Dear New Mom,
Yeah you, looking at me with a pitying expression while pushing your sleeping baby around the grocery store, don’t worry, you’ll get here. I know right now, as you’re looking at me with such mirth, patting yourself on the back for your well behaved child, and thinking how your child will NEVER throw a fit in the supermarket, you can’t even fathom that this will be you someday. Yes, yes it will. Trust me.
I thought that at one point in my career as a mother, actually I was POSITIVE that my perfect little cherub would NEVER embarrass me in public. But now as I stand here virtually helpless, with a baby strapped to my chest and a two-year-old auditioning for the lead role in the newest soap opera ‘The Young and Resentful’, I am realizing that all fairy tales come to an end at some point. Mine just happened to be today, at my local grocery store during an epic battle of wills. Mom vs. boy; who will win?
And really, do you want to know why he is crying? Do you see that dump truck, on the sheet cake that costs $25.99? Yeah, he wants it. Never mind that he has 5 others at home EXACTLY like it, he wants THAT one. Nothing matters in this moment except the procurement of that dump truck; he will move heaven and earth to get his hands on it. He will scream, cry, pitch a fit, hit, wail, blubber, and spout buckets of tears to get that ONE dump truck. Hell hath no fury like a child when being told ‘no’.
Here I am, stuck in the conundrum of a life time. Unable and unwilling to discipline my child as I normally would because of the large crowd that is now milling around us, watching this episode out of the corner of their eyes and clucking their tongue at each perceived wrong move that I make (I mean seriously, how long does it really take to choose between the french loaf or ciabatta rolls anyhow?). Do I give in to save my pride, or do I allow my child to throw my chances of winning the “Mom of the Year” Award straight out the window? I’ll let you guess at what I chose, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
So please don’t look at me like that; with pity, heart break, SUPERIORITY… Rather, throw me the nod as you pass by, you know, the one that says ‘I feel ya’ mama, stay strong’. Better yet, pound your fist to your chest and raise two fingers high in the air Hunger Games style as if to say “I see you mama, and I respect your fallen dignity.”
And I too, a few years from now, when I pass you in Walmart with your screaming child will offer you the mama salute in solace, because little mama, your day will come.
The Mom of the Tantruming Two-Year-Old in the Bakery Section