pick it! “One drink each and nothing else, keep your carts out of others’ way, stay close to mom, finish your drink, ok let’s go, follow mom, quickly now, single file!” Oh shoot, I forgot the creamer! That meant going all the way back. We were so close to check out. So.Close.
Maybe you didn’t see my how hard I was trying to quickly get out of the store, how hard I was trying to just hold everyone together a little bit longer. I know we look like a bit of a scene. I’m out numbered after all. Believe me, I don’t like to do the shopping WITH the kids, but I don’t always have the luxury of shopping alone, like you do with your well-behaved medical school kids. And there it happened, right in front of you, several loud whines of protest as I put the coffee in the wrong kids’ cart.
You see, in my haste to rush back for the damn creamer, I forgot to keep an equal cart ratio between the two and someone was not happy. Yup, she’s still young and having a hard time expressing herself with words not whines, despite my best efforts, but you made sure to let me know your disgust. You didn’t even bother to hide that look on your face as we continued to walk by, me looking right at you in shock. Your face said it ALL loud and clear. “Is this really happening?” I thought to myself. Besides this outburst, we were doing pretty good so far, as good as can be expected anyway.
Your glares aren’t helping, I could really do without them. Thanks.
I said directly to you OUT LOUD.
That was it, enough was enough and I had had enough. I never understood why motherhood came along with ridicule from so many strangers. But it wasn’t enough for you, was it? Just when I thought we were free and clear, checking out and almost gone, you felt compelled to approach me and let me have it. Thank you for telling me how well behaved your kids were and what upstanding citizens they are now in medical school. You weren’t sharing this information out of pride, but to shame me and my clearly misbehaved kids. Thanks for that. Thank you for letting me know what a mess I am. Thank you for noticing I had wine in my cart making sure to tell me, “I needed it.” Thank you for shaming me for my daughter’s actions even though she apologized for her ACCIDENT. Thank you for letting me know you are right and I am wrong. Thank you for letting me know I’m doing a crappy job. Thank you for reminding me this is all going down right in front of my kids. BECAUSE YOU FELT COMPELLED TO BE A COMPLETE JERK TODAY.
Thank you for reducing me to tears in front of my kids and watching me walk out the door with a look of self-righteousness, no doubt.
Thank you because my husband doesn’t often bring me flowers but he did today. Thank you because he and my girls came in to my dark bedroom with hugs and flowers and Ben & Jerry’s and words of affirmation. “You are an amazing mom! We love you!”
So, to all the moms out there with motley crews just trying to get through Trader Joe’s as quickly as possible. YOU ARE AMAZING!!! And, don’t forget to grab the wine, you just might need it. 😜
A special thank you to Suzanne Lockyer Lawriw who originally posted this on her Facebook page.
About Suzanne: I’m a mama to 3 girls and I have a passion for natural living and free range parenting. In practical speak that means we don’t over-medicate or use chemical-laden products and I like to sit on the bench with a coffee and a mama friend while letting my kids be kids. I’m real, we try to eat healthy, but happy meals are not out of the question. When I’m not building my work from home empire, you can find me ignoring housework and hanging with a mama friend at a kid-friendly brewery or park by the beach. I love motherhood because it has introduced me to myself and my tribe, oh and I love my kids, too. You can follow me on instagram @suzsierra or friend me on FB – I welcome new mama friends!