Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Love Old Interfering Ladies at Walmart She Said Sarcastically

Ben tells lots of jokes about poo, mostly, and also repeats things like, "What's a coat?" "Where is my bedroom?" or simply "What? What? What?" Isn't he hilarious? I know, right? In fact I just heard myself say "Oh yes. Poo poo. Funny funny," just to acknowledge his joke and get him to stop. I believe the context was, "I'll have cinnamon toast crunch poo for breakfast."

The point is that he talks all the time [except at school or church or in response to friends or relatives or strangers]. Sometimes making jokes, sometimes describing things such as "that mountain they made into bishops' faces" (Me: "Mount Rushmore?" Ben: "Yes, Mount Rushmore. I saw some people working on that once." Me to myself: "Whatever.") Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don't. Yesterday we were at Walmart. You know how when you have a baby in a car seat in the front of the cart you can't really see directly in front of the cart because the seat is in the way? Well I was in that situation and I ran over Ben. Like you wouldn't have done the same thing!

He had been inside the cart. Then I was looking on some shelves for stuff and when I turned and started pushing the cart he was right in front of it and I ran over his foot. (Just his foot. Not his whole self--although you wouldn't know it the way he screamed at me.) Apparently he had mentioned getting out of the cart but I didn't hear him or wasn't listening. So I am consoling him and he is yelling at me and screams, "You always ignore me." Of course this makes me feel bad because I do ignore him. Not in a bad mother kind of way but in a real mother kind of way. Still, I get the accusation and I feel bad.

Then this lady rounds the corner saying, "What child said that? Did that tiny thing say that? It's just so profound coming out of such a little child." I can only describe her as the kind of grandma I don't want in my life. I nodded and told her he was 5 (rounding up, to undermine the profoundity of the wee one's accusation.) She continued: "So cute." I turned back to the shelves for more stuff and said, "Yeah, it's real cute," while I contemplated the image of my dejected little boy ignored by his mother and contrasted it with the Ben who had, moments ago, berated me for being lazy and selfish and who had (inexplicably) blurted out, "TVs are not important!" as a kind of argument for why I should buy him some candy and a $40 Lego Batman set. And then I thought about wiping his bum that morning. And then I looked forward to the day when I would be a wise old lady at Walmart and could point out the nuggets of wisdom in the fits I see thrown. I think it will be so rewarding.

Here is that lady's point: You see, what makes it profound is that it's true--a little bit of wisdom from a 5 year old. "Mommy, mommy you always ignore me." And then I have an epiphany about how I neglect and abuse my sweet, innocent baby and then the Mormonad ends. That's her point. If you think what Ben is saying is profound it's pretty clear that you don't think he's overreacting. You can't think both! Here are some other things I can imagine that lady saying to me:

Isn't it interesting how perceptive the wee ones can be?

I love how children only crave healthy food until their parents taint them with junk food.

Sometimes when a tiny child calls you "pregnant," it's his way of saying you are fat. And you are.

Maybe if you never went shopping at Walmart in the first place and stayed home and made presents you wouldn't have run over your son's foot. Maybe?

You seem in such a rush, dear, do you work outside of the home?

The wee one looks thin, how much time have you spent blogging lately?


  1. Wait, wait! What about this one:

    "When my children were small, I always found that attention to personal appearance helped me handle things more gracefully." (I suppose I should have worn a hat that day.)

    I've run over my own child with a cart. Maybe I'm horrible, but I just figured I was lucky that it was my child and not someone else's.

  2. It's always a social experiment to go to Walmart. I have a love/hate relationship with that store. I also understand you tuning Ben out from time to time. You're not a bad mom, you are maintaining your precious sanity.

    When we do get old, let's go hang out at Walmart and just make loopy comments like that all day long.

    It would be quite fulfilling indeed.

  3. This blog delights me.

  4. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Is it better or worse when a child calls you fat when you are pregnant instead of the other way around?

    I hate people who make comments about my parenting or lack there of. Glass houses and stones, glass houses and stones!

  5. I hate Walmart purely for the things that the ladies say to me (granted, it is usually black grandma's telling me that I "have no idea how to do that child's hair".... sigh).

    Would it make you feel better if I told you that today at Target I LITERALLY stuffed my son (three and no where near as "perceptive" as Ben..he wishes I would ignore him..) under the car. I made him lay down under there for the whole trip and told him that ghost monkeys would eat him if he got out (oh yes, I did).

    Then an employee (one that I have had words with in the past) told me to get him out of there b/c it wasn't safe. I could have said "trust me, it is safer than letting him run free" but instead I said "thank you!! Why don't we leave the parenting to me and the shelf stocking to you". Gah.

    My 7 year old STILL thinks it is great to use the word poo at every possible opportunity. Do they ever grow out of this stage?

  6. Or how about when they come up to you and tell you that the fit your child is throwing because you won't buy him the toy he wants is "disturbing the other shoppers" and "perhaps it's time to take him out of the store." Yeah, I love it when that happens.

  7. On the same day as your mean old lady experience, I had a mean cashier at Walmart tell me, while motioning towards my son, "aren't kids always just so OBNOXIOUS?" I feel you.

  8. But in Ben's defense, poo really is a great word to just throw out there. Hits the spot, if you know what I mean.

  9. Wow...usually encounters at Walmart make me feel BETTER about myself as a mother. Someone is always beating their kid--or threatening to "give them something to cry about." Take comfort in knowing the next time you go, you will most assuredly see a baby drinking cola from a bottle and eating a donut--then you CAN be that "wise" woman.

  10. I wonder if that lady is in Lisa's ward.


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