Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers and Why I Wanted to Stick My Head In the Freezer at Superstore

The Bee has been acting out a lot lately. Having tantrums. Screaming in his 'I'm on fire' voice when he is not. Kicking. And more screaming. IN PUBLIC. At church, at Grandma's, at nursery, and today, at the GROCERY STORE.
And that kid has the lungs and tenacity to keep it going. And going. AND GOING.
And then I get going and I get angry and frustrated and nobody calms down.
So today at the grocery store when I took away a clothes hanger he was using to hit things with, he started off on a ripping tantrum.
I tried to reason with him. I tried to argue. I tried to insist. I tried to ignore. I tried to walk away (he just sat on the floor screaming some more). I tried to bribe. I tried to threaten...if you don't stop right now...!!!
I tried to keep my cool when I wanted to to get on crazy mommy on his still diapered butt.

The store seemed to be full of old people today. Seniors Tuesday? I caught the looks of sympathy and others of disdain. He was being extremely obnoxious. But I wasn't leaving.
Of course the thought crossed my mind to just cut my losses and leave, but then I'd just have to COME BACK LATER. And it would have been a total waste of time and sanity.
So he continued to scream through the cereal and the produce and the bakery and on to the checkout.
All of a sudden the lines seemed incredibly long. And the baby is trying to stand up in the cart and throw food out of the cart. And I don't know if I can take it.
And a kind older gentleman standing in the line beside us comes over and asks if he can help. I have nothing left to protest or pretend that it's all under control.
He bends down and says a few words to The Screaming Bee. Then he picks him up and puts his head on his shoulder. Like a grandpa would.
And the screaming stops.

Now, I'm not in the habit of letting strangers hold my children, but the relief was immense (to myself and everyone within earshot). And he was right next to us with a cart full of milk jugs and ground beef (odd, but I'm in no position to judge).
And he held him right through the checkout. And waited for me to finish.
Then he handed my silent boy back to me and we had a brief conversation about helping hands and how he'd had one when he needed it. And I thanked him several times.
And I am thankful tonight.
And I'm going to try to be more aware.
And to offer my hand when it is needed.

And I'm going to find a grocery store that will deliver.

7 comments:

Jamie said...

Oh I have so been there. Superstore seems to bring out the worst in my children. I'm sorry you had a crappy shopping time. Maybe next time you go shopping, you should see if your boys want to come play at my house! :)
Super sweet of the man to help you out!

Mmmmaaahvelous said...

Oh I feel your pain & frustration.
How lovely that someone helped you! Random acts of kindness...the world needs more.

nicole said...

what a sweet hand he did lend :) I need to work to make sure I'm always there for others, even strangers.

Lahni said...

I HATE superstore! (Or as my husband calls is "stupidstore") So nice of that man to help you!

Alyson said...

I cried. What a great man.

Go Cards said...

There are still some nice people out there...which is awesome, I too have had some help there. Mostly just people saying 'wow 3 kids your brave' or 'crazy', what are we suppose to sit at home and not do anything because we have 3 kids?!

Mrs Hatter said...

Both Sobeys and Safeway deliver.