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April 10, 2008


Dear Tammy,

Please don't worry, as a good number of us have been there before. Many of those winces you witnessed weren't necessarily from pain or annoyance, but from sympathy.

Keep the faith, sister. Good* parenting really does pay off. Today my teenager actually offered to go to the store for me, although I suspect knowing that the cute checker works Thursday afternoons might have had something to do with it.

May you ever be more stubborn than your kid,
A Sympathetic Supermarket Shopper

*It has to be good, right? It's sure as heck not the easy way.

I was on a flight home from West Palm Beach the other day -- there were literally 14 wheelchairs lined up waiting for early boarding (I counted) -- and this little kid started wailing. A woman -- we'll call her "elderly" and "hag-like" -- came back to use the facilities with this look of complete disdain on her face, as if there were any act on earth, short of a tire iron to the back of the head, that could make him stop screaming. The lady next to me, who had tipped back four too many (I counted those too), said a little too loudly, "Don't blame him because you're in God's waiting room. You're old. You've seen kids before."

My point is that you're a good mom and old people are mean.

Good for you. I always am impressed by parents who do the right thing rather than do anything to keep the kid quiet.

That letter could so have been written by me a few years ago, except the name of the grocery store. My children are a bit older now, so we don't have quite the drama in the grocery store, it has simply moved to different locations. Anyone with kids knows and was sending out, "You go Mom!" vibes to you!
And I'm out right saying it - You do it girl, and ignore all those people around you who are begging you to turn your child into a spoiled brat! You know what you are doing and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Cheers to the great mom! I so appreciate parents working with their children, no matter how awkward it may seem at the time. Being a mom, I know I had been tempted to hush up the brat to ease my circumstance, and I am so grateful now that I stuck it out.

Worse yet is the subway..where everyone is confined..Yes this happened to me and Izzy at 4, wailed the entire length of the 10 minute ride. We were on our way to an emergency trip to see the doctor instead of going on a playdate. So partially I had done him wrong and there was no consoling him. Much to the annoyance of fellow passengers. Oh the glares, the stares and the hidden passenger who knew of me and then went back and told the tale to others. That horrible Izzy's Mama!

Yeah, this was me at Target yesterday. I NEVER take the toddler to Target. But it was kinda sunny, he was kinda happy, I thought - oh, he'll be fine. So not. So, so, so many old ladies tut-tutting me.

Of the toddler boy and the preteen girl at the grocery store... the toddler gets the gold star (and trust me... he's screaming).

Be glad you had boys.

Hee, I had this experience in stereo at Roche Bros. a few weeks ago. The fun of toddler twins! I figured I was providing free entertainment to the fellow shoppers so instead of being embarrassed I considered putting out a hat for people to throw tips into as a thank you for making them feel better about their own lives!

As a child psychologist (in training), I have to say: Great Job! Had you given in, all you would have taught your toddler is to scream longer and louder the next time. Giving in just makes for worse tantrums. You did the right thing.

I love this letter and wish I had of had it when my girls were younger-Hehehe who am I kidding. I could still use it now!!!

Yeah, I don't have kids. I don't have that kind of patience. Plus I don't really want to share my food with some dumb kid who is going to slobber all over my expensive chocolate and then declare it "icky no no".

But I will occasionally watch my best friend's kids and believe me when I say how awkward it is to have a kid throw a tantrum in a public place and to have them start screaming "you're not MY mommy!!! I want MY real mommy!aaaahhhhhhaahhhhhhhh"

Now that is a special kind of awkward.

Lily VS: Yeah, kind of makes you want to say "You're right. I'm not your Mommy," and just keep on walking in the other direction.

Judy: Feel free to Xerox and distribute as you see fit.

Sandicita: I'm glad to hear you say that. There seem to be some differing opinions on this matter. I mean, everyone wants to see good behavior, but it's the getting there that's controversial.

Whatacard: Definitely the right attitude to have. It's a public service, really.

Sis: Yes, a preteen girl probably does trump a toddler boy.

Susanna: See, the old ladies don't remember what it's like. How can they when I don't even remember what the infant stage is like a mere year and a half ago. Plus, they had the threat of (legal) beatings to carry them through.

Izzy's mama: Yes, I'm afraid of transportation other than our own private bubble-on-wheels. I feel for you.

Pretty Neato: Nice to know that it pays off eventually.

Jenny: Thanks for the moral support!

Mary: If only I could have done it in a controlled fashion instead of a me-losing-my-shit fashion. Well, it had the right effect anyway.

Hater: God's waiting room. Priceless!

Helen: It's so nice to get mail! If my kids ever offer to go grocery shopping for me as teenagers, I'll consider myself a successful parent. Kudos to you.

My favorite toddler's favorite retort to being told she can't do something: "but I WANT to!"

You are doing a service to society by letting your kid scream in the grocery store. Seriously.

(Also, with that seven-layer bar recipe from a while back.)

I'm not a parent, but I tend to agree with Sandicita. I would much rather put up with a tantrum than see parents give in and teach kids that bad behavior gets them what they want.

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