Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mommy drive by

I was a victim of a Mommy Drive By today. The standard Mommy blog definition of a Mommy Drive By is when a perfect stranger feels it necessary to correct your parenting in a public place.

Lindsay has had her grumpypants on since Tuesday, and has been unable to go more than fifteen minutes at a time without screaming at the top of her lungs. Even fed, with clean diaper, and freshly burped, she still screams. It is, as you might imagine, maddening. Mercifully, she has been sleeping ok. I have been rushing to get as much done as possible during the sleep times.

I didn't manage to place a Peapod order yesterday, so I knew we had to stop at the local grocery for milk and bread. After we dropped Lauren off at daycare, Lindsay had fallen asleep in her carseat. So, I placed the carseat in the kid-holding part of the shopping cart and headed in to Stop and Shop. I ran down the aisles, throwing dairy products and produce in the cart. She started fussing as I grabbed the bananas, so I practically sprinted across the store to grab a loaf of bread. Lindsay had already started crying. I got in line, stroking her head, saying "It's ok.." as I loaded my groceries on to the conveyer belt. I set down my credit card and began stuffing the groceries into shopping bags as the cashier rung them through, clearly trying to get out of there as quickly as possible.

The cashier behind mine said, "Mommy, you really need to pick up your baby." My cashier turned to look at her and nod.

"Uh. No. I really need both hands so I can finish up here, thanks," I said as cordially as I could muster.

The woman behind me in line began to coo at Lindsay, still screaming, beginning to turn purple.
"How old is she?"

"Um. Nine weeks." I said succinctly.

"Has she been like this all day?" asked my cashier.

"She's been like this for nine weeks. Can I have my credit card back, please?"

The cashier looked at me sheepishly and handed me my American Express and my receipt in a wadded ball. I said thank you, stuffed the papers in my purse and turned to leave.

"I just don't understand why she won't pick her baby up and hold her," said the other cashier very loudly.

I felt my face grow hot as I pushed the cart toward the door. It was like a bad sitcom, with another Mom's cart angled out of her check out aisle and in my way. "Excuse me." And then her 2 boys ran directly in front of the cart as they chased each other around. "Excuse me, please." And then an old lady was sitting on the bench by the door with her cane out. "Please excuse me."

I got to the car, set the carseat into its base and took Lindsay out of the seat, still screaming. She screamed as I loaded the groceries out of my cart and into the trunk.

The old lady parked next to me asked if I needed help, and I replied, "No thanks." She began moving my bags into my car, "I've really got this under control, but thanks for your help" and then took the cart away.

I sat with Lindsay in the front seat of the car for a while until she finally calmed down. "Don't listen to those people," I whispered. "There's nothing wrong with you. I love you just the way you are...and more than you'll ever know."


karen said...

I'm no longer worried you'll beat me out for Worst Mother of the Year. You'll take Best Mother, hands down.

Ms.L said...

Ohhhh,how awful!
Good for you,that took strength and grace,and you aced that test for sure:)

Colleen said...

Why can't people mind their own business? Obviously, YOU know what is best for your baby.

Epiphany Alone said...

Thanks Karen and Ms L. :)

Colleen: I have no idea why people think that's being helpful. But did I really have to explain to anyone that if I picked Lindsay up she was still going to scream and I'd take 3 times as much time trying to get out of the store. And babies cry sometimes. There isn't anything inherently bad in letting them do that.