Friday, July 20, 2007

Adventures at the Food Store

I went to the food store this morning and took all 3 girls with me. Hubby had to take in my car for it's yearly inspection and to get a shaking problem looked at (tire was out of balance-- whew! Cheap fix!). He went that-a-way and I went this-a-way. After the car was done, Hubby was going to catch up with me at the food store and give me a hand with the girls.

Being a Friday morning, 10 ish, the place wasn't too busy yet. I wanted to get there before Saturday when they are super busy and all the sale items are gone. So we made it down 3 aisles before Hubby caught up with us. So far, the girls were fine. I had Youngest strapped in the cart while the older 2 were walking along with me. Sometimes they would run ahead, or linger behind me. Either way, I am constantly looking around making sure both are within eyesight while at the same time, scanning the rows of goods for what I need.

Seems like when Hubby joins us, the girls think they can now run and shriek because daddy will chase them down. NOT. Hubby threatens them with, "Want to go sit in the car with me? No? Then you better behave and get over here!" My shopping experience has gone down a notch because now I am hurrying to get the items on my list and get out of there. Of course, my newly potty-trained Middle pipes up, "I gotta pee!" While doing the pee pee dance. It's contagious, the pee pee dance, did you know? Now Oldest has to pee, too!

I give my list and coupon book to Youngest to keep her amused and tell Hubby to get two packages of hotdogs that are 'buy one get one free' and then run after the two girls who are by now weaving and dodging people on their way to the bathroom. I like the bathroom there, the big handicapped stall has it's own sink, so I can keep all the kids in the same stall with me and not worry some stranger is going to swipe my kid while my pants are down by my ankles. Oldest can reach the soap dispenser, but Middle can't quite reach it. I ask Oldest to help and I can already picture in my mind what is about to happen. "Oldest, be careful you don't get the soap on Middle's dress---" Too late. Middle turns around and the soap had dripped into her open mouth and now her tongue is stuck out with a gob of soap on it and her face has the cutest expression ever!!! I couldn't help myself and burst out laughing. Then Oldest and Middle started laughing, too. After washing her mouth off and then washing her hands, giggling all the while, we catch up to Hubby.

We quickly go up and down the aisles until I realize Youngest no longer has my list OR my coupon book! ACK! My coupons! Hubby searches up and down while I search the cart.. nothing. Hopefully someone picked it up and turned it in, I'll just wait until I am about to line up to pay and then I'll check. No point in wasting time going back and forth(someone did turn my coupons in!). Then while Hubby goes one way and I go another, I come back in time to see Hubby give a tongue-lashing to an old lady. I hate walking in on Hubby chewing someone out, especially a stranger. It feels so awkward.

Turns out, Middle was running towards Hubby and then stumbled and fell. Hubby caught her by the arm and picked her up, asked if she was OK. Old Lady said, "Easy, easy!" in a tone that meant she thought Hubby was being rough. Perhaps she didn't see Middle stumble and fall and thought Hubby was grabbing her by the arm for no reason. Hubby told her that Middle was fine, she is OK. Old Lady said, "I report people like you! I know people and I can report you!" That pissed off Hubby. Hubby replied, "This world be a better place if people would mind their own business, and we can start with you, right now!" This is the line I walked in on, missing what Old Lady said earlier. I saw her face look appalled at being talked to that way, then she walked off in a huff, pushing her cart along. Then every time I passed her in the next few aisles, I avoided eye contact and quickly hurried the shopping along. When Hubby told me later what she said, I was shocked! Hubby would never hurt his girls and I don't blame him for the way he talked to Old Lady.

Last week, when we were having lunch with my mom, before we dropped her off, we ate at Wendy's, one of the very few fast food places we will eat at. It was kind of busy there and many of the tables were taken around us. At the tables next to us were 3 older ladies. I am used to people staring when I am using my hands to talk in sign language. I am used to people staring when I am with 3 little girls who are making a racket about wanting their little toy with the kids' meal and I want them to eat first, then play. But I do not like when the staring becomes outright rude. One of the old ladies literally turned in her chair, propped her elbow on her table and turned to face us and just stared at us. It was getting irritating and frankly, made me uncomfortable. Then they got ready to leave and the lady bent over right in front of Oldest' face, I kid you not, less than a foot away from her face, and asked her if she was going to eat all her food and blah blah... Hubby and I gave each other the "eye" and watched her. She stood up and got back down again and then put her hand on Oldest' head. Hubby told her, "Get your hand off my kid." She quickly moved her hand away.

I don't know.. what is wrong with people now?? I never once felt compelled to touch a stranger's child, or turned in my seat to watch someone I don't know, as if they were a TV show. When it comes to my own children, I am protective of them and I don't appreciate when people think they can touch them and ask for a hug when I try to teach my children to be wary of people they don't know. That sends such a mixed message to have a stranger ask for a hug and they look at me for what to do, and I get so riled up. I tell the stranger that I don't teach my girls to hug people they don't know. I don't mind a little wave but don't cross that line and expect me to allow my children to hug you and treat you like an old friend, when for all I know, you might be a child molester. You knock down my child's defenses and get them to think that all strangers are nice and only want a hug. I know there are some genuinely nice people out there, but do me a favor, talk to ME first, not my kid. Don't touch my kid until I say it's OK.

There was a time, once, when I was in line at Wal-mart, waiting to return an item. Oldest was a baby and started to fuss, so I put a blanket over my shoulder and nursed her discreetly while standing in line. The woman in front of me actually grabbed the blanket before I had time to react and pulled the blanket down. She got an eye full of a boob and a baby sucking a nipple. "Hey!" I said, grabbing the blanket and covering Oldest back up. She told me she just wanted to see the baby. OMG!!

I don't think I am being over-protective in this day and age. But it seems like it happens to me and my kids a lot. Strangers touching my kids as they go by, or wanting a hug, or some such behavior like that. Does that kind of thing happen to you much where you are? What are your reactions?


Anonymous said...
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Krissie said...

I don't get this asking for a hug. WTF??! Go hug people you know! lol
I don't think it happens here, at least I never saw it happen nor did I experience it. There is a lot of touching of pregnant women's bellies though which I believe is a horrible invasion of privacy too. I don't know how to explain it and I certainly don't blame you or your husband for trying to protect your children. If nothing else, who knows where those hands have been, right?

jenny said...

Krissie-- EXACTLY right!! When Oldest was a newborn, just a tiny little thing, stangers would try to touch her face. I didnt want dirty hands on her getting her sick so I would dodge away. They would give me dirty looks like THEY were offended I didnt want them to touch my baby. Seems like it has happened with all 3 of my girls. I don't get it. *shaking head*

DJ Kirkby said...

People are more careful not to touch kids they don't know over here but number 3 with his disability has absolutly no awarness of 'stranger danger' and will approach anyone, and we have our fair share of wierdos. That really scares me, he is so vulnerable...

jenny said...

I can just imagine how excited #3 would be to see people and want to play and hug and you having to rein him in. With 3 little girls, I feel like I have to be extra careful against the creeps and weirdos out there. At least I've got Oldest to check with me first before she runs off towards a stranger's open arms. Middle is too shy to accept a hug from strangers, and Youngest is held firmly in my arms, heavy though she is.

Motheratlarge said...

I hated strangers touching my daughter when she was a small baby, though I've never had anything as extreme as what you describe. It freaks me out though. In a grocery store yesterday I bent down to pick up a newspaper, and as I straightened up I saw a strange man touching my daughter's foot, as she sat in her buggy! I don't think he meant any harm, but I find it intrusive and upsetting. If some nutter came up to me and started touching my feet I'd tell them where to do. I didn't say anything but quickly moved away. It happens MUCH less when I'm with my husband. I suspect some of these characters know they can get away with this stuff when it's mum and baby on their own. Poor you. It's a horrible feeling.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Who are these people who live around you? How rude!!!!! Good for hubby telling them off.

jenny said...

Motheratlarge-- You are so right, I think people tend to be more assertive when it is just mother and child as opposed to mother, child AND father.

Once, when Oldest was a baby, we were out to eat and they were quite busy. A lady walked by us and grabbed Oldest' foot while she was sitting on Hubby's lap. Hubby moved baby to the other leg away from the lady and lady had the nerve to ask, "can't I say hello?" Hubby told her she could say Hi, but don't touch the baby. How would SHE like it if he touched HER baby? She had such a look on her face!

Coffee-- Most of the incidents happened in the Northern Virginia area where people are supposedly college educated and urban.. apparently not. The incident in the food store with the Old Lady was in town where we live now-- West Virginia.

Lisa C. said...

I don't blame you. I was very over protective over my 2 boys when they were growing up. I drove them to and from schools. I didn't let any strangers touch my babies.

Next time, tell the witches to get lost!!