I called my husband after I left Winco today and announced, "Our children did a role reversal today."
For some reason I never got any grocery store ads in the mail this week. Usually I make WalMart price match everyone else and save money that way. Since I didn't get the ads I decided to go to Winco. I rarely go to Winco because, for some reason, it takes me twice as long to get through. Maybe I get distracted at the bins. Maybe I spend too much time in the bakery. I don't know. Today proved, once again, that Winco is some kind of grocery vortex that I cannot escape.
And one of my sons was just awful.
One of them sat happily in the cart while the other one tried my every, single, nerve.
One of them smiled at everyone.
One of them stood at the bulk peanuts and threw a tantrum when I wouldn't buy them. I had good reason--the last time he begged me to buy bulk peanuts I obliged and then they sat and sat in the pantry and he refused to eat them. As he yelled and screamed at me I shot him the best stink eye I could muster and, through clenched teeth, told him to knock off these crazy shenanigans right this minute.
An older lady, on a ride on cart, zoomed up to my four-year-old. She glared at him. "You should not be talking to your mom like that. You'd better listen to her!"
I wanted to die.
I think she was trying to help.
Instead, it made me feel like a terrible mother who was so bad at controlling her child that she needed help from random women in the grocery store. I instantly felt my cheeks turning beet red. I said nothing to her for fear that I'd actually start defending the kid who is usually fairly pleasant and not disrespectful--even though on this particular day he was being awfully unpleasant and very rude.
She drove away.
I glanced over at my son. He was silently sobbing. Eventually, he climbed into the cart where he remained silent for quite awhile. "Are you embarrassed?" He nodded. I ran my fingers through his hair. "Me too. Maybe you shouldn't act in such a way that ladies at the grocery store discipline you."
"Okay." He whispered. It's good to know that he cares so much about what random people in Winco think about his behavior. But I still can't figure out if I'm grateful to that woman or incredibly offended.