Shopping with kids no walk in the park

Dear Amy: I have two happy, spirited children, ages 20 months and 3 A1 2 years. The three of us went to a store this afternoon for a very quick visit. Full Story

“Merry Holidays!”

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#23 Jun 14, 2009
Absyrd wrote:
Isn't that what pacifiers are for?
I think moms should do their shopping online instead of insisting that everyone else deal with their kids' crying and whining and bad behavior.
One of my 'favorites' is the mom telling their awful kids that if they don't stop (insert bratty behavior here), they're going to leave. And everyone around her, including the kid, knows it will never happen.
A child cries and you're suppose to stick a pacifier in its mouth? That wouldn't be good parenting. Kids cry. I remember that "cry" when the child just wanted attention and most mothers know when to ignore it. Otherwise, everytime that child wants attention the child will cry.

Children tend to try this out in public places just b/c a lot of parents scramble not to "bother" other shoppers. Now screaming, tantrums, etc.-- you should leave the store. I have left full carts (and apologized to the grocery workers for it who were gracious and understanding about it) and left the store. You only have to do that a couple of times and the child then knows tantrums won't work.

Try as you might not to shop when you're children aren't cranky -- sometimes it's not doable. You would hope that people remember that they weren't ALWAYS that perfect child either.
Union Maid

Oakland, CA

#24 Jun 14, 2009
PEllen wrote:
At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old lady, without umbrella, they didn't put air conditioning into schools until the 1970's or later. There is a very large segment of the population who made it through at least 12 years of public and parochial school to the end of June without AC. Perhaps you have heard of us? Baby boomers.Depression era generation. Etc.
If she wants advice, try a sleeveless dress and a hand fan
It was bad in Chicago public schools in the 50s and 60s but we had windows that opened- those tall ones that required a long pole to unlock and open. It was hot but we all survived. I guess teachers were suffering and were sensitive to our needs- we also had two recesses per day in the younger grades and one int eh older grades so we could escape the class room- in high school the windows still opened and we went out at lunch....well some went out other times too but that's another topic.
I am off to santa barabra..the coast should be cool!
Absyrd

Bensenville, IL

#25 Jun 14, 2009
Terri at home wrote:
<quoted text>
You would hope that people remember that they weren't ALWAYS that perfect child either.
You're right Teri, I was an AWFUL child. My mom always told me I would have children that were just as bad, which is why I didn't have any. My husband and I are the happiest couple we know!
Mia

Elmwood Park, IL

#26 Jun 14, 2009
LW1 - Every parent has had this experience. You feel baffled, hurt, agitated - your senses are being overloaded. All you can do is look at your assailant like she's a lunatic and back away slowly so as not to provoke other exaggerated behavior. Because people who act like the woman you describe, are lunatics.

LW2 - A lack of air conditioning makes for an uncomfortable work environment, not a hostile one. I would hate to learn in those conditions or work under those conditions, but I have. Most of the world does. It costs a few million dollars to air condition a school building. States weigh whether to upgrade them against the probability that they will be closed because of age or changing demographics within the next few years. Every state has a list of schools to upgrade and they do them by priority. Your school might rise to the top of the list if the problem causes kids with conditions like asthma to miss school, but the truth is that being hot does not equal being unsafe, and there is no reason why quality teaching and learning can't be carried on in hot classrooms.
Union Maid

Oakland, CA

#27 Jun 14, 2009
Absyrd wrote:
Isn't that what pacifiers are for?
I think moms should do their shopping online instead of insisting that everyone else deal with their kids' crying and whining and bad behavior.
One of my 'favorites' is the mom telling their awful kids that if they don't stop (insert bratty behavior here), they're going to leave. And everyone around her, including the kid, knows it will never happen.
So you think parents should stay home all day on the computer? I shopped with my kids and no they didn't always behave and if I threatened to leave and they didn't stop- we left- my sister did the same with her kids...

If I see someone with kids who are crying I make a point of saying something supportive to the parent and smile at them and if appropriate I smile and try distract the child too.

Even if a child is annoying in the store, it is only a few minutes of your life- and it is not the movie theater where it is disrupting your ability to enjoy something you paid for...get a grip.
Mia

Elmwood Park, IL

#28 Jun 14, 2009
Jess wrote:
I am at SAHM with a 3 1/2 year old and 9 month old. While I sympathize with LW1, unless she was already in the checkout line, there is no reason to continue shopping/looking while your child is crying. Did she bring any toys to entertain her kids or was she just hoping that the motion of the stroller/cart would lull them into a nap? It stinks to cut your excursion short, but that's what good parents have to do sometimes.
There are very few times when you HAVE to go shopping right at that moment. I have learned to plan better before I go to the store (read flyers, do research online, etc.) so that I can shop more efficiently. If I have to do major shopping (holidays, birthdays, etc.), I arrange for someone else to watch the kids for a couple of hours.
I think that LW1 was right to just walk away when a stranger made unnecessary comments. However, I bet that she is feeling a bit defensive because she knows that ignoring a crying baby for that long was the wrong thing to do.
There are times when women with babies can reasonably do absolutely nothing when their babies cry in public except complete their mission and go. When it happens, half the people around you sympathize and half of them scorn.

I assure you that your own mother suffered this LW's experience at some time with you.
belladonna

Newport News, VA

#29 Jun 14, 2009
**I used to plan my shopping trip around my kids' naps. Go either early in the morning or after their nap. But how did we arrive at the idea that a child should not ever be a little bored or a little too cold, hot, or otherwise 'uncomfortable'? Sheesh, we've become way too over-indulgent. I'm sue that woman's (LW1) kids are already spoiled, just reading all the places she goes with them all the time. They're probably so used to being entertained every waking minute, that a few minutes of not being paid attention to will 'upset' them. Yes, that older woman should've MYOB, and I would've walked away without saying anything, since I'm not a confrontational person, but we all need to get a grip and realize that it shouldn't be all about the kids all the time.

“Nakedness reveals itself”

Since: Oct 07

Clearwater, Fl

#30 Jun 14, 2009
LW1- It sounds like you are trying to justify yourself to being a good mom. If you know you are a good mom there is no reason to. Being out with small children can sometimes be very difficult and frustrating, and if you have ever had kids you know this. At home sometimes you have to just let the baby cry, but in public you have to try to respect the people around you, she was probably just annoyed you didn't do much about it, forget it and move on.

LW2- Wow that sucks.

One of my old co workers was the type to get cold very easily so she liked to turn the temp up higher than comfortable or even turn on the heat in the summer, drove me crazy. She quit and now I have the exact opposite problem, another co worker who is older and has hot flashes and gets hot very easy, she turns it down to where I am freezing!

LW3- Can we get over the young lady comment already? There are way more offensive name calling going on thand "young lady"
Jess

Wilmington, DE

#31 Jun 14, 2009
Mia wrote:
<quoted text>
There are times when women with babies can reasonably do absolutely nothing when their babies cry in public except complete their mission and go. When it happens, half the people around you sympathize and half of them scorn.
I assure you that your own mother suffered this LW's experience at some time with you.
You are absolutely right. It usually takes a lot for a stranger to make a comment directly to the mother of a crying baby. I worked in retail for years and saw the difference between mothers who got their shopping done as quickly as possible when their children were nearing a meltdown and those who ignored their obviously overtired kids because they were too engrossed in looking at the latest sales.

I'll admit that working in that environment made me a little more sensitive to how my children's behavior impacts others in public and I do have the luxury of having a very supportive husband and extended family who can watch my boys when I need some quiet shopping time to myself.

I still think that if the LW was doing the right thing for herself and her children, she would not feel so defensive. It takes much less to overwhelm a child than it does an adult and a parent's responsibility is to put their child's needs first.
Mia

Elmwood Park, IL

#32 Jun 14, 2009
Flawless wrote:
...LW3- Can we get over the young lady comment already? There are way more offensive name calling going on thand "young lady"
I deisagree. This is only the 6th time in 8 weeks that Amy has re-hashed this issue. I never feel like an issue is thoroughly hashed out until the 10th or 11th time. And this issue is so important. We haven't even heard yet from the REAL young ladies who resent these old ladies usurping their rightful endearment.

“Merry Holidays!”

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#33 Jun 14, 2009
belladonna wrote:
**I used to plan my shopping trip around my kids' naps. Go either early in the morning or after their nap. But how did we arrive at the idea that a child should not ever be a little bored or a little too cold, hot, or otherwise 'uncomfortable'? Sheesh, we've become way too over-indulgent. I'm sue that woman's (LW1) kids are already spoiled, just reading all the places she goes with them all the time. They're probably so used to being entertained every waking minute, that a few minutes of not being paid attention to will 'upset' them. Yes, that older woman should've MYOB, and I would've walked away without saying anything, since I'm not a confrontational person, but we all need to get a grip and realize that it shouldn't be all about the kids all the time.
So you're in that 1/2 that scorns (but silently) as Union Maid indicated.
omg

New York, NY

#34 Jun 14, 2009
[QUOTE who=" LW is very defensive and wants everyone to know what a good mom she is. And when she described her kids as spirited, I immediately thought "loud and unruly."[/QUOTE]

Me too! I agree, mom was right to finally walk away, but she also sounds like she thinks of herself as parent of the year - one of those who just can't imagine that her perfect little angels can ever, ever be unpleasant.

The lady was rude, yes, but people usually don't say something like that after a baby cries for 2 seconds. The baby must've been crying long enough for her to come over and sarcastically let mom know. And i doubt the trip was a "very quick visit." She's probably a fine parent, but she wrote this letter to make herself feel better, because she can't think of herself as less than perfect either.
Mia

Elmwood Park, IL

#35 Jun 14, 2009
Jess wrote:
<quoted text>
You are absolutely right. It usually takes a lot for a stranger to make a comment directly to the mother of a crying baby. I worked in retail for years and saw the difference between mothers who got their shopping done as quickly as possible when their children were nearing a meltdown and those who ignored their obviously overtired kids because they were too engrossed in looking at the latest sales.
I'll admit that working in that environment made me a little more sensitive to how my children's behavior impacts others in public and I do have the luxury of having a very supportive husband and extended family who can watch my boys when I need some quiet shopping time to myself.
I still think that if the LW was doing the right thing for herself and her children, she would not feel so defensive. It takes much less to overwhelm a child than it does an adult and a parent's responsibility is to put their child's needs first.
I agree there was defensiveness there, and since she had 2 kids, you'd think she would have already gotten past that, so maybe she wasn't being mindful enough of her child or of other shoppers.

However, there are lots of people out there who are totally intolerant of a baby's cry. I went to dinner one night with a long-time customer who seemed pretty normal to me, and during dinner, a baby started crying at a table across the room. The ceilings were vaulted so that even though the baby's cry wasn't loud, it carried very well. My guest demanded that the baby be ejected from the restaurant. I was shocked and I started making fun of her which only made her more mad. the manager recommended that she leave and I was totally on board with that. The crying lasted no longer than a couple minutes, but apparently it offended her pitbull ears that much.
Pixie

Cazenovia, WI

#36 Jun 14, 2009
I think the woman LW1 is talking about was rude, but I do HATE whiny, obnoxious children. A little normal fussing is fine, but when kids are flat out screaming or throwing a fit, and the parent just ignores them or keeps screaming "BE QUIET, BE QUIET" right back at them with nobody actually shutting up, it is an unpleasant experience for everyone around them, especially your cashier and other store employees.

I was just at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where of course dozens of parents dragged their poor 2 year old children who had absolutely no interest in the place. One little girl was laying in the middle of a very crowded walkway, kicking, screaming, and flailing, "I WANNA GO HOME, I WANNA GO HOME." Her mother just ignored her, while the rest of us were expected to try not to step on her. Absolutely ridiculous.

And I agree with whoever said that "spirited" probably means "loud and unruly."
Erin

Kings Park, NY

#37 Jun 14, 2009
LW2: I started laughing at this because my husband (a high school history teacher) came home on friday and said that when he stood up from his seat, the chair had actual buttprints because they had soaked through with sweat. He said at least his pants were black, so no one could see they were drenched. He says it is so hot that the kids can barely pay attention, and by the time he gets home, his clothes are completely soaked.
Cheryl

Evanston, IL

#38 Jun 14, 2009
I don't even like children but I would never harass anyone over a crying baby. Babies cry. There's not much you can do about it.
Mia

Elmwood Park, IL

#39 Jun 14, 2009
Pixie wrote:
And I agree with whoever said that "spirited" probably means "loud and unruly."
Too funny! Too true!

I didn't like the woman calling the mother a name. The only people I know who would do that are kind of psychotic and unpleasant in general.
PEllen

Waukegan, IL

#40 Jun 14, 2009
But can anybody recall-by name- a specific mother baby combo where the kid was "spirited", noisy whiny and the parent indulged them, placated them or ignored them and then recall what that child was like when he/she grew up ?

I have girls, 19 and 23. Both were in a daycare center so I knew a wide range of parent child combos. I can recall being aggravated by temper tantrums in public and being disdainful about parents who could not control the kid or the situation,, but for the life of me I can't recall which mom was which or whether there was any correlation with subsequent juvenile delinquent status(sorry, I mean drug, alcohol, shoplifting, "princess entitlement", etc.)
I think it must be like labor pains, horrible at the time but you forget about it in time
Both Sides

Chicago, IL

#42 Jun 14, 2009
Two scenarios:

1: Baby's getting fussy and starting the meltdown, but mom knows they are about to leave so she does everything she can to comfort the child and calm him/her (or, as she says, "it"). She's speeding up her shopping, offering a knowing look or two at nearby customers. Then, out of nowhere, a rude be-otch swarms in and chides the lady with a finger wag and smarmy comment. The other nearby customers all laugh and somebody hits her with a bag of chips, the poor dear.

2: Two babies are screaming bloody hell. Mom has given up and has tuned them out. They are spirited, after all. Most customers ignore the screaming - they're parents and totally understand! But the kids scream, mom doesn't do much but hope they cry themselves out and (hurry!) get tired. It's not her fault, btw. She's a great mom but there's nothing she can do and kids will be kids and the public will just have to understand. One lady passes them in the aisle and, having heard the commotion 6 aisles over, sees mom holding two jars of salsa and comparing the calorie content. Lady sees mom ignoring the kids and says, "You know you're baby's crying, right?"
PEllen

Waukegan, IL

#43 Jun 14, 2009
Union Maid wrote:
<quoted text>
It was bad in Chicago public schools in the 50s and 60s but we had windows that opened- those tall ones that required a long pole to unlock and open. It was hot but we all survived. I guess teachers were suffering and were sensitive to our needs- we also had two recesses per day in the younger grades and one int eh older grades so we could escape the class room- in high school the windows still opened and we went out at lunch....well some went out other times too but that's another topic.
I am off to santa barabra..the coast should be cool!
Stone and Senn. You?

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