We have to watch the things we say to others. Today I had to go to club Target. Yes I said club Target but no matter how often I go I always feel like I’m in the exclusive V.I.P.
Now let me back up my story so you can get the full effect. I had to leave my job early on Tuesday because my youngest got sick. Took her to the doctors and basically got hit with the “it’s only a viral infection.” Now this ain’t my first rodeo so I get it. Doctors are staying away from medicating the kids so I get it. To parents all we hear is you will be off many days, many, many days with no explanation. Thankfully I had already scheduled myself off today so I was like okay this can work.
My toddler was on a scream fest. I couldn’t console her. I just wanted to keep her comfortable. After a solid 2 hours of low moans and screams she finally went down. I swore as I was trying to straighten the house from the older two and do dishes she was still crying. As my mom called I kept tip toeing into the room praying she was fully down.
So today I’m up at the crack of dawn to get the older kids ready for school. It’s my oldest first day of second grade. In my mind I felt like I looked like the Grinch with the lack of sleep but I pressed on. I get home and I’m like oh I need to go to Target to get some things. My toddler went through 2 outfit changes. I get in Target with a low cart but I have all of my items when I realized she needs another outfit change. So to the bathroom I go but there are no other clothes in the bag. So now I have a toddler at the cashier line with a pull up and shirt. I find myself scanning the aisles trying to see if I see anyone I know. I realize I’m good. Then a voice says to me you need to get some clothes on her. I give the stranger the back the hell up look. She don’t know my life. She don’t know I’m sleep deprived and had to be on point for my family. She don’t know that the child is sick and I’m trying to get out. I smiled and said well thank you I’ll make note of it. In my head I was one of the women from the reality shows that was throwing water in her eye and rolling on the floor. However I’m just not trying to knock this stranger out and still stay classy and smile.
There have been plenty of times I’ve been places and seen parents with kids who didn’t look polished. I always made it my business not to judge. The reason when I had my oldest daughter I was judged for everything. Where is her this and that? Many who had never had a preemie. That life alone was my loneliest time especially having to be at the hospital all the time with clothes in my trunk for emergency admissions.
I was proud of myself for not going Jackie Chan on that stranger. I thought about my life, my kids, and the lack of bail money. Just being honest.
The day didn’t get better either. However no one got killed. I didn’t snap on my toddler, and hopefully she is on the mend. In the mean time I’ll have me a glass of wine and pray sleep comes easy tonight. I pray that stranger realizes her judgemental comment. Most times people don’t until they are in a strange situation where no one knows all of life’s details. If you are a parent or not understand a smile goes a long way than criticism of a parent and child you know nothing about. It’s best to err on caution and leave unexplained situations alone. I wasn’t out with my toddler with no bottoms because it was cute. I was a parent trying to make it to the evening and keep a sick 2 year old from getting worst. Your words have power and I have thick skin but some don’t. Many parents feel like what they are doing is wrong because they don’t look as polished as they should. Parenting is real. It has great rewards but there are some dark days. If more parents would be honest I wouldn’t even have to be dipping in and out of aisles scared someone would see me on my off day.