(Un)Kindness of Strangers

I like going shopping, any kind of shopping really. I don’t even mind grocery shopping. In fact, that is one of my favorite kinds of shopping to do. I just love walking down the isle and looking at all the food. It inspires me. I get ideas for different things to cook and meals to make. I know, I am weird and probably have an unhealthy relationship with food but none the less, I like to go.

Wait, I need to clarify. I like to go shopping by myself. Because lets face it, the reality is taking kids shopping, well it just sucks. Not every time but most of the time it is not fun for mommy and kids alike.

But who can really blame them. I don’t think that I would like being strapped into a cart for an unknown amount of time, constantly being told to not touch things.

But sometimes when we go to the store it is not the kids that make is a the trip terrible, its the people. John Q Public.

Most people are not terrible. Most people are just curious about the kids. When they were babies, we would get stopped a lot and questioned, “Are they triplets?” “Are they all yours?” “Were they natural?” “Do they have the same birthday?” “Did you give birth to them all at the same time?”

Now that they are older, people don’t stop us a whole lot. If they do, they ask if the little boys are twins? Or they are confused about their ages. I also get a lot of ‘my your hands are full’ comments. I don’t mind these comments or questions. I smile graciously and answer what I can.

The people that bother me are the ones that look down their noses at me, that scoff when it takes me extra time to walk by or ‘tsk tsk’ me when one of the little kids gets too far ahead for their liking. They are the people that I see roll their eyes are me or say comments, “Some people just don’t know when to quit.”

I don’t like these people. They harden me to others and make me think twice about talking to strangers and make me bitter about dealing with people.

But there are a few people that are truly diamonds in the rough. This small handful of people don’t judge me or scoff at me. They don’t ask to personal questions like ‘did you have sex three times to get that many?’ These people actually help me.

I never see them coming but they are always there when I need it most. Like when Jake is screaming his head off and falling out of the cart while Claire has spilled water all over the isle and herself and Quinn has run off and Hayden is trying to steal and open a candy bar. They swoop in and somehow help me regain control.

They make the kids giggle with a silly face or funny joke. They offer a balloon or small toy as a distraction. They calmly return the missing child. They tell me stories of how horrible their children were in a store.

These people are just magical. I don’t know how or from where they come but I am always glad that they do. They deserve so much more than my Thank you’s.


This post has been part of Writer’s Workshop
Hosted by Mama Kat

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