If you have kids, you’ll understand

We were very obviously blocking the doorway out of the grocery store, but I couldn’t move.
My pre-schooler was still climbing inside the little car at the front end of our long cart.
Yank it back, and she’d tumble to the ground.
“Honey,” I said, gentle at first. “You’ve got to get in there fast – we’re in everyone’s way.”
I glanced back at the three people waiting to get by, gave my most penitent shrug.
“I’m so sorry.”
They glared.
OK, so they don’t have kids. I get it.
I turned back to my daughter, my voice reaching fever pitch. “Get in there, honey… now.”
This time, she scurried. With her finally settled, I backed the cart out of the way, and once again cast my apologies toward the three people to my right. They pointedly ignored me and hurried out.
So I looked to my left, this time to a woman grinning at my daughter.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. Because of the length of the cart with the extra car in front, she’d essentially been trapped in the cart area.
“No problem,” she said. “I’ve got three kids. You should see the looks I get when I bring all three of them in here with me.”
Yes, she got it. She understood what it means to become a social pariah with the addition of a little person holding your hand.
We’re not the only ones, of course. We parents share the ire of shoppers everywhere with the elderly, who move too slowly and take up too much room with their motorized carts.
As if they’re getting old and losing their ability to move swiftly just to tick someone off.
As if a 3-year-old thinks “yes, let’s add 5.9 seconds to the amount of time it takes those three people to get out of the grocery store.”
Because, hey, in our me-centered society, they must be, right?

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  1. Been there, done that. 🙂

  2. so so so true–I remember the first time a lady came up to me and asked me if i wanted help with my kids-I almost cried…I was carrying my newborn because she didn’t want to sit in the carrier-and my two other daughters were running circles around me..it was so refreshing to have an understanding audience for once.

  3. Yep, I hear ya. I feel completely crazy when I have to drag my 5 anywhere!

  4. I think it’s a little unfair to assume that the people waiting didn’t have kids. Maybe one of them did and was late picking them up, maybe one had a health issue and was just trying to get what they needed and go home quickly to lay down…you never know. No one likes being held up even those of you WITH children. Of course Jilly isn’t trying to make people wait she’s 3 going on 4 she’s being a kid, but please don’t assume that all the people being rude don’t have kids. I don’t have kids and I try to understand how difficult it might be to get into a store and do your shopping with a little one whose not quite cooperating with you and yes I have on occasion rolled my eyes, but who of us hasn’t, come on be honest.

  5. Iam a Grandma and I can so relate! LOL I always enjoyed my kids and now enjoy my grandkids but it’s my own daughter who rolls her eyes at the silly grandma making motor noices to keep the kids happy.What can i say? I especially like when my 8 year old is trying so hard to count out her pennies to pay for something and either the cashier or people behind her are huffing and puffing. Then they are the first to wonder why kids shop-lift!

  6. “They glared.OK, so they don’t have kids. I get it.”Maybe they were just one of the throngs of impatient people who hate to shop after a long day of work? I meet up with them everytime I am at the grocery and I am childless. Eyerolls included.

  7. This happens to me all the time. My twins are two and half, and I start getting impatient looks as soon as other shoppers see us coming! I really don’t understand why people are so annoyed to be around children (especially children that aren’t causing any problems), because no one comes into the world at age 20. What are families supposed to do, just stay home until the kids are adults?

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