So … I was ‘that mom’ …

Well it finally happened. I was ‘that mom.’ I was ‘that mom’ being stared down in the grocery store. I was ‘that mom’ being criticized with and without words. Why? Because I was ‘that mom’ with the screaming kids.
It was a normal grocery Thursday, however on this particular Thursday there was an added twist. The little six month old boy that I watch once a week has now transitioned to being with us twice a week … one of those days being Thursdays … So for now through October, normal grocery Thursday will be normal grocery Thursday + another kiddo … making it not so normal.
I cannot deny that as I pulled up to our local Aldi the nerves were there. It was my first major outing with both kiddos. As I sat there I was trying to beat fear over the head with thoughts like:
“We’ll be fine”
“What’s the worst that can happen”
“It’ll be good practice”
“Izzy is so good with baby Paul” ….
By the end of our trip we were NOT fine. NEVER EVER say “what’s the worst that can happen,” because what happens will plumb new depths of terrible. HANG practice! Izzy is INDEED good with baby Paul UNTIL he tries to touch her in the cart or take her things. But alas I am getting ahead of myself.
We had no sooner made it down aisle one when all hell broke loose. Paul got his foot out of its designated slot in the cart and placed it ever so cheekily on Izzy’s lap. Immediately Izzy exploded in frantic commands …
“No feet!”
“No toes!”
“No touch!”
“Off!”
I calmed Izzy down, telling her that if Paul was doing something she didn’t like, to politely tell him “no please,” and that mommy would move his foot. Oh heavens. Have we seriously only been here for two minutes?
Aisle two was no better. Paul was holding Izzy’s Pooh bear, and Izzy was holding her Tiger and her Giraffe. We were about halfway down aisle two when Paul grabbed for Tiger. (did I mention Paul does not do well with loud noises?) Izzy exploded yet again in frantic (this time LOUD) commands …
“No PLEASE!”
“Noooooooooooooooooo!!!”
“No tiger No!”
“PLEASE!”
Well please at least made it into this series of commands this time, but the shrill “Nooooooooooooooooo” did Paul in. He burst into tears and it took me a good few minutes to get him calmed down. Izzy and I had yet another chat this time with an inclusion about how it was good to share our things with others and to put others before ourselves.
Aisle two: check …
With this trend I leerily steered into aisle three, praying almost out loud that we would be alright from here on out. I grabbed my cans of beans, bundle of bananas, bell peppers and tomatoes and scurried into the dairy section thinking … ok we made it in and out of an aisle without event. Hurrah!
Shouldn’t have said that … No sooner was I picking up a container of Greek yogurt that I heard the blood curdling scream of “Nooooooo” followed by loud sobs and alligator tears. Paul had grabbed Izzy’s giraffe and successfully put its head in his mouth. This was Izzy’s last straw. You don’t mistreat her animals at any cost! It felt like minutes passed as I stood there holding my container of yogurt and praying I was seeing and hearing things … but alas no I was not. Izzy was sobbing and Paul was sobbing. I was ‘that mom.’
The darting glances from other customers were coming on strong now. I had caught a few between the eyes earlier but now we were getting serious. It was time to go. Spit spot! At this point I’m holding Paul and Izzy is about to climb me from the cart. I don’t think I’ve ever felt her cling to me more tightly. A couple minutes of soothing felt like hours in this public colloseum. Eventually everyone calmed back down, and I got the three or four remaining listed items before making a bolt for the cash register. I wanted out of this store and fast.
The check out line is NOT usually busy, but today of course, it was. Once it was our turn I began praying again that I could just get out of the store without another incident. I’m pretty sure I was chatting with Jesus out loud this time …
Just as it was time for me to pay one of the workers dropped a pallet of cans on one of the aisle end caps. Remember what I said about Paul and loud noises? Yea the sobbing started again, and this time Izzy chimed in. She never cares about loud noises and usually Paul crying does not spark in her the urge for tears, but this time it did. She was done! As I scrambled to pull cash from my wallet I came close to telling the worker to keep the change. Anything to get out of there. It was misery with a capitol M. I was dodging dirty look darts like crazy and was ever so embarrased. I usually bag my groceries inside but not today. I shoved all the groceries in the trunk … didn’t bag them … returned the cart … and toted the babes back to the car. As I pulled out of the parking lot Izzy and Paul were still crying.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, as my singing was not doing the trick. McDonalds was beaconing. Izzy and I always get parfaits and juice on grocery days. It’s our special treat and today was no exception + I needed a soda! By the time we pulled into the drive through Paul was fast asleep and Izzy knew that McDonalds meant a treat. She was still whimpering about giraffe but improving. As I poured the juice into her sippy cup she looked at me with tear stained face and said “thank you” in her cute little voice. Oh goodness I love my girl.
I cannot deny that I was exhausted and done by the time I got home but this is often the life of a mother.
All you mommas out there … We have bad days where we’re ‘that mom’ in the grocery store. I would encourage you whether you have kids or not to encourage ‘that mom,’ not send darts her way. Is it pleasant to hear kids cry? No, but you have no idea the circumstances or how hard her morning may be. Give grace and if you’re up for it, encourage with your words. It will make the world of difference. I know I look at ‘that mom’ differently now especially since I’ve been one.

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2 thoughts on “So … I was ‘that mom’ …”

  1. I’m sorry your grocery trip was so traumatic for all of you. It will get better. And BTW Jessica you are a wonderful Mom. We’ve all experienced days like that with our children. I hope tomorrow is better. I love you very much.

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  2. Oh Jess :). I’m giggling. Sorry. Oh goodness. Baby Paul placing giraffe in his mouth was Izzy’s end. How horrifying ;). We’ve all have had days like this as mothers. You are such a wonderful and darling mama to Isabella. Thanking God for you especially today :). Love you, Mom

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