Monday, May 10, 2010

A tip for those folks at Meijer

Well, this is how my column came out (all true, by the way):

There it was, Mother’s Day morning.
I had set the clock for 7, so I would have plenty of time to get ready for church at 9:30, including clipping all the coupons for the typical post-church grocery store trip. I got up, got ready and received a beautiful Mother’s Day gift from Hubby and my sons.
But then Jordan flipped out. He screamed. He cried. He was inconsolable.
So, Hubby and Logan headed to church without us, and we headed to the store to get the groceries.
And he screamed. And cried. And was inconsolable.
I stopped in the produce department, took him out of his infant seat and let him sit in the cart like a big boy. It worked for maybe a minute.
Then he screamed. And cried. And was inconsolable.
I gave him his pacifier.
He pitched it.
I gave him the goldfish crackers I’d stashed in my bag for such an occasion.
He ate two and then screamed, cried and was inconsolable.
And then he threw the cup containing the goldfish crackers, creating a goldfish cracker crumb mosaic right there in Aisle 7.
And screamed, cried and was inconsolable.
All I could do was try to finish up the shopping as quickly as possible while trying to console this inconsolable child. So I tried, I really did, but all these well-meaning folks seemed to think that they needed to stop me, poke at the baby and get in his face, asking him what was wrong.
Even after their inquiries were clearly not working to calm the baby, still they expected me to chat. I felt rude, almost dismissive, but what could I do?
There was one girl who just kept talking. She was nice enough. She was clearly concerned and wanted Jordan to stop screaming, but really, I just needed to get him out of there.
“Maybe he’s teething,” she said, Feeling my baby’s forehead. “Oh, yes. He’s kind of warm. You might want to give him a little Tylenol.”
Oh REALLLLLY?! The mama bear in my head was growling, in pure disbelief that she, a complete stranger, had the audacity to TOUCH MY KID.
“Yeah, he’s a hard teether,” I said, gritting my teeth and nudging the cart forward.
Then she reached forward and unbuckled his seat belt because his arm had become tucked underneath it during his fit.
“Let’s fix this so it doesn’t choke you,” she said to Jordan.
Mama Bear was nearing the red zone at this point, but I knew that if I let her loose, there would be carnage. I continued to clench my jaw, and just looked at this chick.
“I work with kids, and I see this a lot,” she said. “I bet he’s teething.”
As my blood neared the boiling point thanks to the high-pitched screaming and the rather inappropriate actions of said well-meaning girl, I managed to squeak out, “Thanks! Have a nice day!” and started off.
She tossed me a look as if I was the one being rude.
I took off in a trot to the baby aisle, which was being blocked by two women with their carts, deep in conversation, completely oblivious to anyone else in the store that might need to get down that aisle RIGHT NOW.
I ran around to the other end of the aisle, grabbed a bag of baby snacks, ripped it open (Yeah, I was THAT mom.) and handed a handful to Jordan, just to shut him up. I sprinted to the checkout, and got us the heck out of there as quickly as possible.
Finally, we made it to the car and, as I knew he would, Jordan fell asleep on the way home.
Peace at last.
Blood pressure returning to normal levels.
Stress-sweat trickle down my back slowly drying up.
So, to all you well-meaning people out there, let me give you a tip: If a child is having a meltdown in the store, the very best thing you can do is get out of the way. As fast as you can.
Or you risk unleashing the Mama Bear, and that ain’t gonna be pretty.
Trust me.


Tina said...

So true!!!! I can't stand people's unsolicited advice. Don't they get that the mom KNOWS her kid and what is going on? So just let the mom do her thing. I would have flipped on her really quickly. Especially when she touched him. You had some serious patience. Sorry you had to deal with this on Mother's Day of all days.