You know that disheveled mom you see at the grocery store, restaurant or even Target? The one with the kids hanging off the side of the cart, taking off their clothes, making fart noises, laughing (or crying) too loud, and just plain being noisy?
You know the woman you hear repeating OVER AND OVER, “stop licking the cart!” “Stop grabbing stuff and putting it in the cart!” “Sit down and eat!” “No, you cannot have (fill in the blank.) The one that when you see her, you think to yourself, “Thank God, that isn’t me?”
The list goes on and on and on and on…
You can’t tell if she is about to cry, start pulling her hair, out or just make a run for it, leaving her kids and that really cute sweater from the sale rack in her basket.
Well, sister, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. It’s ME!
I’m that lady. The one about to lose her ding dang mind!! And those are my darling little monsters being heard throughout the store. And, truth be told, sometimes it really is that cute sweater from the sales rack in my basket that keeps me pushing until the end! Otherwise, most days, it’d be all “Bye, Felicia!” to my kids.
Taking my boys, ages 2 and 7, out in public, especially together, definitely does not reflect my parenting skills. Rather, it seems to show my lack of them. It is like the moment we walk through those sliding electric doors, my children truly come alive for all the world to see. They must have an innate telepathic ability to know when it is just the right time for them to simultaneously go bat poo crazy. And, it is especially lovely when you see everyone you know at the store.
I just know that behind that “hello, how are you?” smile people are thinking, “Lord have mercy woman, get your little monsters to calm down.”
I know this, because I used to be there too. (Pre-kids.) And ironically, I also feel this way on those very few occasions I get to roam the isles all by my lonesome.
One time at the grocery store, I heard a child yell “MOM” about a 329,574,610 times in about 5 minutes and I wanted to scream after I figured out it was a real child and not just a PTSD moment from hearing it soooooo many times at home. Anyone else ever hear a phantom “mom” called out now and then to only realize you’re home alone? (No, just me? Ok, well I guess I’ll need to get that checked out.)
I really, really want my children to behave themselves and be sweet little angels at the store instead of turning into purple minions, but I just don’t know how! I’ve done the sweet quite voice asking for them to behave followed by the drill Sargent barking orders. Nothing works. NADA! It’s like they have found my Achilles’ heel and pounce on it. I don’t want to be that mom that just hands over her phone and lets her kids play on it the whole time. (Although, it does buy me a few quiet minutes until they start fighting over it in true WWE SmackDown style, in turn turning into even louder and more obnoxious purple minions!) I want them to be able to interact with me, each other and the other shopping patrons peacefully and respectfully. Is this too much to ask? Ugh! Will it ever get easier?
Please, all you experienced moms, tell me it will get easier… even if you have to lie! This mama can’t handle it! So, if you have any helpful ideas, please shoot them my way. I’d be forever grateful!
I know that one day, I will look back and long for the days when my boys were little like they are now, even if public outings with them drive me outright nutty. But until then, I’m just gonna apologize to anyone who happens to be perusing the Target aisles when my kids and I are there. And trust me, you’ll know (by the noise level) we are there!