I was working at the Grocery Store when you came down my aisle. Your toddler was fussing, and you trying desperately to calm your child. You seemed embarrassed when I smiled at you. But I want you, and every other mom who must shop with a fussy toddler, to know that it’s okay. I get it.
All of us moms have been there.
There are going to be times when your toddler is not going to cooperate with you when you need to get your errands done.
I remember those days.
The child arching his back making it impossible to strap him into the stroller or car seat.
Bargaining with the child that they can have the treat if they just make it through this one more stop. Trying to hurry, and forgetting half the things on your list, just to avoid the dirty looks from the clerks, or worse, from the other mothers who don’t seem to remember those days.
I remember apologizing as my child knocked over a display while I tried to help clean up and wrangle my child simultaneously.
I remember thinking I had done something terribly wrong, and that my child was going to behave like that forever. And then being jealous when they didn’t behave that way for other people. Those days were long and frustrating, but they will get better.
I remember wanting to avoid social situations that I knew would take too long, and then I’d end up walking the halls, or pacing outside, while I waited for my child to “get it together.”
I am thankful for my tribe of moms (and some dads) who would see my frustration and offer to entertain my child while I finished a cup of coffee.
So, to the woman in the grocery store with the screaming toddler, I get it. It won’t last forever. It is a season and it will get better. I know you’re doing the best you can. And I smile out of empathy. I wish moms had a universal sign to show solidarity and understanding. Maybe we need to invent one.
Rest assured, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Your child is doing just what they are supposed to do: asserting their independence. They just don’t know anything about timing. LOL
And I hope I get the same sympathy when you see me struggling with my teenager as they give me an attitude when I set boundaries for them. Again…we need a universal sign.
It gets better.