Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seven Things I Don’t Want to Hear When My Kid Is Screaming at the Grocery Store

Grocery shopping with a cranky toddler in tow sucks more balls than a Playskool Elefun, and it’s usually just as loud. Unfortunately, kids don't come with batteries that you can just pop out whenever you need a break. (Cruel irony: They have no problem trying to remove Mama’s AAs any chance they get. When did nipple-pulling become such a popular toddler sport?)

I don’t know what it is about being pushed around a shopping cart while I frantically sift through coupons that is so damn terrible, but apparently it warrants full-on tantrumming.

Every. Damn. Time. We. Shop.

As if carting a cantankerous toddler around a crowded grocery store doesn't suck enough, I often find myself accosted by total strangers, presumably trying to “help” with hollow platitudes or overt observations. I understand that these people might mean well, but here’s the thing: They always, ALWAYS, make things worse.

In order to prevent future frustration for myself and other toddler parents, I've composed a list of seven things you probably shouldn't say to someone when her kid is throwing a fit at the grocery store (you're welcome):

1. Aww, poor baby! Please do not coddle my child. There is nothing “poor” about his current situation. He is getting wheeled around in an impossible-to-steer shopping cart shaped like a freaking racecar while I spend my Starbucks money on Honey Nut Cheerios. That’s right: I have to dish out the extra dollar for the brand name, because I made the sadistically inhumane decision to try generic once, and, OH GOD IT WAS LIKE I WAS TRYING TO FEED THEM SHIT-COATED RAT-POISON PELLETS.

[via Pixabay]

Ingredients: Whole grain oat flour, sugar, oat bran, honey, and the bitter taste of frugality.
Nutrition info: 0% Daily Value of Calories, Fat, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, and Minerals
(As it will all end up on the floor)
100% Daily Value of Irrational Screaming Incentive

The child is not the victim here. 

2. He’s gonna wear himself out! Yeah, that’s the dream. Unfortunately, it seems to be of the "pipe" variety.

3. What’s the matter? (Addressed to Screaming Toddler) Okay, (1) I wouldn't be able to hear a Boeing Jet take off in the parking lot. I doubt my kid is going to hear you over his ultrasonic shrieking. (2) Do you honestly think that asking him this question is going to compel him to stop mid-screech, look you in the eye, and calmly inform you that (he’s tired/he needs to poop/the racecar cart is red-not-blue/Mama won’t buy the 5-lb gummy bear)? And if, by some miracle of the Grocery Store Gods, he does quiet down long enough to tell you why he’s howling like a castrated hyena, what, exactly, do you intend to do with that information? (Give him a sleeping pill/slip him a laxative/spray paint the racecar cart blue/undermine my parental authority and buy him the massive gummy bear?)

Perhaps people intend this as a rhetorical question, but that’s almost worse. If you don’t expect an answer, you are deliberately adding to the senseless stream of noise assaulting my ear drums.

4. Looks like somebody could use a nap. Yeah, somebody could. Are you offering to push my wailing kid around the store for a couple hours so I can pop over to the pharmaceutical aisle, grab a bottle of Nyquil, chug it as I walk through the parking lot, and pass out in the crumb-covered backseat of my minivan?

5. *Leans in and (pokes/tickles/pets) child*  Umm...have you ever heard the term, “Don’t poke the bear?” Yeah, you’ve just taken my kid from Pissed off Panda to Goaded Grizzly. Thanks.

6. Oh, I remember those days. Okay, this makes you one of two things: (1) a liar, because if you really remembered what it’s like to push an irrationally angry two-year old through a grocery store, you’d give us some space, or (2) a total twatcicle, because you do remember, and you know how frustrating it is when unwelcome strangers get all up in yo’ business.

7. Anything. For the love of all that is holy (i.e., for the love of all things chocolate), please just go pay for your 50lb bag of cat food and keep your commentary to yourself. When you approach a screaming tot in public, all you’re really doing is calling more attention to the situation and prolonging the shopping trip.

And after putting up with hell-on-shopping-cart-wheels for more than an hour, all I want to do is go home and dig into a box of Cosmic Brownies (the ones I hid under a bag of spinach in the cart, in order to keep them away from greedy little toddler fingers).

***More Unsolicited Advice From Your Favorite Ranty Blogger***

If you stumble across a frazzled Mama dealing with a cranky toddler at the grocery store, and you truly do sympathize, here are some things you can do to help:

1. Give her your number in the deli line so she doesn't have to wait as long. (This will also spare fellow customers from prolonged periods of kiddie shrieking.)
2. Buy her chocolate.
3. Help pick up the random food items her kid has probably chucked out of the cart.
4. Let her take your place in the checkout line.
5. Help her unload her groceries onto the conveyor belt.
6. Hold the door open for her as she's leaving (if it's not automatic). If there's anything worse than listening to your kid scream at you at the store, it's trying to navigate a cart full of groceries through a door that keeps slamming into you while listening to your kid scream at the store. On that note:
7. Start a petition for automatic doors at your local grocery store.
8. Give her all your coupons. ESPECIALLY THE CHEERIOS ONES.
9. Offer to help her unload her groceries into the car.
10. Buy her chocolate.


  1. I had to share this on my Facebook page.
    As it is 100% accurate.

    1. Lol, so happy there are others out there who feel my pain!
      Thanks for sharing :)