It started innocently enough. My little guy had a good nap and I had some jogging pants to return, so I figured we’d have an afternoon out at the Kanata Target. I got us ready, loaded into the car and off we went. Liam seemed in a good mood. I strapped him into my Tula at the store, but quickly transferred him to the cart at his request. We did some shopping and found some great deals (All Btoys are on sale for incredibly low prices). I picked up a couple groceries and then Liam started to get bored.
I stayed calm and I kept him engaged for the most part. We tried walking, we tried babywearing, we tried the cart. Eventually, I became that Mom. I had a screaming toddler who was lashing out at me physically. By the end of the trip, I was exhausted. My hair, so recently cut and made beautiful, was frizzy and all over my face. I was sweaty, and my clothes were disheveled from toddler wrangling.
I remember a time before I became a mother where I wouldn’t leave the house without make up. I was horrified at the idea of looking less than my best in the public eye. I couldn’t imagine being the mom with the tantruming child. I would have better control of my kids, oh yeah.
My kid is not a robot. I don’t bark commands that he blindly follows. He’s a learning and growing child, who is just beginning to deal with his emotions. I am fine with that. I mean, it’s exhausting and annoying, especially when it happens in public, but it doesn’t defeat or shame me. (I also accept that my child is a child and will be a child in public) I could give two craps about my hair or my clothes after an incident like that. I’m primarily concerned with Liam being ok, calm and safe. I was surprised by some of the looks though. That I clearly came out to this mall simply with the plan of annoying these people with my unruly child. Then there were the looks at my carrier. I heard one woman say to her friend that it was no wonder my child was unhappy, as I was forcing him to stay attached to me. How selfish I must be. How would he ever learn to walk?
Luckily, there were some amazing people who made up for it. One man helped me with my groceries and the doors. One man made my son laugh and was kind to me. Another man smiled and complimented me on my carrier.
The point of this rambling is that I realize how much I’ve changed and that I am going to do my best to be supportive when next I come across that Mom or Dad who is in that spot. Today, I was that mom. I was harried, tired and doing the best I could. A smile and a kind word made all the difference for me.
I now have some tea, a hearty cheesy pasta dinner and a great article to read before I break out the knitting. Liam is curled up on the floor playing “Vet” for some stuffies. It’s been a long day, but a good one.