Sunday, May 31, 2009

mixed...blessings?

I headed to the grocery store about 8:45PM - I always get a week's groceries on Saturday and we were traveling yesterday, so this evening was it. It was completely dark when I brought the groceries to my car, and I heard the yelling of a small child as I walked across the parking lot. In the cart return area, I saw two adults crouched down on either side of one of those giant plastic toy car type things that are integrated into the front of a shopping cart. At first I assumed they were trying to extricate their injured kiddo (I had injury on the brain, since I had just avoided running an adorable toddler over with my cart), but then I realized that the whining and yelling was actually a tantrum. It required both adults to extract the yelling preschooler, who would not leave the toy car voluntarily. Dad finally stood up with the little one pitched over his shoulder and managed to strap him into the minivan, though the yelling continued, fainter, after the sliding door shut. I didn't hear much of the parents' voices - a few words trying to reason with the child, a comment or two to each other. They sounded exasperated, but mostly tired and quiet. Not yelling. Which I thought was pretty impressive - I bet I would have yelled.

And I thought, I've been traveling all weekend and I haven't gotten much sleep. Grocery shopping late in the evening is not really ideal, and I'm just doing it because it will take even more out of me tomorrow, but I still have to go home, unload all the groceries, put them away, and pay a month's worth of bills (all these things are now done, BTW). And there's just one of me. Nobody to strap in, nobody who might break my eggs or drop my produce, nobody to unstrap and shepherd into the house while I have to deal with all the groceries as well. Nobody but me to bathe or put to bed. Certainly nobody to drag screaming out of a shopping cart toy after fruitless attempts at persuasion and bribery. And I realized as I got in my car that I'm just not sure those are challenges I'm really desperate for right now. Dealing with my groceries is plenty to occupy me, and frankly I wouldn't say no to a little more sleep than I'm getting. Working makes me tired enough as it is.

Huh.

9 comments:

  1. 'Huh' is right.
    Sometimes I get those moments, too. They're few and far between, but they happen.

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  2. This is a funny post to me. I have thought this same thought on several occassions after being around children at times. What is my problem? I cry most of the time because I don't have children and then I am occassionally saying whoo....I am blessed. I must be crazy ;)
    ~Amber

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  3. I find myself wondering about that as well. Then I think about all of those who have already had their children and been through the tantrums already. I haven't heard any of them say they regret the choice to have kids. They're difficut, but I know they're worth it.

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  4. I so hear you on this. I try to tell myself to enjoy my (more or less) clean apartment and my time with dh and my sleep!!, but I wonder if my tolerance level for "kid chaos" has been diminished by not having small children in my life for a while now. I also what kind of work/life balance we'll strike if we ever have to, with the hours I put in now.

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  5. HUH! You just put my life into perspective for me - my house REALLY will be a circus in a few months. I'm scheduled to get my 1st foster placement then - Oh my God, am I ready?

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  6. I know what you are saying. I see screaming children at the stores and I can just walk away but the parent has to deal with it. Parenting children is not an easy job and it's time consuming. I don't think anyone can prepare for the challanges of child rearing until one has a child. Until then...I enjoy my quiet home, long leisurely mornings and come and go as I please lifestyle. It's kind of nice. :)

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  7. I confess, I too sometimes have those thoughts... usually when my 1-yr-old niece is having a tantrum and I gladly hand her back to her mommy! I figure that it's different when it's yours, though (although this is just a theory, since I obviously wouldn't know firsthand).

    And just a random thought -- I saw this post's pic of that giant toy car/cart things and shuddered. I HATE those things... like when I see one coming down the grocery aisle at me, I get irrationally furious at how much space they're taking up. Grrrrrr.

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  8. My parents actually would walk away from me while I was having a tantrum (though a parking lot as night falls is not a good place for that strategy).

    Let's just revel in the delusion that our children will never do that. :) Until it's shattered before our eyes.

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  9. I have a toddler, and can totally relate to those parenting situations, and many times think after an exhausting grocery trip, "Lord, you know better than me what I can handle. I need to trust YOU."

    Huh.:)

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