I went to Costco yesterday to pick up a few healthy snacks for my children. I chose string cheese, bananas and some earth’s best organic alphabet cookies. I skipped the Cheez-its (even though I love them), because I am trying to avoid partially-hydrogenated soybean oil, as that can clog your arteries pretty good.
As I was packing up my grocery cart and trying my hardest to get out of the way and out the door, I lost hold of my very cute 16-month-old baby. She ran over to touch a handheld scanner and a Costco employee said very rudely and without a smile: “Whose baby is that?” I stood there and looked her right in the eye and said: “Mine” And I wasn’t rude, but I had like a nice, I-dare-you-to-be-a-mother-hater look…but nice…really.
And then she said something like: “She can’t be there.” And in my head I am saying “Duh, that’s why I came right along to fetch her even before you asked the original question…” but instead I said: “I’m getting her,” and only then did I unlock our gaze, reach down and grab my cute baby who wasn’t doing a thing wrong.
Cut to the parking lot. I walked the grocery cart up to the back of my bright red SVU (please don’t hate me), and I opened the back and turned on the car. I came back and of course the baby had just stood up in the cart (I forgot that I had undone her seatbelt), and I snatched her up and locked her in the car seat.
I then came back to the back of my car and a man comes over and says: “A car was backing up out of it’s spot, and almost hit your cart with your daughter in it.” At first I thought maybe he was going to finish that statement with: “And I got his license plate number, I can’t believe he could be so careless as to come so close to hitting your daughter.” But then he was sort of being like the Costco employee and I just said in my now-you-are-NOT-gonna-be-a-mother-hater deadpan: “What are you trying to say?” And he replied, “I’m just saying that your daughter almost got hit by a car,” in a you-are-careless-and-should-never-be-allowed-to-have-children-and-I’m-going-to-report-you-to-DCFS tone, and then he lit up his cigarette, unfolded his stroller, and put his baby in it.
I’d say the best mothering I did after all that was by not rolling down my window as I drove by and saying anything about the Surgeon General’s warning on cigarettes, and in particular the affect of second hand smoke on a child.