The Black Friday shopping wasn’t fully uneventful. This Momma Bear almost got kicked out of Joanne’s while we were there on Saturday. You can imagine the number of shoppers there with the good sales going on. You can also imagine the number of them being older. With this increase of shoppers there were also more shopping carts out rolling around.
Our little family was browsing through the quilting fabrics trying to find the perfect fabric for the animal capes for the boys. What exactly triggered this outburst I will never know but LittleM exclaimed, at the top of his lungs, “STOP IT!”. I called his name and he knew he had done something wrong. A few seconds later the older woman next to us gave me a look of repulsion and asked if I was going to let him get away with that.
At first I was horrified. I thought he had cussed her out without me hearing. An extreme case as LittleM hasn’t cussed in his life but many equally rude actions also flew through my head. I asked her if the offending phrase was “stop that” and she scoffed and walked away muttering never mind. Then I was mad. At that point it was a good thing she had walked away because there was no way the conversation was going to end nicely.
This older woman judged my parenting on one sentence from LittleM. She thought I was a terrible mother because I let my kid express a dislike of squeaky cart wheels or being touched or pushed by a brother. If the offending problem was the squeaky cart wheel then how does she know that LittleM didn’t have some sort of disability to where the squeak of the cart wheel was physically painful for him. That is not the case for LittleM but it easily could have been BigM yelling out of pain.
I will never tell my kids that they are not allowed to tell me when something bothers them. If something is causing them pain. Doing such a thing is telling them that their emotions and pain are not as important as other peoples. Were there other ways that may have been better to express what was bothering them? Yes and when it is developmentally appropriate to expect such reactions from him 100% of the time then I will. Meanwhile, I don’t expect a toddler who has been drug from store to store for 2 days to walk up to me and say “Excuse me Mommy but that squeaky wheel/brother pushing me/whatever else it could have been, is bothering me.”
What are your expectations from toddler aged kiddos?