I met Hottie and Little Man today for lunch at Sam’s Club. They arrived moments after me. I got Little Man out of his daddy’s truck. He was so excited to see me and tried to share his cheese puff with me. I had to decline. My hips wouldn’t have thanked me. Hottie got the cart and I place Little Man in it as we walked towards the entrance.
And then it happened. All hell broke loose. My son became possessed.
He screamed, threw his body back against the metal seat of the cart, face crumpled up, and cried.
We entered Sam’s Club that way, thinking he would stop his hissy fit at any moment. Instead, he was just getting started. People’s heads turned as they looked at us, checking, I’m sure, to make sure that we weren’t torturing our child right in the middle of the store.
I got in line for the pizza, and Hottie pulled Little Man out of the cart. After all, if that’s what pissed him off so much, then surely he would stop now. Right? Wrong. Hottie had to walk to the corner where the restrooms were located and sit on a bench. I could hear Little Man screaming from across the store.
Sympathetic parents throughout the store gave us looks. And then the conversations started.
“I remember those days.” One woman two places up in line told me. “Was it because you put his shoe back on him?” Little Man’s shoe had fallen off when Hottie pulled him from the cart and I’d placed it back on his foot.
“Nope,” I told her, “it started before that. He got mad that we put him in the cart. Now, he’s worked himself completely up.”
“Oh. I was going to say, just to leave his shoe off then.”
“I thought it was because his shoe came off.” The man directly in front of me said. “My son has this thing where when his shoes come off, he screams. He can’t stand it for some reason. I took him shoe shopping yesterday and that’s all I heard. Him screaming.”
I glanced over to where Little Man was screaming as Hottie sat on a bench. Little Man threw himself down onto the cement floor, full blown hissy fit. Hottie reached down and picked him up. It was my turn in line, but I could hear Little Man get quiet. I wasn’t sure that was a good thing at this point.
Less than five minutes later, they joined me at the table. Little Man once again a happy camper wanting to share my pizza slice with me.
Less than fifteen minutes later, he was screaming in the store again because I wouldn’t let him dig through my purse.
Yes, we’re the parents with the screaming child in aisle four. Suck it, people. And keep your pithy comments and your sympathetic stares and little smiles to yourself. They do nothing but remind me that my child is screaming his head off. And I don’t need any further reminders. I can hear him perfectly fine, thank you.
It could be worse though. He could be arguing with his sister in the produce aisle over who gets to push the cart and then the entire cart tumbles over and empties out right there next to the frozen dinners. Not that I’d know anything about that. Right, mom?