Okay. I know everyone has a different take on kids crying in public places. I am mostly of the notion that if your child misbehaves then they should be removed from the environment. I usually adhere to this. I've left restaurants with overtired kids and Lucas stays back to pick up the check. I've walked out of the grocery store as quickly as I've walked in. I've cut other outings short. My children are still learning their limits and their emotions and it is my job to help them with those. I don't take my kids out at nap time because I would be setting us all up for failure and it would be my own fault for knowing my children would be tired but forcing them to adhere to adult standards.
All this to say that my kids had meltdowns today. I walked out of the grocery store carrying two crying girls and wrangling a 4 year old who wanted to "help" me push the cart.
But here's what happened. I already cut my trip short because Averie was wanting to be held and didn't want to ride in the cart. I was already carrying Lily in the ergo and then I had Averie on my hip. Her time ran out faster than I expected so we started making our way to the checkout line. On the way up there Hudson decided he didn't want to ride in the car part, he wanted to walk/help steer the cart with me. Time's up. Time to go. Good thing we were already on our way out. So far so good but the clock is ticking.
We made it to the checkout lane and one of the employees helped usher us into the lane. I had to set Averie down in the seat of the cart long enough to finish unloading the groceries onto the belt because doing so one-handed was taking too long AND Lily was starting to fuss. Averie started crying because she wanted to be held so I told her as soon as I was done unloading the cart I would pick her back up. Still crying. But it would've taken me 42 seconds to unload the remainder of the groceries in my cart, I would've picked her back up, and all would've been well.
So the well-meaning (I'm sure) employee asked Averie if she could hold her. Averie CLEARLY yelled no and her crying escalated and this woman PICKED HER UP ANYWAY and Averie went hysterical. It took everything I had to just grab my child back out of her arms instead of any number of choices I would have preferred to do to someone who touched my child against her will, least of all being a tongue lashing. But Lily was still fussing and Averie was hysterical and Hudson was super fidgety and we needed to hurry up and get out of the store. I took Averie and the employee finished unloading my cart (which she should've done the first time instead of picking up my child in the first place. Or just leaving us alone for a minute and letting me get through the checkout lane and leave as quickly as possible).
So that's my story. We made it all the way to the checkout but then I ended up walking out with two crying girls and a hyperactive 4 year old boy.
I'm sure there are parents who say they would've handled this differently and that what I had done was "wrong" and that's okay. We can agree to disagree on this. The reason I'm sharing this experience is because I want to say that I know that woman was trying to help. I'm sure she recognized the impending meltdowns and was trying to streamline my way out of there. She was very nice and I think she mentioned something about her kids so I'm sure mother-to-mother she was trying to help with my kids instead of employee-to-customer helping with my groceries.
But here's the thing. She asked my daughter if she could hold her (I will give her credit for asking) and Averie told her no. Screamed it, actually. The second she reached for her I awkwardly angled myself back around the cart to grab my daughter back but it wasn't fast enough. And then when she put her hands on her anyway and removed her from the cart my daughter's hysterics worsened. I was right there to take her out of that woman's arms and try to comfort her but the damage was done. Averie was a mess. She clung to my neck and cried hysterically all the way out the door.
She asked my daughter if she could hold her and Averie told her no. She picked her up anyway. Even I don't touch my daughter without her consent. Please stop hugging/kissing/holding children against their wills. Let's stop teaching our kids that they have no control over their own bodies.