Shopping Cart Tantrums

C was the picture of reasonableness as we walked hand in hand from the car into Wegmans. I bent down to lift him into the grocery cart and a tantrum so sudden and violent erupted that he was suddenly horizontal in my arms. If I hadn’t have had a firm grip on the kid his head would have cracked into the cement floor at maximum velocity.

He was shrieking and wildly dog paddling through the air as I tried to stuff his legs into the front of the cart. Somehow he managed to stand up and dude was trying to take a dive right out of there.

My face was beet red.

Tantrums suck. You feel like an asshole. You bet that half the people are wondering why you can’t control your kid and the other half think you have given birth to Charles Manson.

Which is stupid. When I see a kid having a tantrum at a store I just want to hug the Mom. Tell her I KNOW HER PAIN. Hug her again. Buy her a beer.

But in the moment of my own kids’ tantrums I cannot remember all that. The anxiety takes over and whispers to me that I am failing as a Mom and human and that everyone is disgusted by me and pities my child.

Good times.

At this point I look up and a man is standing uncomfortably close to me. I’m confused. There are two rows of identical carts. I am off to the side blocking one row, but as the exact same cart is fully available to other customers I’m not concerned about the fact that hustling us out of the cart lane isn’t going, um, as smoothly as I’d envisioned. I always try to make sure I’m not inconveniencing other shoppers when I settle my kids into a cart, tantrum or no.

I look at the guy. I look at the other row of identical carts.

He looks at the row as well. “That one on the end looks dirty to me.”

Are you fucking kidding me? The one on the end looks dirty? THEY ARE ALL FILTHY! It is a grocery store. When do you think was the last time any of them were washed?

My kid is trying to swan dive out of the cart. I am swallowing a rising anxiety attack. At the best of times I worry about being in the way of other people. So although I cannot believe the balls on this dude I become a simpering apologist. “Oh. I’m so sorry.” I grab the cart and C and try to back up towards the entrance so this guy can get the cart behind the one I’m using.

And C falls over. He landed sideways in part of the cart he was already standing in. I had my hands on him the whole time. Clearly he wasn’t hurt. But he was furious enough to increase the volume, which I thought was an impossibility.

The guy looks over his shoulder at us. “Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to make the little guy fall down!”

I was so pissed at that point that I couldn’t even reply.

Listen, no one forced me to have kids. It is not humanity’s responsibility to cater to me and my offspring in public. No mother should get a free pass just because it sucks to go to the grocery store with a toddler. We are also contributing members of society and it is our responsibility to not use our kids as an excuse to justify rude behavior.

But what the fuck? What the fuck was with that dude? The kicker was he maneuvered the “clean” cart over to the sanitizer wipe dispenser and gave it a major wipe down anyway. I certainly don’t expect special treatment while shopping with a kid having a tantrum, but how about not being a ginormous dickweed? How about that?

Ok.  I feel a little better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.

dancing C

Would you believe this adorable child who was dancing on a table just this morning would throw a tantrum at the store?

cat videos

Daddy, C, and T using the internet the way god intended-by watching cute cat videos.


5 thoughts on “Shopping Cart Tantrums

  1. Wow, that guy must have anxiety too, to be so obsessed with the cleanliness of shopping carts that he makes an ass of himself in front of you and everyone, without any awareness of what else is happening.

    • You know, I’ve felt guilty for writing about they guy because he surely does have some issue that I should be much more empathetic about. I think that part of the issue for me is I work so hard not to have my crazy impact strangers. I try to be as normal as possible around other people. Of course, I have no problem letting the crazy impact loved ones. So it isn’t like I’m any better ultimately…..

      • It’s so weird how easy it is to be mean to people we care the most intimately about, and try to put on the social acceptable face to asshole strangers.

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