An Open Letter to the Woman Cashing Out in Front of me at Target
Blog - July 25, 2017

 

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Here we are again.  Another open letter.

To the lady at Target that was cashing out in front of me:

I know my boys are rambunctious. I know they are “wild,” as you so quickly pointed out. I also know that they are boys.  Delicious, funny, sweet, loving boys. And I am a #boymom all the way.

They are brothers, actually – you can relate – you have two girls, you said.

Shopping at Target is not on my “things I love to do with two boys under the age of 5 when they are hungry and tired” lists. It just isn’t. My husband can handle it, no problem. I’m not up for all the nonsense it comes with. Gone are the days I make goo goo gaga noises at the sweet silent little baby in the cart. There is nothing silent or sweet when shopping at Target with two boys.

It was an epic visit today. One like no other. The Henri and Ollie show had an opening act for the shoppers at the Super Target.  They all got front row seats.  Lucky them!

This kind of show always happens right around 430-5pm when they have just gotten out being in camp all day and skipped a nap.  It is called “The Witching Hour,” and is not limited to newborns.

Nap-skipping is my favorite by the way.  I wish I could just bottle it up and keep it for special occasions.

So, when we were standing in line and Henri and Ollie were going back and forth …

“No, you’re not”

“Yes, I am.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes, I am.”

“Yes, I am.”

“I mean, no, you’re not.”

Or when Henri repeatedly asked for things off the Devil Shelves in the isle on the opposite side of the conveyor belts and I said no.  Things got crazy.

The Devil Shelves are a conspiracy to get us to buy things that we never planned on buying but think we might need in the future.  Or to get our kids interested in buying useless stuff when checking out so you spend more money.

I know you heard my son when he screamed,

“I want the chips!”

And I said, “No, we will be home in five minutes and then you can eat.”

I know you heard him when he screamed, “I’m starving, why won’t you give it to me?” Imagine him clutching himself like he is dying, tears streaming down his face.

With a straight face, I calmly said, “You can wait until we get home.”

I know you also heard him scream, “You never give me any money!  It’s not fair!”

And I said calmly, “Get a job and you can buy whatever you want.”

You never turned around once.  But I felt your glare. It was all over the cashier’s face.

So, when you started to walk away and I had just about enough, I was so relieved to be cashing out as well.  The ten minutes of torture I endured while you chit chatted with the cashier was over and I could finally get out.  I finally picked up Oliver and put him on my hip to separate him from his brother and I mumbled, “This is exhausting!”

At which point you turned around and said, “I have two girls and I could never have boys.  They are just too wild.”

You walked away.  Just like that. Poof.

I looked at the cashier and said, “Wait until they’re 15, she won’t feel that way.” *evil grin

Bam.  In your face.

But really, what was this about?  Why did it get to me so much?

Yes, my boys are wild.  They are strong willed.  They like to wrestle, jump, play, push, and run.  They like to be boys.  Thank God.  This makes them healthy.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my boys just the way they are.

But I felt judged when you walked away.  I know it’s natural.  I’ve judged too.  We all judge other moms, including our selves. But today upset me.

Maybe because usually when I see another mother struggling I either think one of two things; Thank God someone else goes through what I go through or I feel your pain.  You clearly didn’t feel that way.

What you probably didn’t know is that my husband has been out of town for now eight days.  And yes, now I have so much more respect for single moms.  It is not easy!

But today was the eighth day and I was given a bonus to end it with a bang.

When I went to pick up my son, his teacher told me he pooped his pants.  Not only did he poop his pants, but it rolled out of his underwear and onto the floor where he proceeded to step on it.  Hence, he was wearing someone else s clothes.

He was wearing new shoes and new shorts when he came up to me.  That’s right, there were no spare clothes in his bag like there should have been.  So, either they had an extra pair of shoes and pants or some poor kid had to lend his own stuff out.

My son is potty trained and has been for months.  He’s never had an accident.  So, this was unusual for him.  But apparently the teacher was not happy.  Apparently, the poop story ended in the bathroom with some words.

When I got home, I cut off the bag that was holding his pooped on clothes and shoes attached and tied to his backpack, and I threw it in the washer. I later found his extra clothing for emergencies in his toy box.

It was quite the day, and dinner wasn’t any better.

Chicken nuggets with no ketchup is a crime in this house, however, I reminded them that if they would have let me shop peacefully, I wouldn’t have forgotten the ketchup.

I later found a nugget in my hair.

So, lady in front of me, what do you think now?

Have you ever tried to scan products through Cartwheel, all while trying to keep your kids from melting down because daddy always buys them a croissant in the bakery when they shop at Target and I wouldn’t?

Have you ever had a day like mine?  I’m sure having girls is different.  But believe me, I have come across some little ones who could win Oscars for their behavior and completely embarrass their parents.  This kind of stress has me sweating buckets too.

In retrospect, this might have not been a great day for me to start the 30-day Detox from Deodorant challenge. Today I sweat at a whole ‘notha level. Florida weather certainly doesn’t make it easy either. Thank God I had the EO Tea Tree Deodorant Wipes to refresh later in the day.  And sweating profusely is not a crime.

But the kids did get a lesson on asset protection.  Since we were right next to the security door, I took it upon my self to let them know that they were watching every move they made.

“Look up,” I said.  “You see those cameras everywhere? They are watching you.  That’s security.  So you better behave because playing with the carts is a crime around here.

Their eyes got big and they stopped what they were doing.  The people behind me were laughing and I just said, “It works every time, even the mall.”

So, my kids might be paranoid now, lol, but don’t judge me lady.  Lighten up.  Love me.  Pray for me.  Hug me.  I’d do the same for you.  We are all in this together, are we not?

23 Comments

  1. I hate that we feel the need to explain anything or make long posts about our side of the story. I was the same way and catch myself often. I too get those glares, I have two boys and a girl. The girl is nearly 15 and the boys are turning 9 and 11 in August – 2 years 6 days apart. Raising the boys has always been a happy chaotic time I call it. They are BOYS, hyper and just not too happy about shopping anyways. I calmly reply often in the same manner you did. I have been in your shoes and will again. Those glares suck, the comments that they can’t handle boys, etc .. suck but at the end of the day our life doesn’t suck and we all do the best we can do with the children we have and love so dearly. I enjoyed reading this! xo

  2. As for the woman who thinks two girls are so much easier, what?! I spent the past two week nannying for an 8 and 6 year old girl who were a challenge I had never had before in my 4 years of babysitting experience! We’re talking lying, fighting, sneaking away…
    I loved the humor and realness of this piece. Keep doing you. 🙂

  3. For most of us, supermarket shopping can be a tense experience ! Kids are the most vulnerable kind of customer. Supermarket strategists are well aware that colourful packaging attracts children. Sweets, cakes, biscuits and other tidbits fill the shelves at child’s-eye level. This is true especially for small kids perched in the trolley seat… And on top, you have to bite your tongue at the judgmental stares and tuts from people who either don’t have kids or them so long along they forget that this is regular kid behaviour… Grocery shopping is really an Adventure 🙂

  4. Wow. People are a trip! I dont think its a boy/girl thing . Kids are kids! People need to keep their thoughts to themselves 😐 sorry you went through that!

  5. I have a little girl and she is five now and we’ll behaved at most times when I am our shopping but starts acting up at the checking out line .It can be difficult managing two alone .I can hardly do one alone.Loved your honesty .I understand. Great post

  6. I am writing a blog post about mommy shaming and judging and being an #^&%$@# to other moms and I totally feel your pain. Hang in there, there is hope!

  7. “I have two girls and I could never have boys. They are just too wild.” I have to laugh at this. My son is my quiet child. My daughter is my wild child. The sex of a child means nothing in terms of behavior!

  8. and all moms said, “amen!”. We’ve all been there. Ignore her and her words. You’re so right parenting boys and girls is so different. I have 2 boys and one girl. She takes me to a whole nother level. LOL

  9. LOL love this! OMG the devil shelves!!!! I hate those! lol I really don’t like when other parents judge our kids like their kids are so perfect 100% of the time! LOL Glad you got your message out there people need to stop being Judgy Judy’s lol

  10. Parenting is really hard and we all have bad and good days. I will be a single mom for the next 4 months when my husband is out of the country, so let’s see how it goes. You are doing a great job with your boys!

  11. OMGosh – The Devil Shelves. That is the perfect name! I hate those things with a passion. It’s like the death trap for any parent who wants to make it through the line without spending – wait waisting money on ruining their kids teeth. Kids will be kids. There are times they have moments and it’s okay. You’re a great mom!

  12. We all cannot please anyone, and everyone judges. Sometimes its a human’s hobby.
    Enjoy while they are little, because kids do change 🙂

  13. Having kids isn’t easy no matter their gender, and having kids at the store is a challenge. You are doing great. People can always find something to stick their nose up at, instead of being kind and understanding.

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