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I have to.  I wouldn’t survive as a mom if I didn’t.

On New Years Eve, Erajh and I decided to take the girls out to late breakfast and then run a few errands.  We finished breakfast and headed to our local wholesale club.  After we were done shopping, we walked outside, only for Erajh to remember something we forgot to purchase. As he went in to get the forgotten item, I proceeded to the car to get the kids in their carseats and the car loaded up with the crap much needed items we had purchased.  Greenleigh was particularly cranky that day and it was around naptime, so I knew I had to move quickly.  The meltdown bearing down on us.

In the parking space immediately to the right of our car were three women loading up their vehicle.  I put Hazeline in her carseat first, leaving Greenleigh in the cart.  The minute I walked towards Hazeline’s side of the car Greenleigh began to whine.  Not loud, but you could hear her.  I told her to stop and decided to ignore the rest of the whining, as engaging her has made it worse lately.  I then put the crap items we purchased in the car, leaving Greenleigh in the cart.

As I scurried to do this all on my own (while an 85 year old man impatiently waited for my highly coveted “Reserved for Members with Infants” space we had been lucky enough to snag on our way in), one of the ladies in the space next to me said something to the effect of  “Just wait so-and-so, that will be your family next year.”  The woman she was talking to just laughed and continued to put items in the car.  I was just about to lift Greenleigh out of the cart when the woman finished putting her items in the car and went to return their cart to the cart coral, on the other side of our vehicle.  As she walked past our car, she looked at Greenleigh and said, “No, we don’t tolerate children like that in our family.”  Oh really?  Good luck with that.

As much as I would have loved to tell her exactly what I thought of her, I couldn’t do it.  You see, I used to be her.  I wasn’t particularly fond of kids and wasn’t particularly understanding when they were crying, screaming, whining, or having a tantrum, especially in public.  I thought that if you just disciplined your child, they wouldn’t display that type of behavior.  Ever.  Oh, how I’ve learned.  After years of judging others, karma got me and blessed me with a very challenging 2 year old.

I don’t know if the woman was pregnant, or if it was someone else in her family that was expecting, but everyone thinks it’s going to be different for them/their family.  I think that’s something that people have to think in order to jump into parenthood.  The human race might cease to exist otherwise.  I mean, it’s easier to think that your child will always be well behaved, perfectly groomed, and wouldn’t dare eat anything off the floor, as opposed to the reality of parenthood.

What people sometimes fail to realize is that kids come with their own personalities and agendas.  As parents we are supposed to guide and discipline our kids, but it is a process.  There will be good days and bad days.  Sometimes your bad days will be put on display in the middle of a grocery store aisle for all to see, or in a parking lot around naptime.  That woman witnessed what I would consider to be a mildly bad day, but didn’t see Greenleigh the day before when she sat angelically for 10 hours in the car on our drive back to Florida.

Just to be clear, I don’t believe in karma to be vengeful or hateful, but I know that karma will find her, just like it found me.  I know that she genuinely believes her child will be different, but even the best behaved child I know has tantrums in inopportune places.  One day that woman will learn the sympathetic stare that parents give other parents when they see a child acting up in public, as opposed to the judgment she had for me on New Years Eve.  In this particular situation, I find solace in the fact that karma will find her.

Perhaps I should have warned her, sometimes karma is a witch, with a capital “B”.