Monday, July 16, 2012

Ever stood up for yourself? In public?

I am exceptionally bad at this. I quake. I blush. But I feel this fire in my chest that I recognise is one or two steps from flying off the handle. Since I've experienced pregnancy I feel like I imagine a toddler would feel when they're being... you know... toddlers. You know, when you know it's not a big deal, but you find yourself getting more upset. So you stop to ground yourself. It's okay. A deep breath. Then, it's not okay. NOT OKAY NOT OKAY NOT OKAY.
On Friday I did the food shopping after putting it off all week. We'd finally run out of bread, milk, M&M's and cereal. You know, the staples. But it was a bit of an epic fail. 

So, let's tally up my Food Shopping Mistakes:

  • Millie looked tired as soon as we rolled up (#1) and started screaming as soon as we hit the banana aisle (i.e. the first aisle). She wanted my list. My only piece of paper (#2). Therefore, no. Therefore, screaming. TOTAL FSM: 2
  • I had snacks in my bag (deduct #1), but not what she wanted (#2 is back). She wanted my list. Not any stinking food. TOTAL FSM: 2
  • By Aisle 2 I worked out that as long as I could keep her hands busy we might be okay. Rice Bubbles only lasted half an aisle. I spent the next three aisles being smiled at gently by other patrons as Millie held a packet of powdered milk and I pointed to the cows on the packet and bellowing 'Moooo! Cow!' at 5 second intervals. Thankfully she caught on and was mooing with me.
  • Powdered milk not cutting it. (#3). Firelighters would be better, no? No. (#4). Matches? No. (#5).
  • Fine. Take the list. (deduct #6). TOTAL FSM: 5
  • Another shopper kindly hands me back my shopping list after she accidentally ran over it, after M threw it on the ground. (#6 is back.) TOTAL FSM: 6
  • I hit on genius and give her a banana. Usually I'm tearing open packets of cheese slices in the dairy aisle. Banana is a hit. (deduct #6, #5 and #4.) TOTAL FSM: 3
  • Peace and smiling and cute little 'Na Na' chats through the dairy aisle.
  • We hit the checkouts, M finishes her banana and hands me back a sweaty mauled banana skin. She writhes and bucks in the trolley seat, punctuated by her looking at me saying 'Oooh! Uhoh.' She's snapped the seatbelt. Like, off. HOW? (#4 is back.) TOTAL FSM: 4
  • We wait in the shortest line, someone in front taking an abysmally long time with a tiny trolley of shopping. I see another shopper give me a sneaky glance from behind me, and sprint to another checkout who's just opened. (#5) TOTAL FSM: 5
  • I find another checkout and stand there trying to contain an unrestrained Millie, when it happens.
  • A male shopper around my Mum's age sidles up to Millie, shucks her on the chin and says'Why are you so happy? Oh, that's why. The bloody dummy in your mouth.'My eyebrows shoot up. I turn to face this man, slack jawed. I turn half back to my shopping and the rage rises in my chest.
  • I turn back and say 'Good thing she's my child then, isn't it? We're completely fine with her having a dummy.' What I don't say, but really long to, is (cover your eyes Mum) 'And go fuck yourself.' (Subtract 6 FSM points for not using profanity in public, when it was completely warranted and excusable.) TOTAL FSM: 0

The shopper in front of me looks at me slack jawed. I unload my shopping on to the conveyor belt and glance backwards. His wife comes up and says 'All our kids had dummies. I had to take one to the post office in a box and pretend we were posting it to Western Australia to get rid of it.'
I smile weakly and mumble something about M not feeling well today and not having a dummy all the time, all the while thinking 'Shut up Amy! You don't need to make excuses!'


My shopping errors are all but erased by this time, and are made even better by the delightful checkout lady giving us Millie's eaten banana for free. My heart stops racing after a few minutes and the world returns to normal.

That's the first time a stranger has said anything to me in public about anything to do with my kid.
When did that become okay? I stood up for myself in public that day. And I'm proud I did.

Do you stand up for yourself in public? How do you do it?


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