Back when Philip and I were first married, I would stroll through target, blissfully ignorant to what it's like to try to just get some shopping done with two little kids. So when I'd see a mom with small kids and they were yelling, screaming, throwing things, tearing things off the shelves.... I'd pass judgement.
It went something like this:
"Why can't that mom get her kids under control?"
"Why is she letting her kids be so obnoxious, can't she see there are other people in the store?"
"When I have kids, I will never resort to bribery!"
Any of these sounds familiar? For some completely ridiculous reason, I used to think I would know how to handle a situation perfectly, before I had ever walked in their shoes. And admittedly, even now as a Mother, having an understanding of the reality of things, I'm guilty of assuming I know best.
I never thought I'd be the mom that had "those kids" while in a public place. Or be the mom that took her wild toddler and baby to Target just to "get out of the house" (or in my case, more often we go to Fred Meyer, cause its closer). But truth be told, I'm the one that people are looking at now. The one that has the baby reaching out of the cart trying to pull everything off of the shelf. I'm the one that is bribing my toddler to stop whining by promising him a horsey ride on the way out of the store.
Oh how my perspective has changed. I understand that we do what we have to do sometimes when we are out in public with our kids. I know now that if my toddler is having a meltdown in public, the more I try to control the situation, the worse it gets. Other moms or non-moms might stare at me and wonder why the heck I can't get my kid under control.
Well my answer to you is this:
My kids are little. My toddler does things he's not supposed to do because he is still so young and is still struggling too understand what acceptable behavior is when we are out. He won't always listen, and we are working on that. Plain & simple, he's three years old and he misbehaves. And in
fact, he might be a little more disobedient than other kids, so I get
why you're staring at me like I don't know what I'm doing. But I am doing the very best I can - to teach him to be well mannered, and to
follow direction. I try to explain and reason with him, that he cant just do whatever he
wants, whenever he wants. It's just that here's the thing, some kids take longer than others to learn these simple rules. So please be patient with us.
And P.S. yes it's true that sometimes, even though I know there will be tears and tantrums, we leave the house anyway because if you have ever been cooped up with little kids in the cold winter months, you know that your sanity depends on those trips to Target/Fred Meyer... wherever. And the baby? Well he's just a baby and doesn't know any better anyway. He's just along for the ride.
So I want to apologize to all the Mom's with small kids that I may or may not have passed judgement on at some point. I get it now.
And to prove that my kids can sometimes be cute and well-behaved... here's a photo to melt your heart. ;-)