I'll admit it, before I had kids I would see or hear that in a store and cringe. Many thoughts went through my mind...
"Why do they have him out so late?"
"Why can't she quiet her down?"
"Looks like somebody is tired, he obviously needs a nap."
"It's obvious they indulge her too much."
I was totally that person!
I don't believe in Karma or what goes around comes around, I believe in lessons, life lessons, and I've learned and been taught many of them.
I'm that Mom now, the one that a younger version or an older childless version of me is silently judging
or quietly and sometimes not so quietly talking about in the grocery store.
My child is the one screaming and crying and yes sometimes kicking, hitting, and thrashing.
I know I'm being silently judged, I feel your eyes on me, and on my child and I have all kinds of feelings and thoughts at that time, in that moment.
First, I'm thinking, make sure you catch her if she throws herself to the floor or the parking lot, be ready to chase her if she bolts off, and if she bolts off, make sure you grab her older sister and keep her safe too.
Second, I'm thinking, where is the closest exit and where is a good place to leave this shopping cart, if it comes down to that, oh and don't forget to have the car keys ready, in case you have to carry your 35 pound toddler out the door...you need to be ready, and make sure you have a tight grip on her slightly older sister...safety first!
Third, I'm thinking of the map I made in my head of the parking lot and how to get both of my children safely into my vehicle, while carrying my visibly, physically, emotionally upset autistic 3 year old who at that time, in that moment is stronger than me, while holding onto the hand of her 4 year old sister, trying to get us safely to the vehicle.
Lastly, I'm thinking, how am I going to get groceries now?
So, no I'm not thinking about you and what you are saying about me, my child, and my parenting skills.
I'm thinking about how to keep my children safe and still be able to do what it is we need to do.
I'm also thinking how very uneducated I was way back then about disabilities and what other people are living with and how wrong it is to pass judgement.
One of the most important life lessons learned!