This actually happened to me about 9 months ago… but I thought I would share it again…

The last 3 times I have gone to Walmart, Coltonhas been acting up a bit.  He used to love riding in the cart.  Then he decided that he wanted to walk.  Now, he has decided that he wants to be carried through the store and not set down for a second. 

Well, that is just not a possibility for me, as not only would I being carrying a toddler in one arm, but pushing a cart with a 10 month old in it who needs constant supervision AND trying to pick up the supplies that I need.  It is just to hard for me to do that.

So, I decided today that I was going to tell Colton no, and I was not going to give in.  He started crying and throwing a fit in the cart, and I tried to ignore him.  I asked him if he wanted cake (he LOVES cake) and he screamed "No!" and I told him if he didn’t stop we were going to leave and he screamed ‘No!" and I stopped the cart and looked him in the eyes and asked how him I could help in the most loving and thoughtful voice I could muster… and got nothing but screams in return. 

In the mean time I am trying to grab the few items I need so I can leave.

Just as I am about 50 feet from the registers, almost home free… an elderly woman approaches me with her cart and looks at me down her nose.

She nods her head towards my child and says to me, "You should really do something about that."

Um, what did you say?

Apparently, I must have looked confused because she repeated herself,

"You should really try and do something about that…."

Oh no, here it comes.

"…like you should try to love your child and hug him."

I know that this 70 year old woman did not just call me out in the middle of Walmart like I am some horrible mother who could care less what her kids did.

I grabbed Coltons hand and said:

"Thank you ma’am for pointing out what would be the best thing for my child.  I am so sorry that I seemed to have disrupted your normally peaceful and stress-free shopping experience here at Super Walmart today. "

"I should hug this child and give him everything he wants.  I should go ahead and indulge this slightly spoiled, slightly tired, but mostly trying to get his own way 2 year old, and give him exactly what he wants."

"And madame, when this precious toddler who gets everything he wants when he wants it turns into a self-indulgent, snotty, mouthy, and reckless teenager, and toilet papers the neighbors house and kicks the other neighbors cat, what should I about it then?"

"And how about when that self-indulgent teenager turns into an aggressive and hostile adult who manipulates everyone he comes into contact with to get his own way and doesn’t care about anyone but himself?  Should I continue to "do something" about it then?

"I appreciate you taking some of your precious time to let me know how I could better serve society by being a more loving and caring mother, but I think, just for today, I am going to let him cry this one out."

As I finished talking I realized that a crowd had formed and everyone was staring at me…and suddenly, they all started clapping and cheering! I could hear, “Bravo!  Bravo!” throughout the aisles and the silent but noticeable straightening of mothers’ heads everywhere around me.

The snotty woman turned her heel and left the store never to be heard from again.

OK, Ok, Ok.  So by now you have figured out that I didn’t actually say all that.  It went something a little more like this.

Old woman: "You should do something about that.  You should love your child and hug him."

Me: "Don’t judge me!"

I grab Coltons hand and frantically try and drag him away so that she can’t see my hands trembling and the cart almost tipping over that I am almost crying and that I am humiliated and mortified and am slowly sinking lower and lower to the ground as if she just dropped the weight of the world on my shoulders and never want to show my face at Walmart again.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I so understand what you went through. I, too, after something like that think of grand things to say that would put that person in their place and impress all around….however, at the time I am typically speechless and just feel bad about myself.
    God bless you for trying your best–that is all God asks of us. Good job on saying no. I have taught those teens whose parents have never said no and thay are not nice or likeable people!
    Have a great day!

  2. I have SOOOOO been there! Unfortunately, my flesh gets ahold of me and I usually end up saying something sarcastic and completly unhelpful. But having been there, when I see a mom going through it— I mean really going through it, I approach them and try to comfort the mom– if only to say I’ve been there. Because at that moment when “preciaous” isn’t moms can feel so alone and overwhelmed.
    You’re doing a great job! Keep working on those little knights!

  3. Been there, done that. I think every mom has. Before I had kids I used to wonder how anyone could let their kids act like that. Ha. I soon learned that kids will act how they want when they want and usually when it is the most embarrassing!!

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