You’ve been there before. I know you have. That super market where the screams of a child are so blood curdling you could swear there was imminent death involved. The mom (and maybe the teacher, too) inside of you can’t help but peek down the dairy aisle to make sure you were wrong about the whole death idea.
Of course you were wrong. You see a poor frazzled mom trapping her child’s legs into the seat of the cart with one hand, while trying to pry the child’s hands off of a yogurt cup with the other. Yogurt containers are lying in the floor, and the Mom resorts to kicking them out of her way as she tries to bump the cart away from the shelf with her hip (remember, her hands were a little pre-occupied). She sees you looking and, through smiling lips and clenched teeth, begins speaking with that fakey, syrupy voice (You know that voice. The one all moms use when they know they’re being watched.).
“Stop, Sweetie. (fake chuckle, fake chuckle). I know you want the yogurt, but we will have that when we get home (fake chuckle, fake chuckle).” Of course, because you are a mom, you have translated her words and know that she’s really saying, “For as long as I live, you shall never eat yogurt again! Just wait till I get you in my tinted-windowed minivan…”
And how do I have so much insight into this other mother’s mind and actions? You guessed it. I AM THE OTHER MOTHER!!!! Sigh…my shoulders are slumped, and I am ashamed. Really! I always looked at those kids and their mothers and thought, (probably in my best high-society British thinking voice) Good grief. That child has obviously never been made to mind. Well, now that I have joined the Other Mother’s Club, my tune has changed. I was not in this club with my oldest son. Carson never challenged me and threw fits and threw cups and threw toys and threw food and…well, you get the picture.
But my youngest, Cole, well…he has made me the poster girl for the this new club. Isn’t he just the sweetest looking thing, though?
He is very sweet about 75% of the time, but it’s when you’re ankle-deep in that 25% that you begin to realize you may very possibly be the first sober, cognizant adult to actually drown in ankle-deep water.
So, in reflecting upon my moment, I thought Man, I wish someone could have just helped me a little. As I thought about it more, I was able to boil my ideas down to three simple ways someone could help the members of The Other Mother’s Club, AKA…me:
- Speak to me, don’t stare. Tell me something like, I remember those days or They’ll grow out of it or even God have mercy on your precious soul…haha. Something to break the tension would have helped.
- Help. I think we are all so hesitant to “get involved,” but think of yourself in the situation. Grab the yogurt off the floor. Offer to help push the cart away from the shelf. Most moms would give anything for one more set of hands.
- Reserve judgement and pray instead. As I mentioned, I was so guilty of the opposite. I try to think of this more now when I see these other mothers. If i can’t do anything physically to help, I can always say a little prayer and let God do the rest.
At the end of the day, I try to remind myself–“For this child I prayed.” (1 Samuel 1:27)
Cole is strong-willed for a reason, and we know God has a purpose for our little firecracker. He lights up our family’s life, and we pray that we can help him be a light to this world, even though there’s a good chance he may blow our heads right off in the process.