We were in Target the other day, and there was a baby crying, more like wailing, at the top of his lungs. He was buckled into the seat in his mother’s shopping cart, and she was totally ignoring his screams.
We were simply trying to do some shopping.
It was the kind of crying that could be heard aisles and departments away. The kind that made you wonder what’s wrong with that kid? I hope he’s not hurt.
I have kids. I’m not insensitive to the challenges children present when taking them out in public. Let’s see, Max has embarrassed me in both good ways and bad. I remember distinctly a few episodes.
There was the time I had him strapped in the buggy at the grocery store. We were in the cereal aisle. I turned my head while pushing the cart, and he stretched his arm out, held it rigid, and swept all the boxes of cereal off the shelf. He has thrown up in the bakery department (of course he has). He has flipped a shopping cart over on himself (that one made me feel like a very inadequate mother). And he, at two years old, sang Beyonce’s Single Ladies at the top of his lungs the whole time we were in Target. There were, of course, the usual tantrums every parents deals with at one time or another as well.
Anyways, the kid in Target would. not. stop. crying.
We had to walk right past his cart. His mother had her back turned looking for a birthday card. Really, I couldn’t imagine having the patience to read greeting cards while my kid was screaming his head off. She must have had nerves of steel.
We walked past the cart, and the kid abruptly stopped crying. The tantrum that had been going on for at least ten minutes ended as soon as that tot and I made eye contact.
“Huh, he stopped crying,” I said to Ronnie, with a mischievous and rather triumphant grin on my face.
“What did you do?”
“Oh, I just helped that mother out. He’s not crying any more. Isn’t that nice of me? I just have a way with kids.” I was laughing really hard.
“Mandy, what did you do?”
“I just looked at him. Like this.” I contorted my face into one of the ugliest expressions I could muster. That kid stopped crying because he was shocked. How dare some strange lady make an ugly face instead of avoiding him or coddling him?
Ronnie shook his head in disbelief. Well, not really. I think he has finally come to expect such things of me. Now everyone in the store could shop in peace.
And, hey, at least it wasn’t our kid making the scene this time!