I heard you

Dear Mom behind me in the check out line at the grocery store,

I heard you.

I didn’t acknowledge you, but I heard you.

I heard you judging my purchases as you watched them slide down the checkout conveyor belt toward the scanner.  First I saw you size up what I had there, then I heard you actually remark about them to your husband as if I wasn’t standing right there.

While your 3rd or 4th grade son walked between the belt and me a thousand times to go look at the Redbox machine, the candy machines, and anything else, never once saying “excuse me.”  While you tapped your foot annoyed that you were behind someone who was getting a week’s worth of groceries instead of just the case of beer and ground beef that you had.

I heard what you said to your husband as you saw the Similac, the toddler meals, and the jelly and bread all next to five huge bags of candy.  I heard your comment about the two 2-liters of soda and the absence of milk.

You were loud enough, don’t worry.  I heard you comment about the way I “clearly have a baby” and must be feeding my children “junk”.

I tried hard not to turn around and get in your face as your son passed between me and my cart while I was trying to re-load it with full bags for the umpteenth time, bumping my cart as he wiggled past.

The checkout lady was chatting politely and cheerfully to me about the promise of sunshine and warm weather this week and I refused to break the positivity to tell you that the candy and soda were for a first birthday party next week.  That it’s a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme because we fell in love with the name Charlie after watching a performance of Willy Wonka by the theater company at the high school where I work.  That we don’t need milk and fruit because we have a huge stock of those things at home along with eggs that came from free-range chickens that a fellow teacher raises on his own farm.

Lady, you do not have to worry about my children.  I am trying to take your snotty attitude as general concern for my children’s well-being based solely on grocery items of a woman you never met.  I’d like to think that the {loud} judging you were doing to your husband about me was out of deep concern and love for all children.  But I am not that naive.

I wonder what you dislike about your own parenting skills that makes you feel like you need to judge me based on a few bags of candy?

As annoyed as your kid made me with his cutting in and out of the checkout line without nary a “sorry” as he bumped my cart, I figured he’s a kid. I wanted to tell him to please choose in or out, but I figured that was your job. It’s not like he was being dangerous, just annoying.

Yet you–with your beer and ground beef–stood judging me.

By the way, I didn’t judge your beer and ground beef.  Your child looked wonderfully healthy. I’ve bought just those items before too.

I would hate for people to assume I only feed my children burgers and beer based on that one grocery transaction.  I wonder why you assume that I only feed my children candy and soda?

Anyway, I did hear you.

Even though I chose not to acknowledge you.

You really should stop picking other people apart…especially other mothers. I am doing the best I can, just like I assume you are doing the best you can too.

The Lady with the Pop and Candy