Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lord Have Mercy On Me!

As some of you know, Lucas is a screamer. Loud. Shrill. Top-of-his-lungs-screamer. It's painful... more for me than anyone else in the vicinity. Painful, because I can see the hooch farther down the aisle staring at me with judgmental eyes. I can sense the crusty dude looking our way, thinking to himself, "That lady better reign in her kid." Oh it's SO painful.

So today while I'm frantically trying to find toothpicks at the grocery store, Lucas becomes frustrated with the rolling pin I'm purchasing. It seems to have become wedged in some part of the cart and he is unable to release it. So here it comes... frustrated sounds...whining... SCREAMING! My heart stops and I casually turn around to help him. I do everything to prove to the people around me that I am a calm mother... this doesn't get me riled up (even though I'm freaking out inside). I speak to him in calm terms and tell him to take a chill pill. To relax. All he has to do is ask for Mommy's help. But the tears continue until he realizes the rolling pin is back in his hands. Calm... smiling again... happy baby.

I do not find the toothpicks and decide that I better get out while the goin's good.

We're in the checkout... 15 items only, please... but it's the only checkout open... other than U-Scan, which is NOT going to happen with my heaping cart of holiday baking items and such. So here I go. I'm unloading and Lucas is attempting to help. All is well, until there are no more items for him to hold/play with/help/ruin. So here it comes again.... frustrated...whining... SCREAM! My blood boils and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Because now I'm faced to face with the checker-lady and the bagger-lady. I ignore Lucas and keep checking out.

Then it happens. Checker-lady says: "Wow...he's special. Better get a grip on that screaming Mom. You need to stop responding to that and insist that he use his words instead."

Oh no she didn't.

I couldn't even respond. What do I say?! I smiled and said something benign like, "Yea..." So all the way home I stewed and thought about all the things I could have said (instead of "Yea"):
  • Look here lady! You don't know the first thing about my kid. So shut-up.
  • Wow... great idea. You're right. In fact, I've been encouraging him to scream like that. I reward him every time with candy and hugs. I can totally see where I've gone wrong.
  • He's 18  months old. His ability to articulate his feelings is still a little rough. Maybe we'll talk it out on the way home.
  • You should write a parenting book.
  • Thanks for the tip. Now I'm going to go and try and find my pride somewhere back there.
  • Where are the friggin' toothpicks!?
 But instead I sucked it up. I drove home with shaking hands and tears in my eyes. Praying for God to have mercy on me... because today I'm not equipped. And honestly, checker-lady caused me to question my ability to be a good parent. Ugh. Doesn't she know I doubt myself all the time?! What the heck?

And when I got home, I dropped two-gallons of milk on the ground. It exploded. And I cried.

Maybe I'll laugh about this tomorrow. Maybe.


  1. Oh sweetheart. I wish I could be there. I completely empathize with you. I've even dropped the milk before.

    My FB comments still stand. You are the best mommy for Lucas there is.

    I also come up with the best things to say after the fact. However, the fact I don't say it right away is probably a gift from God. We'd likely get ourselves into more trouble.

    Hopefully, the checker realizes her insensitivity and is running through the encouraging words she should have said to you.

    Call Matt if you haven't already. He'll give you the encouraging words you need.


  2. Oh, Beth! Both my kids are screamers. They sound like preteen girls when they screech - so high pitched, I am surprised glass is not shattering all around us.

    My first encouragement is this: You are not alone! That checker lady needs her own reality check. Either she is not a mother or her own screaming children caused her memory to be erased. ;)

    Second, Henry at four is still a screamer BUT! only when he has really hurt himself. While Lucas will probably always have the personality of a "screamer", he will learn to control it and when you have any more kids, it gets way easier to ignore the dumb people out there who act like child-rearing is the easiest task on Earth. ;)

    Something I learned with Wyatt...when he is screaming, I try to fake scream back at him with big eyes and silly faces. He always laughs. However, he laughs more that he knows its our little game, so maybe try that trick at home first. Heeee.

    You're a fanTAStic mother!!!

  3. I love you Beth and have had that experience happen to me more than once. It usually brings out the very worst in me. The irony is that those who feel so compelled to share their parenting advice usually have either never had children or have the children none of us want to let our own kids play with. I know you re a great mama and I hope you will see the funny side of this...I loved all your alternative responses ;)