I like to think as a parent I’m more tolerant of kids screaming in the aisles and having meltdowns. After all, I haven’t been immune to them myself and often think “Oh, I’m sure they understand what I’m going through” when they look at me out of the side of their eyes.
Today, however I found myself being a little judge-like. I was in Costco shopping with my 3 1/2 year old. It was morning, so she was still in a good mood and snacking her way through Costco due to the samples. Which put her in a really great mood. My kid is a happy eater, and for those few minutes a silent kid (bonus for me!).
Anyhoo…we were checking out. In the lane next to us was a mom and dad and their 3 kids. Guessing around 7, 5 and 3 from the looks of things. The youngest, a boy, was sitting in the cart screaming. Who knows why. I didn’t pay much attention to it. But the screaming kept going and going. And it didn’t seem like either parent was caring much to stop it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand sometimes you can’t stop it and the only recourse you have is to muddle through and get hell out of dodge as quickly as possible. But they didn’t. Get the hell out of dodge that is.
Photo from HERE.
Since it was lunchtime, we stayed for lunch. For some reason, a Costco lunch excites my kid like few things and is considered a big treat. Since it costs me all of $3.50 to feed us both, how could I say “no”? So, we placed our order and sat down. The family appeared to be sitting 2 tables in front of us, but then moved to a bigger table next to us. The first thought that popped into my head “ugh, why do they have to sit next to us?” And yes, sonny boy was still carrying on. He continued to carry on and scream through most of our meal, except for the few moments when food was actually in his mouth. I didn’t give the parents any sort of nasty look, but did glance at the kid from time to time trying to figure out what his problem was. Which was odd, because if his parents couldn’t figure it out what made me think I could?
That’s when it hit me. I wasn’t as non judgemental as I thought I was. I’m not naive enough to think I don’t judge how others raise their kids and vice versa. But I did think I was above this.
The realization did hit home with me, and I guess as an adult that’s a positive sign. We can’t work on ourselves if we don’t realize what we are doing wrong. So, I spent the rest of the meal not glancing over at them and focusing on my own child. I gave her kisses and told her how proud of was of her good behavior. After all, who doesn’t like to hear good things about themselves? I’m sure I also said a quick silent prayer for not letting the screaming kid be mine.
Next time, I hope to be quicker with a smile whether it be to the child or the parent and to realize we all have bad days.