Ode to the Mom in the Grocery Store


250px-SupermarktCouple weeks ago I was shuffling my way through my weekly grocery store shopping trip, when I saw a young Mom doing the same.

Only where I get to enjoy the freedom of shopping sans kids, she had hers in tow: twin three year-olds in the ‘car’ part of the cart, and a six month old in his carrier in the kiddie-seat area.

Awww. Seriously, so cute. And the twins were being so good.
The baby, on the other hand. Oh my. He was teething. And he was voicing his discomfort vociferously.

At first, the loving and patient Mom was cooing softly to her wee one, trying to comfort him. But as the baby’s wails increased in intensity and volume, so did the Mom’s coos.

I LOVE you, Jonathan.
You’re WONderful!

I LOVE you, Jonathan, you’re WONDERful!!

Her pitiful cries could be heard from the Uncrustables to the Pampers.

But there was no comforting going on. Only a feeble attempt to convince herself and the other shoppers that she did indeed love her baby, and that she was not, in fact, losing her cottin’ pickin’ mind. My heart bled for her, but there was nothing I could do to make the wailing stop.

We finished around the same time, and I gave her my spot in line, because I knew she not only had to get through check-out, she had to load all the groceries in the car, get the kids and the food into the house, and put it all away, all with a screaming baby and two increasingly antsy preschoolers.

Our eyes locked in a moment of sisterhood.

She knew from my look — I did not envy her. While I found her babes precious, and it made me remember back to when my own were little, I knew that when I returned home, I would have six pairs of eager reluctant hands to help me unload and carry in. I would have six sweet whiny voices asking how they could be of help when they could get back to their video games.

But I would not have a screaming baby. I would not have three year olds hanging from the rafters. I would have semi-adult-like beings to engage in mature conversations about why I didn’t buy Pop Tarts or the right kind of ice cream.

And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.


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