We can do it

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Who's the Beast with the Muffin Top?

I've been a little stressed lately. I know I said in my recent post that I am getting thicker skin and letting criticism roll off my back. I was full of crap. It drives me nuts. There is a profound difference, I have discovered, between "letting it go" and stuffing it down. Here all this time, I have assumed I am letting the negative comments about my parenting or my kids go, but in reality I have been stuffing it. Stuffing it deep deep down. And the other day....it blew.

I was at the grocery store. I had been particularly irresponsible and went to see a movie in the morning when I would usually do my shopping and decided to take both of my boys to the store with me after school. Dum dum dum!!!

This is a stressful event. It is stressful with an average preschooler most often, but with MY lovable ball of wonderfulness, it is an exquisite challenge. For his credit, Stinky was having a pretty good day. He was somewhere on the spectrum of typical 3 year old obnoxiousness, but not much more.

He was loud. He likes to hear his voice in big, open rooms. Heck. Maybe I would like to do that too sometimes. He would grab bags of cookies occasionally and holler, "I want these!!!". Truthfully, I want to do that myself. I can see me, walking down the candy aisle, grabbing a box of Milk Duds and screaming, "I want to eat these!!!!" to some unsuspecting fellow shopper. Oh, the constraints of politeness and adulthood...

By the time we were at the deli counter, Stinky was flicking at my last nerve. He was just busy. Jumping up and down, pressing his face up against the glass and ogling the cheeses. He stepped back suddenly and bumped his head on the cart of an old lady. He began to cry.

I tried quickly to soothe him, and then looked at the lady and said, "Stinky, you need to say excuse me." He was very preoccupied with the bump on his head. All the while, Boo is hollering his head off, absolutely DONE with sitting in the cart and ready to tear open some Cookies.

The lady then walks past me and in her very best holier than thou tone informed me, "You KNOW....you do have to WATCH them."

I felt a bubbling sensation. A violent shaking from deep within. I was sweating and my heart was racing from the stress of the day and them BLAM!!!!

I lost it at the old lady. "I AM watching them!!!! What do you THINK I am doing?
I am here with 2 kids under 4 and I just need to get FOOD!!!!" I went on a little more. My chest heaving....my eyes glaring.

She looked incredibly taken aback. Nobody back talks THAT generation. She quickly skulked off.

I noticed that no one at the deli counter would look me in the eye. Isn't it amazing that some little old lady is rude to me, and in an effort to defend myself I become the bad guy? Do you know how many other little old ladies I have just smiled politely at and moved on. She got me on the wrong day.

What I SHOULD have said is "Oh ma'am, we're just getting started. Next we are going to drive drunk, run with scissors and all the while wearing dirty underpants!"


Dr.John said...

So you had a bad day. She made you feel bad. She probably ended up feeling bad too. It was one of those days when everybody felt bad.
But the kids are fine. You love them . Relax and enjoy them. Too quickly they grow.

Gingers Mom said...

Don't get me wrong, losing at some lady at the store is not my idea of a "good reaction". My point being, stuffing things down only results in bad bad bad.
The kids were just being kids. That what frustrates me. The criticism for what is out of my control. BUt you are right, Dr John. She probably did feel bad. And that doesn't make me feel any better.

Jen :) said...

I like your PECS picture for angry. I wonder why they chose someone with a mom hairdo for that one...oh yeah, cuz we're the ones always losing it like that. Hats off to you for keeping it PG when you vented at the holier than thou woman in the supermarket. She should thank her lucky stars it was you and not me...My pat answer when I get that from people now is to say, "Wow. Thanks for clearing that up for me. But you know, he's five and has autism. Someday, he may outgrow some of these behaviors, but you...you'll always be a bitch/dick, won't you?" That's me...keeping it PG-13. But honestly, what do these nosey nellies expect???

Reverend Howe, Topeka said...

Didn't your parents teach you 2 wrongs don't make a right? I come from that older generation, and she was just using that as an ice breaker to talk to you. Do you know how many older persons live ALL ALONE?
Try healthier approaches like diverting the conversation or introducing your children. I may not know your blog well, but it seems to me that I could provide a simple answer-Jesus. Good luck, and I'll check back up on you.

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...

HA HA HA!!! I am relating. Went to lunch today with 2 four year old boys showing off at each other....which usually includes chucking food in one direction or the other. I still say the best place to go grocery shopping with crazy kids is the commissary if you can! We are witness to all kinds of shenanigans and moms loosing it in the cereal isle. This is normal at the commissary. It's the old(er) folks and young single folks with out kids who don't know what it's like or, have forgotten. My neighbor just informed me that her grand daughter's 3rd birthday was at her house and it was so crazy (3 kids were at the party) she had to wipe frosting off the doorknobs (GASP!)

They've forgotten. Plus, in their day in age, they could basically strangle their children in the store if they needed to without anyone screaming for CPS. :)

Pendullum said...

You are a much stronger woman than I...I could never shop with my one...
And to have brought 2 kids...
You are such a strong woman...
And as for the ole lady... SHe has lost her mind and forgot what it was like...or maybe she never had kids...
But you are a strong strong woman... and I bow to you!!!!

Jen said...

Oh Reverend Howe...obviously you have never had a bad day, have you?

GingersMom is most certainly a Christian, so you can stop worrying that a lack of Jesus in her life is what is causing her strife. However, being a good Christian does not mean that you have to be a human doormat and take unsolicited crud from anyone who feels the need to hurl it your way. Even the best of us run out of cheeks to turn every now and then.

The woman in the store wasn't being helpful to GingersMom. GingersMom was addressing the situation. All that woman did was divert GingersMom's attention from the situation at hand and raise her blood pressure. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that even if GingersMom wasn't addressing it, the woman should have kept her comments to herself. After all, a parent who can't be bothered to keep their kids in line have two free hands. They could give a nosey nellie like that the physical AND verbal smackdown the criticizer had coming.

Like the woman in the store, your comments are way off base. Until you have walked a mile in GingersMom's shoes, please zip your lip and keep your arrogant, condescending, holier-than-thou attitude to yourself. Sweet Jesus, where did you get that from? Medical school? Law school? Flight school?

I'm just sayin'...

Love to GingersMom!!!

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...


Rev Howe has got to be a spoof poster. What kind of reverend would actually justify what that old bitch did with "she was just using that as an ice breaker to talk to you". Just because old people are old, doesn't give them the right to toss the holier than thou card around like that. If she wanted to talk to you, how about a simple, "oh my, is your son alright?"

Best response I ever heard when someone criticizes someone else's kids like that is, "Ma'am, they're too young to realize that they're being impolite. But you're old enough to know better."

On a side tangent, whatever happened to cool old people? When I was a young kid, my grandparents and their generation were the bomb. They gave advise, taught life long lessons, and gave unconditional love without the condescending critism. Nowadays, completely random old people strangers are more than happy to spread their misery at everyone else's expense.

-mike (your 100% jerk friend who has your back in this situation)

Caro said...

First off, if Jen is single, I'm leaving my husband for her.

I don't think just because people get older, they have the right to be rude. That lady was rude and I'm glad you stood up for yourself.

Way to go!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think sometimes people just lack social skills and simply speak without thinking, and I agree with Dr. John, she probably felt bad about what she said to you afterward.

A lot of times when I find myself ready to snap at people it is when I've procrastinated or put something off that has stressed me out through my own doing, so when you said,
"I was at the grocery store. I had been particularly irresponsible and went to see a movie in the morning when I would usually do my shopping and decided to take both of my boys to the store with me after school. Dum dum dum!!!"
You probably already were feeling a little on edge and having someone point out what you were already feeling inside must have been really tough. I know it is for me in that kind of situation.

That being said, I think the worst time to criticize a mom is when her child is injured, even if it is just a bump on the head. When you can see a Mom is clearly stressed and doing her best, commenting about her parenting skills in an invitation for an erruption.