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Almost every time, actually, I end up leaving with nothing I came for and a tantrum having four year attached to my hand and a baby on my hip, but this time I had to stick it out to get the groceries.
I tell her for the tenth time to sit down so she doesn’t fall and the next thing I hear is a woman behind me in line saying “oh, for Christ’s sake give her a cookie so she’ll shut up!”
I could’ve responded in a nicer way. I could’ve explained to her that my four year old has pretty severe ADHD, I raise both my children alone, I’m doing my best, and had no choice but to wait it out for the groceries. Instead, I heard “she’s four years old and you need to mind your own f***ing business” come out of my mouth.
I kept my composure until I finished what I was doing and walked to self checkout so I could avoid facing anyone else as “that person.” The person with the misbehaving child. The person who seems lazy because they’re ignoring the behavior. The person who knows doing anything but ignoring it is only going to make it worse.
By the time I made it to self checkout, tears are pouring down my face. I’ve lost it. I’m angry, my feelings are hurt, I’m offended, and I’m just freakin sad that I can’t have one good experience in a store with my children.
As I scan my things, a woman walks up and begins to talk to Sophie. She asks her questions to distract her, but backs me up when Sophie begins to go on about wanting the chips. “No, you can’t have those today. You have to be good for your mommy. She needs you to be good for her. I have a little girl just like you. How old are you? How old is [your] brother?”