Yesterday. Target. Arora was lying on the floor blocking a whole isle. She had been pretending to be a snake and had mostly been following close enough to me that I didn’t really care. Then another shopper wanted to get down the isle she was blocking. I beckoned to Arora to move. She didn’t. Then the other shopper gave me the eye. The “I don’t approve of your parenting skills and your kids are going to end up in jail” look.
I was immediately embarrassed and defensive. I shouted, loudly for Arora to get up and move right now. She looked at me and started saying “I am bad” over and over. Ouch. That hurt me way worse then the lady who I will never see again. Arora decided from my shouting, the tone of my voice and I’m sure look on my face that she was bad.
I immediately got down on the floor with her and told her she was not bad, she was good. I told her I was sorry, I was wrong to shout at her and that she was not bad.
I told her I was upset because she was blocking peoples way and that she needed to listen to me when I asked her to move.
I told her that I would try and not shout at her, that I loved her and she was good. All the while on the floor blocking the whole isle way.
I am not a perfect parent. I need to read this. To tell myself that I am not expected to be perfect. I don’t expect others to be perfect parents.
Ten minutes before this event, we had been in the baby stuff section. There was a new looking mom, with a screaming little one. I stopped to ask her how old her daughter was, to coo at her for just a moment. To smile at her and hopefully tell her: I’ve been there, it gets easier, you are doing well!
I am going to make more of an effort to be the smiling non judging stranger in the store. And less of the get out of my way I’m in a hurry stranger in the store.
This post was inspired my my friend Lauren post on the same topic.