The Shopping Trip

I pull the car into the spot, and adjust the mirror so I can see him in the back seat. Ugghhh…I’m so tired. I glance at the clock and turn around in the seat.

”OK baby – we’ve got to go into the store. What’s the rule?”

“No asking!”

“That’s right.”

I get out and pull him from his carseat.  I grab a cart from the adjacent corral, plop him in it and start pushing the cart towards the store.

“I want to walk mommy.”

Oh dear. No time for this. Tantrum or let him walk? He can handle it. I draw him out of the cart and place him on the floor.

“We have to go fast honey. You’ll have to keep up.”

“OK Mommy.” He toddles along behind me.

We start up the frozen aisle – milk. I open the cooler and a puff of icy air hits my face.

“Mommy…can I we get some ice cream?”

“Honey…what’s the rule?”

“No asking. But I’m not asking. The baby likes ice cream. We should get some for her.”

My lips thin. “No honey, no ice cream.”

Up the next aisle. Part way up and he stops again, grabbing something off the shelf, placing it in the cart.

“I’m helping mommy, see?”

“No sweetie. That’s not on the list.”

“But I want it mommy! Can I have it?”

“No sweetie. Come on. We’re running short of time. Let’s go. Shall I put you in the cart?”

“NO. NO…I don’t wanna.”

I grip the cart handle. “OK. Let’s go.”

Where’s the list? In the seat. What’s next? I mentally check off what we already have. Milk, eggs, butter. Ahhh. Flour.

Wait…where’s…I turn my head.

There he is. At the beginning of the row. Why is he soooooo slow?

No. I shake my head firmly. No. No. No. Great. He’s picking it up.

“Mommy…can I have it?”

“No. No you can’t have it. We need to get going. Come on!” My anger simmers. There’s no time for this. I pinch the edge of his coat to propel him forward.

“But why mommy? I want it!”

Why? Why? WHY? Dammit – I said no asking. I told you we had to be fast. We’ve got to get this done before the doctors so we can pick up your sister before the daycare closes. I only have so much time in the day. I look down at him as he pushes the box closer, pleading.

No. Not the sad face. No. It’s not going to work. Dammit. We have things to do.

“Because I DON’T LOVE YOU. That’s why.”

My eyes grow big. My right hand lifts to cover my mouth and push the words back into it.

Shit. That was out loud. What did I do? I don’t mean that. Of course I don’t mean it. I love you more than anything in the world. Look at him. He’s cocked his head. He’s processing what you said.

That’s it. You’ve scarred him for life.

His gentle eyes look up at me with a frown as he blinks.

What do you do?

Next words out of his mouth are going to be “I hate you.” You’re done.

Worst. Mom. Ever. I cringe, turning my head and waiting for the verbal slap.

“Naaaaah….you love me.”



Relief. I lean down and pull him in for a hug. Take a breath. “Of course I do dear. Mommy loves you very much. Now come on. We have to get going.”

I put my hand back onto the cart and start pushing it, exhaling as I see him follow. Phew. That was close. Deep breath.

Now where’s the flour?

Ah. There it is. Good. Got the flour – I turn back to spot him.

He pushes a bag of chocolate chips towards me. “Mommy – can I have it?”

*Author’s note:  This post is not based on any true story that happened to me ever.  Really.

Have you ever said something to your child that you instantly regretted?

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  1. Well, I’m glad the story’s not real because I don’t know any mother who would do something like that . . . except me. : ) 5 kids lots of boo boos. And, amazingly, they still think you’re the greatest.

  2. Well I’m glad it’s not real, but the truth is things very much like this (if not nearly exactly like) happen to all of us sometimes. We say things we regret to our kids, to our significant others, to our parents, and to ourselves. We can either dwell on it or accept that we are human (and therefore flawed) and then move on. Life with kids is a challenge -they’re pokey when we’re in a hurry and so much more. But you do the best you can and learn from it when you don’t. Great post. <3

  3. I don’t have children myself, but I could read both your frustration and love in equal parts. I imagine how hard it much be for parents to always keep control of their patience especially in situations like this.

  4. It happens just like this, and you pick up and go on, and they know we love them and then they grow up and they go through the same with their children. Love covers a multitude of sins.

  5. If not true, true-like, real life, real feelings, real situation. What mom isn’t always in a rush, stressed with too much to accomplish in too little time?

  6. I’m glad it wasn’t real, but holy cow, they can definitely stir up emotions and make us say things we don’t mean. For sure. I think I’ve said, “Stop annoying me” and then felt awful.

  7. Maaaaan I’m glad that wasn’t real. Well told though, very well told.

      1. 😉 I’m more likely to snap physically, I think, which is a Big Bad.

          1. I’ve come close. Disappointingly close.

          2. Author

            We all have those moments. The important thing to remember is that we didn’t.

  8. Aww- this is very well written. I think all moms can probably relate- I was actually just talking about this yesterday with a friend who just recently had a baby- she said she always used to wonder why moms brought their kids out to the store, the restaurants, etc- before she was a mom. Now shes like “I have shit to do!” lol so she has stopped caring- which I think is great.

    1. Author

      You really do have to get beyond caring what others think – because there is shit to get done!

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