I was chatting through Facebook with my SIL, Alicia about the joys of shopping with toddlers. It really got me to thinking about a little realization that happened to me the other day while shopping.
Remember in the good old days... before kids... you would go shopping, take your time, browse, perhaps buy more than what you went shopping for without really a thought and if you happened to hear a toddler, infant, kid, etc. crying, whining, screaming, etc. you thought to yourself... "Really? Can't they handle their kid? What's the problem? I would soooo just leave if that were me!" And then you go along with your shopping and generally forget about the incident (unless of course you run into the same kid again, and think to yourself... they are still here?)
Then you get to go shopping with your own infant, toddler, kid. If you are lucky enough to have a well behaved angel while shopping (which I have had the honor of having on more than one occasion) you still run into the mother with the toddler, infant, kid, etc. crying, whining, screaming, etc. and think to yourself... "That poor poor woman! I am so glad that is not me! Is there something I can do to help? Would she want my help?" And then you continue your shopping, check out with what was on your list and then head home.
Obviously it can go the other way as well. You end up shopping with the toddler, infant, kid, etc. crying, whining, screaming, etc. and you are trying everything you can to entertain and distract your toddler, infant, kid, etc. from crying, whining, screaming, etc. Seeing other parents with their well behaved children, thinking to yourself "Gee... I wish that was me and my child/children!" But, because there are items that your household can just not do without, milk, toilet paper, bread, etc. you struggle through the crying, whining, screaming, etc. Grab the bare necessities, knowing that you are not going to be able to complete your list and hope you will be able to get back sooner rather than later to finish the rest of the shopping that you intended to do before your child became a monster! (All the while, remembering how it used to be before kids, and yes, just what you used to think "what YOU would do", yeah right! Now you really understand, and feel a little guilty for thinking such bad thoughts.)
Then comes the time when you actually get to go shopping alone again!! YAY!! I can browse! I can take my time! I can look at things I don't need and wonder if there is money in the budget for it? You wander around and relish that you are not responsible for a little person, if only for just an hour. So what if it is 8:00pm, your little one(s) is/are asleep and you left the hubby in charge... just to get away for a bit. And then... you run into the mother who was not as lucky as you were that evening... the one with the toddler, infant, kid, etc. crying, whining, screaming, etc. And you think to yourself... "WOW!! That toddler, infant, kid, etc. that is crying, whining, screaming, etc. is not as nearly as loud as your own!"
And then it hits you.... There is never a toddler, infant, kid, etc. that is crying, whining, screaming, etc. that is as loud as your own when you are in public.