AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Snapshot. Snap judgment. DATE: 9/10/2009 01:19:00 PM ----- BODY:
Little Bird is easy going. He says "Hi!" to almost everyone we pass, and when we leave a store, he turns around and waves like he is in a parade, calling out, "Bye! Bye! Buh-bye!"

Thus far, we have avoided an all out disastrous tantrum in a store. If I can get him in the door and into the shopping cart without him yelling, "Walk walk!" then I know it's going to be a good trip.

A lot of days though, he wants to walk through the stores, more often than not, pushing the cart. Without help. Which doesn't work well at all. Sometimes he will settled into the cart within a couple of minutes, but sometimes not. It is never longer than five minutes that he cries and protests. It feels like a lot longer to me, but it's really not.

In that five minutes, I push through the aisles, quietly telling Bird some version of,

"I understand that you are angry. You want to walk through the store, and I'm making you ride in the cart. You are frustrated, and that's alright. I need you to calm down now."

We walk past people who turn and look at my crying child. Some of them look with empathy. That's usually the other moms. Some of them will make a funny face at him to try and get him to laugh. That's usually the employees. Then there is the person who looks at him, then at me, and back at him, lasering their disdain through their stares.

Truth be told, I don't care what they think. If I had to have a conversation with them though, I would point out that they are witnessing about 10 seconds in the life of my child. I would like them to consider that their scowls are just as unpleasant as Bird's cries, only quieter. I would like to point out that if they run into us a few aisles down, that he will likely be done crying and wave to them with his friendly, "Hi!" because he doesn't hold grudges like grumpy old people.

It's just a snapshot. It's not the whole story. It doesn't make him a bad child.

I guess that's why I just can't shake this story. The man slapped a toddler in a Walmart because she wouldn't quit crying in what he deemed the right amount of time. Oh, and I forgot to mention, she wasn't his child.

This was a total stranger who came up and slapped the little girl several times across the face.

He was arrested and charged with a felony, which is totally appropriate. But I can't shake that feeling of what would I have done? The emotional side of me wants to say that I would have kicked him in the balls as hard as I could. But I know I wouldn't have.

I think I would have put myself between he and my child and called the police. Rational, but proactive. I think. I really hope that I never have to find out.

That man must be seriously disturbed.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous TinaGirl DATE:Friday, September 11, 2009 at 3:04:00 PM EDT my kids are like your little man, most of the time they are so good and some moments just hard to take, it usually didn't take long for them to settle down but the stares and the whispers or all out comments were wrong and out of place and context. I cannot say that I would just get between my child(ren) and the offender and call the police. I have a feeling that I would have done something without thinking that would have gotten my in serious trouble and not set a good example for my children... I hope I never have to find out. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Convertible Girl DATE:Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 9:01:00 AM EDT That is insane. I can't imagine what I would do in that situation -- like you, I would want to attack him, but probably would be too stunned to do anything other than comfort my child. Unlike you, we've had the all-out tantrum in Target -- I just hope that anyone watching knew that I was way more annoyed than they were because I had to take the screaming, writhing toddler out to my car and try to buckle her in, then listen to her all the way home. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 2:32:00 PM EDT OMG! Who knows what any of us would do in that situation and let's hope we never have to find out. I think anything you do to protect your child is excusable and and a good example - even if it is a swift kick to the "tenders." But, yeah, I'd have been grabbing my kid and screaming all the way. Disturbed indeed, perhaps he needs a job at Whole Foods? ----- --------