I heard it well before I saw it.
It was unmistakable, especially to one who has lived through it.
And there she was, walking across the store aisle in front of me, three year old in tow, one arm hanging limply as he did that stumbling walk only an angry child can do, the other hand held firmly in his Mother's grasp, wailing for some item he was not allowed to have, while older sister dutifully followed, pushing Mom's shopping cart.
My heart went out to her.
And is it any wonder our children throw these fits when they're in a store? We spend the beginning of their lives instantly responding to, and providing for their every need, it's necessary, then when they see all of the shiny, fluffy, cute, sweet and tasty items available to be had in a store, and there is so much to be had in a store, they struggle to understand the difference between what is a need to be instantly met and a what is only a want that they may not have today?
Many of us, even as adults, struggle to understand this difference!
I know I definitely need an Ipad 2!!
Hello Ipad 2. I think I love you... and I need you, but you do not fit into the budget! My oldest girl needs braces you know. Yep, I kinda want to cry!
I continued my shopping, hearing the little guy's bellows echo through the store.
Unexpectedly I came upon the trio in a corner where the item I needed was kept. I wanted to walk over to this Mom, place my hands on my hips and join her in a united front against this little fella. I wanted her to know I that I felt her pain and she did not stand alone. She hesitated only a moment as I began to walk down the aisle toward her and the item I needed, then mumble to her daughter about needing to find somewhere where there were no people.
Moments later, all was quiet...as quiet as a busy store can be that is.
Then of all things, I turned the next corner and there she was again, talking very calmly to her little fella. The snippet of their conversation I overheard had me silently cheering this frazzled Mom. She explained to her little fella that she expected better behavior, and that there would be consequences if he continued. I instantly turned back the direction I had come so as not to disturb her again.
Oh how I understand what this Mom was going through. I too had a little one who could throw down a whopper of a tantrum.
Oh man, my little Emma Bean could bring down the roof and leave me feeling flustered and like I'd been trampled by a herd of buffalo. Yet 5 minutes later, as I would be silently praying that my finally calm child would just allow me to peacefully make it through checkout, my precious Bean could produce the most delightful, smiling countenance that would cause the clerk to remark how sweet she was and how lucky I was to have such a darling girl.
Yes she is sweet and yes I am lucky! But sometimes it was a struggle to bite my tongue and smile and say thank you instead of blurt out the entire tale of my child's recent ill behavior! And boy, there were times I REALLY wanted to do nothing else!
I wanted very much, even though all was calm now, to tell that Mom, that this Mom understood, and that I thought she handled it very well.
But how do you walk up to a stranger and say such a thing? Would it make her mad? Would it embarrass her?
Since she wasn't around, and I wasn't going to hunt her down, I let it go, until I looked up, and there she was. She looked wrung out. I know that look well. I have sported it often!
I went for it!
"I'm sorry if I intruded on you and your children back there," I said. "I have a child who often did the same thing. It's so tough! You handled it very well! I'm sorry and I hope you have a good rest of the day!"
She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Thank you so much for saying that! It has been a really difficult morning and you just made my day. I felt like everyone was just watching us! Thank you!"
Without a doubt, we Moms need to lift one another up and encourage each other. We need to form a united front because kids will continue to have tantrums and it helps to know, we are not alone!
P.S. It also helps to remind myself that all of my work to direct my girl's spit and fire toward righteous endeavors may one day have been well worth the effort! AMEN!