It turns erringly quiet right before the cry that says “I’m not just crying for sympathy or because I want something, I really actually got hurt”
I hate that cry…
You know those people who love attention, whether it is positive OR negative, well I’m not one of those people. I get very uncomfortable – to the point where too much positive attention is not very pleasant- while negative…oh forget about it!
But this is clearly not about me or the shoppers and store employees who suddenly come running… but about my little boy, who I of course rush to comfort (his sister sympathy crying loudly in the cart).
What happened? You ask. Well, I’ll tell you… Somehow, our little man has fallen into a huge metal store shelf and from what I can gather through the sobs, has hit his head pretty bad. I hug and hush and rub his temple while simultaneously making sure my one year old doesn’t climb out of the shopping cart.
People stop and stare and keep offering advice, which is very nice (maybe) but so not the time (or the place). I actually just want to tell them all to leave us alone (very politely of course) so I can focus on my son.
He is still crying pretty hard and as I’m hoping for no lasting side effects an older little boy tells his parents that it was my fault (wait what?) and that he saw me tripping my own little boy causing him to fall (I can’t believe it). My face is red hot as I’m cradling my crying kid, this is just unbelievable. I’m sure all they notice is the mother who, oblivious to her own children, chatting away happily on her phone instead of paying attention. And on top of that, tripping her own boy, letting him fall into a tall, hard shelf…
Oh my goodness. This is ridiculous, I feel guilty and ashamed and sad and like the worst mom (again). Never ever, ever take personal phone calls again-ever; check! (And die friendless). I replay what happened and I know I tried to block a certain little body from climbing up (on the very same tall, hard shelf he ended up falling into) to get some chocolate chip cookies that we are not getting (hello, trying to be good mom over here!). I was actually trying to prevent disaster but how do you explain that, or remedy the situation? You can’t, all you can do is sooth, calm, kiss and move on. Who cares about nosy strangers pretending to help anyways? (They are probably not all bad but take the lady ordering an employee to get a broom to sweep up some spilled cookies for example…).
As I’m trying to regain composure and face the stares as my son’s crying tappers off (and he agrees, “I feel better”) some nice store employee (very nice indeed-idiot!, sorry, didn’t mean that; very helpful) comes running with some ice. Some ice for the poor, sweet innocent boy with the big bad, neglectful mama. People around us seem to agree that that is very heroic and I am forced to play thankful and gracious (boiling over inside- I should not have left the house this morning, I just shouldn’t have). Give me a break, it was an accident and he is fine! Never bringing both kids to the store ever again, check!
The adventures in the check-out line includes a complete meltdown over not getting a matchbox (special superheroes edition) car and a semi tantrum over having to PAY for what he did get before opening it! The baby also temporarily chokes on her bread (apparently gluten free can be quite hazardous) and tries to flip around and stand up in the cart (despite being tightly strapped in) several times while all I am doing is trying to put the groceries on the check-out belt.
As we leave, I ask for “help out” (ehmm, can he follow us home, I need “extended” help, expiration date; never). The confused young adult (poor guy) gets a mouthful from my preschooler who even grabs his hand and promptly invites him to his dinosaur party. And when we reach the car (the black one over there at the other side of the parking lot), the baby wailing and just over it, the groceries simply do NOT fit…