One of the little quirks I have is that I like to watch people and yesterday, I had an experience at the store that wasn’t as friendly as it could be. I had all four of my kids with me. The girls were being very good, but Jaden on the other hand was tired, frustrated, didn’t want to be in the trolley, wanted to walk and he is teething at the moment so he was being a little bit noisy as you can imagine.
I was trying to do everything in my power (Superpowers were obviously turned off for some reason) to settle him and make him happy, but he wasn’t and I really didn’t have any power to stop his grumbles – ok it was more like squarking, than grumbling, but every trick in my book had been used to distract him and had not worked – so what is a mum to do?
I didn’t realise that there was an elderly woman with her husband not far away from me and in a loud voice she says ‘Would you shut that child up!’. I have to admit that I was stunned. Everybody around me knew i was having some issues with Jaden and every mum out there knows how hard it is to calm a small child when they don’t want to do something! My response to the lady was ‘the switch is broken on him and the manufacturer wont issue a new model!’…which of course didn’t go down very well – the lady huffed and puffed out of sight – grumbling on her way.
It was a really aweful situation to be in. There are so many people who refuse to either cope or tolerate little children, especially when the child is having a melt down, but I would have hoped that this lady would cut me some slack. I was clearly trying to settle Jaden with no success. I felt like the spotlight was on me and I was supposed to perform this fabulous trick – but it wasn’t working and the audience were about to boo me.
I did fail yesterday in terms of getting Jaden to settle in the trolley, but the lady who told me to shut my child up failed in the sense of her ability to have compassion for a mum who had a large family and was doing her best. If I had a switch to either turn on/off or mute a difficult child – boy it would have made my day easier, but that isn’t on option. Sometimes we parents have to wing it at times to try and console a child, but to get them to do what they need to do. A 19 month old child doesn’t have the ability to reason with you pleading with them to sit down, particularly when they are overtired or teething, and despite all your parenting skills, and all your efforts to change the state of the situation – nothing works. Life with kids is difficult at times, and I hope that later when the lady in question had time to reflect on her day and what she could have done better – I hope that she thinks about her ‘quest for quiet’ at Coles and feels really bad for asking me to shut my child up.
My girls were quite upset with the lady in question as to what she said regarding shutting Jaden up and one of them in particular wanted to race after her and tell her off for being a miserable old lady, but as we discussed how we could have and should have handled the situation, the anger subsided and a sorrow for the lady came because they realised that the issue wasn’t really Jaden (despite his upset), the issue was the lady – she is the one with the unhappy heart. Imagine how hard it is for somebody to carry around with them each day a unhappy heart.
As I reflect on the day, I need to take responsibility for not listening to Jaden before we went to the store. I shouldn’t have taken him to the store at the time of day i did. Any type of grocery shopping should be done in the day time, before school pickup for so many reasons, but knowing he is tired at this time of day, means that I need to make sure I am organised and prepared and if I have forgotten anything I I either change my plan or drop into the local shop to get that one thing. Its about getting the best out of my kids, and listening to them….clearly going to a grocery store straight after school doesn’t work with Jaden…