Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Too Much Information" or "Another Mom Brain Fried in the Wal-Mart Checkout"

There seriously is nothing like the microscope of the Wal-Mart Checkout to fry a mother's brain. We've all seen it. We've probably all been victimized by it.

But some incidents are more painful to watch (and hear) than others. Such was the case tonight.

The scene: 9:30 in Wal-Mart's Garden Center Checkout.

The players: Me, a young mother with her two children, and about twenty other witnesses.

The situation: Very, very, very sad.

Here's how it went. After a long, meandering, child-free shopping trip, I purchased all my goods but one and loaded my car. I then drove over to the Garden Center to pick up a bike (for C's 5th birthday tomorrow) that I'd set aside at the checkout. As I came around the check station to get in line I see the following:

The said young mother and her kids. She was standing behind her cart, about five yards behind the last person in line, pleading with her 3-4 yr old boy to let her move forward.

His foot (and body weight) were blocking further progress.

Me: Oh, are you in line?

YM: Well, kind of. I'm trying to be. I've been standing here for twenty minutes.

Me: (thinking she meant she'd been waiting in line twenty minutes like I just had) Well then I'll just get behind you.

YM: (Look of panic and desperation set in as I move in behind her)

She then begins explaining how he wants this toy (which I'll call a "blah,blah" since that's what it sounded like when she said it), but there weren't any more - all the while desperately pushing against the kid to get him to move toward the line. He doesn't budge. Two more customers get behind me. She gets more desperate.

Apparently desperation makes her want to talk.

So as she moves to the front of the cart to battle more effectively with her child, she tells me (loudly - definitely loud enough for the man behind me to hear) that she "just needed to get tampons" (waves box in air to prove point). Then she turns to the child:

YM: They don't have a blah,blah. They're all gone. You need to move.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: They don't have a blah,blah! You need to move, there are people behind us.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: (sounding a little frantic, but still sane) We need to move! They don't have the toy! (physically tries moving child - child goes limp - she gains about three inches - woman two people back sighs loudly).

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: (to me)(loudly)(getting VERY frustrated)(and probably starting to sweat) I was just sitting on my couch, and I started my period! So I just had to come and get some tampons (waves box again)(I feel man behind me cringe).

Me: (to make her feel better, and to get her off the tampon subject) It's okay, I have four of my own.

YM: How do you do it! I am done. I'm not having any more. (tugs on kid, gains a few more inches. There's still a few people in front of her, so she's okay).

Me: Really? Are you sure? (don't ask why I said it. I don't know. I was trying to make conversation).

YM: (again, speaking loudly) When I had HIM (points to angelic 15 month old in cart) the doctor asked me if I wanted a TUBAL LIGATION. I asked him, "a TUBAL LIGATION?" and he said, "Yeah, a TUBAL LIGATION." I said, "you mean get my TUBES TIED?" and he said "yes, a TUBAL LIGATION." I said "of course I want my TUBES TIED!!! I don't want ANY more!" and he said, "well we could have, since you had a c-section, but you have to give us twenty day's notice, so it's too late."

I swear she really did say TUBAL LIGATION at least that many times. And what's up with her doctor?

About this time the person in front of her moves up. This is when she really started to lose it, and started bargaining with the child. (And where I wished I could help her, but knew that every mother must do her time in the Wal-Mart checkout, and there was nothing to do but watch, and feel a LOT of pity).

YM: (to child, who has been incessantly saying "I want blah,blah" since we last mentioned him) You have to move. If you move, I'll come back in the morning and get you the toy.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: Fine. If you don't move, I'll take away the "blah,blah" you already have when we get home.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: (repeats this last exchange at least five times before moving on to...) Don't be such a cry baby! I'm taking away your toy. You're such a whiny brat, why can't you be good like your baby brother? You're the one acting like the baby. Don't be a whiny baby.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: You're being such a brat! Stop it! If you don't stop crying like a cry baby, I'll call you a baby - I'll call you Riley! (apparently they know a crybaby named Riley) Did you hear me? Do you want me to call you Riley?

Child: No.

YM: Well I will. I'll call you Riley if you keep being such a bratty cry baby.

Child: (miraculously stops crying, moves away from cart, and line proceeds forward).

She then admitted to me (loudly) that she really had always wanted three, but since her first two had different dads she was worried people would think she was a whore.

Another mom-brain fried, compliments of Wal-Mart.

So I think we should all have a few moments of silence for this poor young mother, and all the others like her, who have been recent casualties of the Wal-Mart checkout. If you're among the fallen, you're included. We salute you. (we've all BEEN you). There is no mother who is immune to this hazard (except for those that do all their shopping online), whether it is because of inexperience, over-confidence, crabby/sick/difficult children, or any other contributing factor to public meltdowns of offspring.

Please don't feel bad. This too shall pass.

(But whatever you do, try not to mention your period, tubal ligations, or suggest {under ANY circumstances} that you might be a whore. And if you must mention any of these things, I advise whispering).



Laura said...

There is a reason I avoid taking children shopping!! This is the perfect example of why I leave them at home whenever possible! I hate being "that mom".

Thanks for reminding me that I'm not the only one, lol!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Yes why is it that stressful situations can erase the filter that would have spared the others around her from all that TMI.

And yes we have all been there.

LisAway said...

Well, I'm just a self-righteous mother because my first thought is "who takes their kids out of the house after 7 pm? Unless it's an emergency." Oh yes, I do believe hers was an emergency. Never mind.

Very funny. And graphic. Love America. This would never happen in Poland (maybe the crying kid would, but not the other stuff.) Probably because there's no Wal-Mart here.

Jen said...

Yes Lisa, I believe Wal-Mart could bring the worst out of children worldwide - even Polish ones - and consequently take their mothers down with them.

There's just no escape.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I feel a little sorry for Riley. I wouldn't want my child to be THAT child!

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbaloot said...

You must've looked like a very sympathetic/understanding person for her to dump all that on you. I hope you've recovered...along with the poor man behind you:)

And may we all always avoid being a "Riley." If it made whiney child stop-it can't be good.

McFarland Family said...

I shop alone, even if I have to wait until 2am-because I have lived this nightmare too. And PMS along with it. I would have left the kid.

Jen R. said...

ha ha poor girl. funny story though! TUBAL LIGATION! TUBAL LIGATION! TUBAL LIGATION!

Machen family said...

I once was standing in line at Walmart and the man in front of me was psychotic. He wasn't yelling at the little boy with him, but he was very tense and you could tell he was extremely upset over something. I wish the lady who was checking him out would have called security, the older man behind me kept on asking me if he had hurt the child yet. I could just see it in the eyes of this man that there was something terribly wrong, and my heart was sick for that child.
I hate Walmart....I love Target

The Crash Test Dummy said...

ROTFLOL-ing right now! haahahahahahahahahahahahahah

ha ha ha ha. Yes, we have all been there (except for the whore part and the tubal ligation part and the pdt (public display of tampon part)

But yes, we've all been there.

Kimberly said...

I feel suddenly.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I agree with crash's exceptions! LOL...that is crazy you were taking with a crazy YOUNG mom! ROFL!

That Girl in Brazil said...

I think I just lost my power of the English language.


Yup, gone.

Melissa Bastow said...

That makes me feel better about a few nights ago when the lady behind us (in one of those motorized wheelchair cart thingies) made my son bend over in front of her so she could inform us that he had peed through his diaper and his pants. Ok, creepy wheelchair lady, quit eyeing my son's butt. Also not all parents who let their kids' diapers overflow in Walmart check out lines are horrible. Thank you very much.

Susan said...

I think that was me.

Kelly said...

Very funny and sad story, poor lady.

I have been trying to call you all morning-your home phone BUSY (I know you would never be without call waiting so unless you find it...) and your cell keeps saying you are not available.

Monday would be fine for us. :)
Call me! Again.

Jodi's Ramblings said...

This story is funny, yet sad too. I really appreciate the kind non-judgmental way that you told it. So many would have been so quick to judge the poor young mother for her bratty kid, etc. Anyone who hasn't had kids turn bratty in the check-out line is either delusional or should be made mother-of-the-year. You and Annie are so NICE!!! You must have one great Momma.

Lorie said...

funny but sad!

Alison Wonderland said...

I don't know what you're talking about. Both I and my children are perfectly behaved at all times.

Melissa said...

Oh the joys of Christmas Shopping:) What a funny story!

Kristin said...

I think everyone has yelled "I'm a whore!"at least once in a Walmart.

Jimh. said...

Too FUNNY! You commented on my wife's Grndmother's site (she might as well be mine, too)and you sounded nice, I am glad I stopped by. I am a sustitute, too.