Grocery Store Fun

I would say that 80% of the time, Baylor is an angel. She is polite, sweet and just an all around good kiddo. But the other 20% of the time she’s a beast. And worse, that 20% behavior is unpredictable. I never know when it’s going to hit and how bad it’s going to be. That said, I’ve learned to take “crazy baby” time in stride and not get too worked up about it. But I can’t say the same for those around us – and that makes me crazy! Like it’s going to help me that you are gasping at her behavior?! Here’s what I mean:

We hit the grocery store late yesterday. It was probably too late in the day to be going since we were up against dinner time, but I needed a few things desperately so we went. All was going well; Bay was happily driving the Car Cart and I had only hit one display with the damn thing. We were chugging through the store and had only one aisle left to hit. Then Bay announced she needed to go to the bathroom and since we’re potty training, we abandoned the cart and dashed to the bathroom despite the fact she was wearing a pull up. Once in the bathroom, she decided she didn’t really have to go. And I realized she was missing a shoe. So now I’m getting frustrated that we’re standing the only slightly clean grocery store bathroom nearly barefoot and for no good reason. I washed her hands and we went back to the cart.

That’s when it all seemed to fall apart. B suddenly decided she didn’t want to ride in the car cart. I refused to stop and told her to please sit down because we were almost done. Instead of being deterred by the moving cart, she tucked and rolled out the side. It was quite graceful actually. But I was not in the mood. She insisted on pushing the cart and when I said no, she got LOUD. I tried to regroup; I got down on her level. I asked her, calmly, to please not shout and to please sit down so we could get home. She answered me by saying “SHOUT!!” as loud as she could. Again, trying to stay calm I said screw it to the discipline and let her push the cart – we just needed some milk and then we would be home free! If only…

We got to the check out line and as I was putting the groceries on the belt, the cashier from the other lane stepped back to say hello to Bay. Bay then proceeded to bury her head in my leg in an act of shyness and then BIT ME. HARD. ON THE THIGH/BUTT. Not only did it hurt, but it surprised me so I yelped and then said “DO NOT BITE ME!!!”. That’s when the cashier gasped, loudly, and then exchanged a look with the lady in line in front of me.

So now not only am I in a bit of pain (I have the bruise to prove it), I am annoyed that my kid has just quite literally become a pain in my ass and now I’m embarrassed because the checker has just judged me for my somewhat out of control two year old. I got on Baylor’s level, said “Get back in the cart and sit still” in the low, mom “I mean business” voice that is similar to a dog’s growl and then tried to calm down while I finished unloading groceries. It was then that I got mad – who was this lady to cop a holier than thou attitude about how my kid is behaving? I can’t control everything she does and while she was not being good, she wasn’t tearing up the store or screaming or biting other people so really, I’m doing ok as a parent!!

As I swiped my card, the cashier joked (badly) “Does she bite often??”. I responded “Only when the cashier takes too long”.

While that’s not the best line I’ve ever had, it did wipe the smarmy smile off her face. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

What Should You Do?

Peter, Baylor, our friend Cameron and myself all met at one of our favorite restaurants, Orange Table for breakfast on Sunday. Peter and Cameron had been out “killing clay” (i.e. at the shooting range) so B and I met them there.

As we were sitting on the over stuffed couches waiting, a little girl about 4 years old and her parents walked in. When the girl saw Bay, she immediately made a beeline for her, ripped the sun glasses off of Baylor’s face and proceeded to rifle through Bay’s bag of books and other entertainment. Baylor’s immediate response was a look at me like “why would she do that?!”. Annoyed, but not wanting to make a scene, I said to the girl “these are Baylor’s toys. You need to ask her if you would like to play with them”. As I finished this statement, I noticed the girl’s parents were watching me say this to their daughter and yet didn’t do anything. Thankfully the hostess showed them to their table.

Just when I thought the coast was clear, the girl came running back over to retrieve a toy she had left. Baylor saw her coming and politely held up the forgotten stuffed animal. Again, the girl ripped the toy out of Baylor’s hand and then made a swipe for Bay’s bracelets (she was well accessorized). This time the father followed the girl and sat down to WATCH her repeatedly grab at, pull on and steal from my daughter. He said hello and introduced himself but never said anything to his kid. At this point I’m getting to incredulous and about to say something like “could you please ask her to stop since she is not listening to me?” when Peter walked in.

PW gave me a strange look which I answered with a “I have no idea who these people are and yes, they are making me crazy too”  face. At the same time, he witnessed the little girl grab a book out of Baylor’s hand and shout “MINE!!” which Peter answered with “NO, no it’s not” and took the book back from the girl. All the time, her dad is sitting on the couch saying nothing, just smiling like an idiot. It was then that I noticed the mother was sitting right behind me, seeing all of this and also doing nothing.

We were finally shown to our table and got to leave the little terror behind. Sadly it didn’t stop her from running to our table at least 3 times to again try to take a toy, a phone or a bite of Baylor’s breakfast. And again, parents were right be hind her saying nothing.

Peter and Cameron were shocked. I was annoyed but this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered ill behaving children whose behavior is ignored by their parents. I hesitate to tell the parent’s how I really feel about these situations because I don’t want to run into these people later and learn that I burned potential clients for Peter or the family’s guest lodge or after I’ve accidentally rear ended them and they decide to call the police instead of just exchanging insurance.

So I am putting this out as a question: what do you do in these situations? How do you handle it when you cannot get away from a kid who is being a demon? Do you say something to the parents? Ignore it? I welcome any and all comments and I will post a follow-up in a few days with some of the responses. Bonus points for the funny, ridiculous and best of all, clever responses.