Well it’s Friday and my recent posts have been a drag of health updates so I thought I would share a little parenting funny from a while back. Like many of you, when I take my kids to the grocery store it’s a toss up whether I will be embarrassed or not. Let’s be honest though, with toddlers it’s usually more a question of how embarrassed you will be. A few months back I had a particularly fun trip when both of the kids decided to be monsters. It was one of those times when I knew I shouldn’t take them in public. We were late for nap time and both had been to bed late the night before but I just had to go.
A few things you should know going into this story is number one, I’m not the meanest mom ever (regardless of what my oldest one will tell you) but I do try really hard not to make empty threats. Number two, I always feed the kids snacks throughout the store, because sanity. Um thank you very much. And number three if your not from Texas, buddy bucks at HEB are our grocery store’s version of kids money that they give away at the check out that is used in an arcade type game at the exit. And for my children, buddy bucks are like candy or ice cream and they MUST have them.
Ok, so as soon as we enter the store where I usually grab our first snack of bananas, both kids start losing their minds about how they hate bananas and can’t eat them and blah blah blah. The big one is already crying and the toddler has torn hers into pieces and is throwing them across the store. I realize at this point in the trip I should have walked out, but you know I make really bad parenting choices. This story is a stellar example. So I clean up the fruit and quietly threaten everything I can think of including the coveted buddy bucks. We move along and I grab another snack, this one goes a little better but the fighting has started over who holds the box, who gets the snacks out, who has more and they are hitting, screaming at each other and biting. The whole box of snacks drops and sprays across the floor, one billion little cereal balls go rolling down the isle. Sweet angels. You get the idea about how this trip to the store went.
So I eighty-sixed the snacks, gave my very best mom death threat glare at those little darlings and all but ran through the store trying to finish up and get out of there. I always get a lot of comments and looks when the kids act up in public and they range anywhere from fellow mom sympathy and understanding, old people thanking me for disciplining and then the judgers who are looking at me like I shouldn’t bring these tiny terrors in public. I agree… would you like to babysit? It’s always very interesting how judgmental people can be without knowing anything about your kids or situation.
Finally we are at the check out and the kids have already lost their buddy bucks privileges, when my son asks if we can buy a book. I almost laughed and resisted the urge to say “are you kidding me”, the nerve 5 year olds have. I dug deep for patience and kindly told him maybe we could buy a book on another day when he makes good choices, and you would have thought I stabbed him. The blood curdling screams started and he’s yelling and telling me I’m ruining his life, seriously I can’t even make this up. I’m getting all the looks now. There’s an older dad behind me laughing while he tells me not to worry that his oldest was the same way. I want to ask if his child is a serial killer now, but I smile appreciatively and keep moving. I was appreciative of some understanding and even some humor in it all, at least we’re entertaining someone.
As if I’m not uncomfortable enough, the teenage check out girl decides she has an opinion after she shakes her head at every open item I attempted to use as snacks. Get a life girl, I do what I have to do. She’s glaring at me like she just witnessed child abuse and casting sympathetic glances at the heathens. I was getting more angry by the second. Then I see her reach for the buddy bucks and I look at her sternly and shake my head no and mouth the word “NO” VERY clearly behind the kids. She is looking directly at me as she sweetly says “would you like a buddy buck?” and attempts to hand them to my children. I almost had an out of body experience. I pictured myself launching over my children’s heads to tackle her but quickly snatch up the buddy bucks instead, but not before my children see and take on new levels of insanity.
The girl is looking at me, mouth agape like I am the worst human in history and it is all I can do not to let her have it. I almost have to literally put my hands over my mouth to keep it closed. My teeth are biting into my lips as it was. I really wanted to give her some perspective but I wasn’t sure what would have come out. I was pretty irate and wishing teen pregnancy on her as I exited the store. Don’t worry, I felt really bad for that thought later. I loaded up my hysterical babes, said a little prayer and took a few deep breaths before I got behind the wheel.
I know I had opinions as a teenager about child rearing and before I had my own. I am pretty sure my trip to HEB was payback for my own ignorant judgment of some poor mother somewhere. So wherever you are, I am so so sorry. I have eaten my fair share of humble pie. And to my fellow moms trying to survive the grocery store at nap time, we are with you. God speed sister.
If you enjoy a little mom humor, keep reading!