Sunday, September 7, 2008

Next to Godliness

If you have kids, you've experienced this. You're in a store and your spouse is safe at home doing something constructive. For some crazy reason, you've volunteered to take one or more of the kids with you. You think it's going to be a quick trip, just in and out. You just have to get one thing.
It seems like a simple plan, slightly selfless on your account, since you're the one with the kid(s).
That's when the chaos starts. At first, the baby is just whining a little in the cart. Maybe he's hungry. Then the two older kids decide to do some creative play in the aisle next to you while you're looking at _________ (the one little thing you came to the store to get). When reading "creative play", the intended subtext you should infer is "boisterous shouting with potential for destruction of store property." You know, the usual.
How often does this happen? All the time. Everyone with kids has experienced it more often than they'd like. And what should be a simple trip into the store turns into a recurring nightmare that leaves your curly hair in a frizz and adds stress cracks to your bottom back molar. The one that probably needs a root canal anyway. Oh, did I mention that the baby who had just been whining a little has now erupted into full blown shrieks?
And why do the other people in the store feel they have any right to look down their noses at you, to think critical thoughts of you? Are they forgetting that their children did the same thing, that they were probably even more screechy and more destructive with their creative play?
So here's what I propose: get your ammunition ready now. You know it is inevitable that too soon you will forget about this horrific experience and you will once again volunteer to take the kids for a quick trip to the store. And they will do what is (really) inevitable. And someone will assume a pained expression and perhaps complain to store personnel. WHEN THAT MOMENT COMES, you must know what you will say so that you can stop said hypothetical hypocrite dead in her tracks (it's always a woman, right?).
Will you assume an outrageous accent and describe your child's upcoming beating in lurid detail? Will you look frantically around and pretend the kids aren't yours, that someone else has left screaming children right next to you in the aisle? Will you prepare a clever pithy remark that will put said complainer in her place? What will you do?
Preparedness is next to cleanliness and Godliness, I'm pretty sure. So good luck, and let me know if you come up with any great ideas.

1 comment:

gretch said...

If that rude other customer looks down their nose at you again, run up next to them and stare where they were just staring. Finally remarking, (something quite rude-if at all possible) "Is it that interesting?" or perhaps, "That is the most beautiful sound in the world." or perhaps another, "Hmm, they look like you." And then just stand there as the customer walks/ storms away-confused. I can just see it in my mind.