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Let me paint the picture. I am standing in line at the grocery store, with two kids crying in the cart, trying to check out. The cashier asks "You having a rough day?" To which I reply, "Not at all, I am having a nice day." She looks at me, then looks at the crying kids, then frowns.
Frowns? She is upset. She thinks I am being sarcastic. But she is really upset that I said I was having a nice day when it is obvious that I have kids crying all around me.
Why the kids were crying. Earlier in the day, my daughter had a meltdown in the cracker aisle. She wanted crackers for lunch. It wasnt lunch time and the crackers she wanted werent an item we even by. Trying to explain this to her caused to erupt in a meltdown and being to sob.I offered a snack from our backpack. She didn't want anything but the crackers.
"Daddy, I am mad at you because you are not listening to me because I wanted crackers because I am really hungry," she sobbed at the top of her lungs.
With reasoning clearly out of the picture, I picked her up, put her into the cart, to which she cried even louder. Now my son, who was sitting in the baby seat also began to cry.
I simply continued my shopping. There were only a few items left and after checking out, I know the kids would relax in the car ride home. By the time we got home it would be time for lunch, a real lunch sans the crackers. I knew all would be well. It was just her age and it certainly wasn't going to help the situation to be angry. It wasn't her fault anyways.
So with crying kids but still a patient disposition, I began unloading my cart.
Enter the cashier, the question, my answer and the frown.
I think she was dismayed in the fact that I wasn't rocked by the situation or vainly attempting to quiet the kids. Maybe she was upset that I wasn't upset. Her frown just hung there, throughout the transaction, even when the kids did eventually calm down.
Parenting is all about the ups and downs. It takes unbelievable patience and you have to go with your gut. I knew what I was doing, knew the situation, knew my kids and still had to get the groceries.
I didn't mean my comment sarcastically, I was having a nice day, the kids were struggling, but they were just up and now they were down. I was handling it and wasn't going to let it ruin my day.
Parents have enough to deal with raising children that they certainly do not need condemnation from anyone else, especially in a grocery store, especially from checkout cashier, especially when I am already having a nice day.
Humorous parenting tips and tricks at Hitting the Crossbar (remember, don't beat yourself up)