The Audacity of Strangers

One of our local grocery stores has little carts.  S loves them.  Every time we go there, if there are little carts, he wants one.  He is pretty good about steering them, but he is 3!

Yesterday, I took A, S and his friend O, to the grocery store with me.  They had 2 little carts, so I let S and O get a cart each.  They were doing a pretty good job of steering them, not bumping into too many things 🙂

At one point, we were walking down a main aisle and they were behind me a little as I was searching for something.  I hear S scream then say “STOP IT!”  I turned around and asked him what was wrong?  He looked at me, just so sad and upset and said, “That lady said she was going to spank me”.  I said, “What?”  S: “That mean lady said she was going to spank me”.  I then told him to show me where this lady was.

Well, down the frozen foods aisle was a woman and her husband, probably in their late 60’s.   I walked up to her and and said,
“Did you tell my son you were going to spank him?” (I still was in disbelief that I had to ask this)
B (Insert any B word you’d like here): If he didn’t stop hitting people with his cart I would.
Me: Well, that is not your place.  If you have a problem with my child, you come talk to me, his Mother.
B: I don’t think he should have that cart.  I don’t like those carts, the store shouldn’t have them.
Me:  Well, they do, so if you don’t like it, you should shop somewhere else.
B: Yes, I know.  I’m sorry.
Me:  Don’t apologize to me, apologize to my son.
B: (very patronizingly) I’m sorry.
B’s husband: You need to learn him some manners.
Me: He is THREE, he’s learning.  Man, you all act as if you’ve never been around children before.
B: (looking quite proud) Oh, we have grandchildren.
Me: Well, I certainly hope you don’t treat them like this.

They then walked away, as did I, but I was shaking.  You do not threaten my child, or any child for that matter.  I don’t spank my child, why would it be ok for a complete stranger to??? I just can not believe that this woman would say that to a sweet little child!!!!!!  I am still floored and just so saddened by the whole experience.  Later, I told S and O to be careful with their carts and he said, “Yeah, or the mean lady will come and spank us”.  Oh, if she’d laid a hand on my child….GRRRRRRRRRR (that’s the Mama Bear in case you didn’t know).



  1. Katinka said

    People can really suck sometimes. 😦

  2. Sarah L. said

    Blech. Sorry you had to deal with that. :o(

  3. Sally said

    Ugh! Good for you for standing up for your son, yourself and for treating kids with gentleness.

    I’ve peeked at your blog just a few times now and thought I should say hi. “Hi!”

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