Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leashes aren't just for pets

Alright, so this particular blog may not be the most popular for any of the parents out there reading this. So let me first preface this by saying that I do in fact LOVE children, and while my own children are of the 4 legged variety, my youngest brother is 16 years younger than me. I know that people always say your opinion on kids changes once you have them, well, that may be, however due to some family health crises, I did get a very huge part of the responsibility for his upbringing while I was at home, so I do have a bit of perspective on the trials and hard work that goes into it.

Now, back to my story. So last night, after a pretty long mind numbing day of work, I headed to a local grocery store to pick up a couple of last minute things. While there, I decided to suprise my roomie, who had also had quite a day to a yummy dessert. And by yummy dessert, I don't mean a betty crocker cake mix. Nope, I'm talking about those fancy schmancy desserts behind the glass case. You know the kind that look like they should be in a magazine. The kind that any sane person, who works a 40 hour week, would not even attempt to make & decorate... heck I wouldn't even know where to begin to dig out all the kitchen gadgets & attachments necessary for one of those.

So, just as I am approaching said fancy schmancy counter, my cart is almost hurtled right into the case! You might be thinking that a giant wheel of cheese had fell off the display and was now rolling through the store wreaking havoc... but then you would be wrong (but I like how you think) Nope, to my left, I suddenly see two young children, a boy and a girl. I'm guessing in the 4-6 year old range. It seems that these children are on a mission to score that free cookie that they get when they come to the store.

*editor's note, I like a good bargain myself, and if the store would give me a free cookie when I shopped, I'd probably be snagging one too, so I'm not hatin' on them for this*

Well, these children are quickly destracted by the brightly colored frostings of the sheet cakes and proceed to ooh and ahh over them while their mother makes her way back to the bakery. In the meantime, the lady behind the counter takes my request for a couple slices of heaven :)

Now, as I wait for her to remove the cakes from the glass cage they are in, I am entertained by these children, who are fascinated by the cakes. All the way up to the point when they bore from looking at the real cakes and decide instead to look at the cakes in the book. Unfortunate for me, this book happens to be located directly on the other side of my shopping cart. What happens next, is this long drawn out battle, because child A is mad that child B is now flipping the pages in the book, because she was there first. Now, having spent many a year in noisy call centers, listening to people yap on about all sorts of things, i can tune this out. What I cannot tune out, is the constant shoving of my buggy as these children pout and fight. I glance over at the mother, who is watching on, but not saying anything. I can't move, because there isn't anywhere else for me to stand...

Finally after a few minutes (in my mind I'm wondering how much longer can it take to slice cake) the mother pulls the instigator of this fight aside and tells her to calm down, and not to bother the lady (me) beside of her. I just happened to turn back in their direction about this time, to check that my purse, etc hadn't wandered off, and so I notice as this lady is saying this, she's looking at me as if I'm the one doing something wrong, I can only assume, by not being more accommodating to her kids. Unfortunately, this does not deter said child. Fortunately, it's only a few more seconds before my cake arrives to me, and I can get out of this war zone.

I should say, I totally understand that children will be children. I also understand that my mama would have hauled me back out of the store with no cookie and probably not much of anything else had I decided to terrorize the very tired, overworked customer, really just wanting her over priced dessert and a drink.

Now, I'll probably take a pretty unpopular stance here... I'm sure there are people out there who are probably thinking that I am the crazy lady who keeps the kids baseball when it lands in her yard, and shouts at the children riding by on their bikes... which is totally not the case. But people CHOOSE to have kids, and in that, comes a responsibility that you must bring these children up with manners & courtesy. And just as you've CHOSEN to have kids, I currently am CHOOSING to NOT have them for the time being, because that's not a responsibility I want to add just yet. While I think your kids are cute, after a long day, the last thing that I want is to be part of their real life pinball machine as they bounce through the store. Now while I'm not saying you have to tie your child up, perhaps you can rein them in a bit :)


rsh120761 said...

Ohhhh- thank you for this blog!! There really are such things as child harnesses and many would be wise to use them.

Reese said...

Holy crap! I actually had to de-lurk so I could comment on this piece of hilarity. You've hit the nail on the head.

I have four children whom I have, on occasion, taken with me to the grocery store. HOWEVER, I have never, ever let them run wild. I'd feel too horrible for all the other folks to do that. So, while I know how difficult it can be to control havoc causing terrors, I'm with you. There are leashes if a parent is too uninvolved to care for their choices (children).

Well said.

Momma said...

My girls are now 10, 12, and 15. Even when they were young, they knew that I would swat their butts in front of the entire store if they behaved like little animals in public.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've HAD to do that though. It's about a 50/50 split. Some folks look at me like I'm a demon mother. Others applaud for not letting them run wild.

You're certainly a more patient person than I am, because I wouldn't have looked at the mother at all, I would have looked at the children and said "I KNOW your mother has taught you better than to act this way in public. Act like you haven't lost your mind."

Oh wait... the 15 year old says I did that last week when the chorus kids were acting like brats in line at a school dinner. Hmmm..

Natalie said...

Yep I am with you on this one. My three year old might not ALWAYS behave in public but he has been raised to not be a holy terror. He knows that myself or my husband will take him to the bathroom or swat his butt right there if he does not behave.