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On shopping with my three young boys, Master two was starting to slow down. He’d started dawdling behind myself and his brothers as the shop had dragged on a little longer than had been anticipated. As to avoid him being hit of having people trip over him, I’d scooped him up, knowing this would upset him a bit but also knowing that if we finished quick smart and got out of there that it would foil a potentially worse situation. He became teary and was asking over and over ‘I want to get out of trolley’. It was clear he was unhappy and I know it’s pleasant, but it was a far cry from a tantrum just the same. I told the older boys we were pushing on quick smart with a goal to be done, dusted and out of their asap. About 20 seconds later my 8yo tells me with much surprise that a fellow shopper had muttered, thinking he was out of earshot, that ‘The little $h!t needs a good smacking’.

After the surprise passed, I asked the 8yo to point the man out if he saw him again. We pull up to the checkout and, as it turns out, just behind this man. And so it came to pass that this is the first time EVER that my child being grizzly was almost okay with me. This man had unloaded his trolley and was unable to move and had to put up with us for just a bit longer. Not that he gave any indication that any of this was a problem just then. I’m not a confrontational person. And not usually one to stand up for myself either. But I tentatively (while shaking) asked him if he’d happened to call my child a little *sh* who needed a smack. He was clearly shocked. But said he did. A conversation ensued where his argument was that he should not have to hear a child crying in public, and that the child required discipline.

The greatest irony being that the child was irate due to…wait for it… having just been disciplined. But the surely smacking a very tired 2yo would somehow STOP him from crying, right?!?!

It turns out that not surprisingly, he never had children, he also believed he didn’t ‘swear’ in front of my child until I asked him to please repeat what he’d said several times over. And it seems a surprise that, on the odd occassion a shopping trip goes a little pear-shape which turns into Operation:Get the hell out of here before we get to tanty-town isn’t actually sheer ecstacy for us either. Nor does it NOT make me feel completely and utterly self-conscious. Also, the fact remains that if I don’t rush through and finish the shop we don’t eat that night – is a true story!

The fault is more mine than the childs in this case so does that mean I deserved a smack and would he like to administer it himself? He declined.

When it came down to it, the convo probably did little to change his opinion. I certainly received no apology despite giving him one of sorts pointing out that sadly his shopping had evidently been unpleasant as mine had been.

He can have his opinion and I don’t begrudge it all, in fact. But he can keep it to himself. Had my child been having a tantrum I’d have removed him immediately. This instance was far shy of that. He was just a grumpy, intolerant man. Who saw a 20 second snippet of unhappy 2yo in the cleaning aisle and judged my parenting and childs nature on it: lock, stock and barrel. A shame he didn’t note my 8yo (who this clearly mature 60ish year old man called a DOBBER for telling me about this mans swearing and wishing harm on his brother, believe it or not) conscientiously pushing the trolley for me while reading out the shopping list. The middle child fishing for the listed items, returning dropped stuffed much loved things to their little owners, and both older boys helping a lady pick up her scattered change on dropping her coin purse. Nor them packing my trolley, then car, and even unpacking the groceries once coming home due to their sensing I was sad.

What seriously unrooly, undiciplined children these seemingly are! If anything, we are rather strict and have had comment on our pulling up our kids for very minor behavioural offences in the past (can’t win, it would seem). This 2yo kid who cried for 5 minutes. but is otherwise taught to respect his elders, to be considerate of others, to walk quietly beside the trolley.

If only this man had realised how similar his own behaviour had been to the 2yos in that instance!!! Hopefully he too had just had a bad day. And if not, that he won’t be silly enough to utter his opinion audibly in future.

I don’t understand some people.


Posted by beksie, 3rd October 2013


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  • Sound’s like a nasty old man!

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  • I would have gave him a mouthful, no swearing, just let him know what the go is. And walked away. Too many people think they can comment and interfere when they have no idea of the whole situation. Seriously!

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  • Well done for speaking up.

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  • Some people just need to take a good hard look at their own lives! your boys did a great thing to help, and who can blame a 2 yr old for being over shopping! My 30 yr old partner gets over shopping by the laundry isle too!

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  • This has happened to me before too. Good on you for confronting the man. Of course children will make noise and throw tantrums, if they already had perfect social skills and knowledge they wouldn’t need parents lol.

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  • I too have experienced more and more kids intolerant people… I tried to ignore them as otherwise, I get worked up for no reason – not worth my time or stress. But if I were in your shoes hun, i’d also say something to that man – for being rude, judgemental and using foul language! Shame on him!

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  • Your boys seem lovely, My kids are normally pretty good to take shopping but they do have there moments, not that any one has called them little sh!ts but me :) but some times we just cant avoid these “grumpy” people, and the best way is to just ignore them and if he dosent want to put up with kids in public he shouldnt go out

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