Today we got parent-shamed in Tesco BY ANOTHER PARENT. A mum, with her partner, pushing her small baby in a trolley.
And why? Because Lily dared to accidentally drop her Moana doll in front of her trolley forcing her to turn it ever so slightly around Lily whilst she picked it up again.
Yes really. This is all because my daughter dropped a toy in her path. *eye roll*
She made a big deal of shaking her head and Michael and I looked at each other with WTF expressions. Because, you know, WHAT THE ACTUAL F?
“What is she shaking her head for?” I said to him and that was it. She turned around and started bellowing…
“Because she’s messing around and knocking things off the shelf and getting in my way!”
Some tuts from her. More shaking of the head.
I’m sorry? She was walking ahead of us talking to her brand new Moana doll (that we gave her this morning before taking her to the cinema for the very first time — to see Moana, obviously — before going for a lovely Father’s Day meal) and it fell from her hands. She wasn’t anywhere near the shelves, she wasn’t running around in a hyperactive mood, she wasn’t shouting or screaming or doing any of the other things that she, like most kids, do from time to time when they’re fed up of shopping. Nope, she was just talking to her doll.
I even said “Sorry” when she had to momentarily stop and where we’re usually met with smiles and kind words this is what we were greeted with today.
I wonder, does this woman shout at the elderly or disabled people or even just clumsy grown-ups like myself when they accidently drop things in the aisles? I am so OVER people expecting 100% perfection from children all of the time when it’s not something we can do ourselves as adults. Nobody is perfect, we’re all human and all she did is drop her toy for goodness sake. Really? REALLY?
“Excuse me?” I started, in that way that we Brits do, with a fair amount of sass. “She was just playing with her doll and dropped it, what would you have her do? Come back to me when you’ve got a 3-year-old who doesn’t find shopping the most interesting thing in the world…”
“I’ve got a 3-year-old but MINE’S well-behaved!”
Oh screw you! You self-righteous P.O.S. My mouth began talking before I realised what I was saying…
“She is well-behaved, she wasn’t doing anything wrong. Do you just shout at yours all of the time then? Wow, what fantastic parenting!” *sarcastic thumbs up*
She carried on down the centre aisle turning back to stare at us and I darted down the pasta aisle, my chest heaving, my mind a jumbled mixture of confusion and fury. Mike was equally frustrated and Lily starting asking questions about why the lady had been shouting in her direction. I simply explained that she wasn’t very kind and was being rude to us so we were just to ignore her.
I am absolutely flabbergasted as to what this woman would expect a 3-year-old to do whilst walking around Tesco if talking and playing with a doll whilst walking nicely in front of your parents is deemed unacceptable in her eyes?
I don’t judge or shame other parents but I’ll admit that in my mind, I had visions of her children walking silently beside her, scared into submission, because what else could she be expecting? Lily was being absolutely angelic (for once!)
I’d say I wouldn’t have minded had she actually been playing up but do you know what? Yes I would. Since when did it become OK to start dishing out your incorrect, judgmental opinions next to the Magnums and fish fingers?
Whenever I see a mum struggling with her child (which we weren’t in this instance but we have done before and do quite often — AS WE ALL DO, ACTUALLY — if your say your kids never act up then you’re either lying or they’re broken, sorry!) I offer her a sympathetic smile or say something comforting like about we were doing the same thing yesterday/last week etc. Surely this parenting lark can be tough enough at times without us turning on each other and treating other mums to a Cersei Lannister-style walk of shame?
What do you think? Have you ever been judged for your parenting style or your child’s behaviour? What would you have done in this situation?