July 18, 2012
On Letting Go of Expectations
Last week our air conditioning was broken and our house was a bit muggy so we headed to the holy land also known as Target.
We haven't gone in quite some time due to Gwen's incessant need to sprint through the aisles of the store. She reserves this behavior only for Target and I can only attribute it to the one time I let her out of the cart to try on shoes. Ever since then she has developed this sort of Heckle side of herself consisting of the most outrageous tantrums. The result is judgmental glances shot directly at me, the terrible, no-good parent.
Typically I curl into a ball of embarrassment and try to remedy the situation at once. One time this involved me sprinting to the front doors holding a writhing, screaming toddler. You should have seen the dirty looks I got as I was on my way out, as if I wasn't taking care of the situation.
When that happened, as I was running for the front door with my head held down in shame and I caught the eye of an annoyed gentleman I came to a realization. I don't care. I don't care what all those other people think about me as a parent. I also realized something else, most of it is probably in my head. Maybe the guy did look at me and shoot me an insulting gaze, haven't I done the same thing to a child who's being annoying and ruining my trip to Target? And was I thinking, "what a shitty mom?"
Ok, in full honesty, yes I did think that once towards the parents of a newborn who screamed its head off for 45 minutes in Target. I had gone there to get some much needed free-time away from my own baby only to have one screaming for 45 minutes, which btw, they never picked the baby up once. They let it screech in its car seat in the car, FOR 45 MINUTES.
But all the other times, I typically glance over in annoyance and move on with my life not giving it any more thought. And I'm sure that's what everyone else is doing. So this trip to Target was for soul purpose to play.
I threw caution to the wind and walked in holding my 1 yr old's hand. We strolled right past the baby trapping devices, otherwise known as shopping carts, and from then on I proceeded to chase my toddler around Target for an hour as she played with all their toys, sat in their chairs and used their cups to "cheers."
We had a blast. And oh did I receive the "looks" of judgement but there were a lot of parents who exchanged a smile with me too. Because we all understand, we've all been there when all your kid needs to do is run through a store and ain't no shopper gonna tell you differently.
So next time you're at Target and see a fellow parent letting lose of all inhibitions, give 'em a smile. Because you never know, that could very well be you the next time you find yourself in need of an escape and it's too hot to go to a park.