I suppose I always knew this day would come, the day when I could officially call myself a mother. This day has nothing to do with birthing, nursing or changing someone’s diaper. It has nothing to do with my daughters’ first words, stay-up-all-night ear infections (well, maybe a little) or timeouts. It has to do with an older woman in the grocery store who chided my daughter for having her hand in the bulk lollipop bin. It has to do with standing up for myself and my kid.
“That’s not good for anyone,” she said.
I looked in the direction of my three-year-old daughter who had lifted the lid and was choosing a lollipop out of a plastic bin at our local health food store. My one-year-old daughter was wriggling herself out of the shopping cart so I wrestled her onto my hip to get a better view.
“Oh,” I said. “She’s just getting a sucker.”
“Well that’s not good,” she said.
What’s not good, I thought? Kids in the bulk bins? The lollipops are wrapped.
I thought our little interaction, as unpleasant as it had been, was over. Wrong. A few minutes later as Eliza still stood with the bin open to the lollipops, the woman came around the corner again. This time Lucille, my one-year-old was cruising to catch up to her sister.
“That’s not good,” the woman said again. “I know it’s tough with little kids but that’s not good for anyone.”
And then it happened. I was mid-conversation with another woman I hadn’t seen in a long time when I turned to the woman chiding me and my child and words just began spilling out of my mouth. Read More »