screamer in aisle 4

If you haven’t seen me in Shoprite and experienced my precious 2 year olds screaming fits, you’re in for a treat. She holds nothing back, she can literally produce a long piercing yelp without even stopping to breathe– she just lets that baby out with all her might.

The other day she was super angry I had her in the front of the shopping cart and really wanted to sit in the back. So trying not to be dealt a melt down, I stick her in the back sacrificing any room for the food which is why we are there in the first place! Long behold the adorable little child wants to not just sit in the back but stand up like she is on an amusement ride.

I used my nice inside mommy voice and told her (begged her) to sit down or she would have to come back to the front.

Of course she would not listen and the ever dreaded move back to the front happened and by the time I got her feet through the holes, her scream was already louder than the man on the loud-speaker and her hands were pulling towards anything around her, my shirt being the easiest grabbing point.

It had happened, she was erupting with fury and there was no turning back.

I mustered up all the peace, gentleness, and self-control I had and rounded the aisle to the cold section and noticed that there was literally an explosion of elderly women choosing their dairy goods for the week. Now my experience with the elderly is they either are super sympathetic or are overly annoyed with how the culture is failing and current mothers are no longer doing their job correctly.

As I catch a glare from one woman I force a half smile and say, “She’s a screamer!”  Hoping she would respond with some nice words of encouragement.


She looks at my daughter and then at me and says, “Obviously”.

–Insert completely mortified face–

Knowing I have at least 4 different aisles I have to go down still , I look up and my eyes suddenly see the “mommy get out of jail” end cap display coming up, stacked with goldfish and other snacks. I am suddenly in a major moral dilemma. I stand there for a minute, wondering what it will look like and how I know better, but somehow my arms reaches up, grabs a bag of goldfish and opens it in one quick motion. Handing it to her, the screamer suddenly goes silent…she has won.


Yes you should never reward a screaming child

Yes I am creating a very bad habit

Yes I know I am feeding a negative behavior

I know the rules, I read the books, I have two other kids

But I didn’t do it perfect then and I won’t do it perfect now

Sometimes the rules need to be broken. Sometimes our own mental health needs to take precedent to all the maybe outcomes that could happen if we break away from the perfect mommy rules for one second. That two dollar bag of goldfish helped me get the rest of my shopping done and kept her quiet for the car ride home.

I love all my kids and of course I want them to be well behaved children, but sometimes I wonder if my expectations are just so unrealistic. That they will never be able to achieve who I think they should be. I don’t want them to feel like I am constantly disappointed in them but more that I am always amazed at how they are blossoming into their own person.

Parenting is hard. No question.

One of the hardest parts might be that no two children are the same, even within your family. Sometimes parenting is like being a GPS, where it’s constantly changing its path trying to get to the destination of a well rounded child.

I know my littlest won’t still be in diapers by kindergarten and she’ll learn to sit nicely in the shopping cart, but more importantly I want her to grow up with a mom who laughed at the days where she pulled her shirt down in front of 20 elderly women in the dairy aisle.

I am constantly reminding myself to not let the small things become big things and rid myself of the insanely high expectations I have on myself as a mother.

In the end its God who will ultimately direct their path, I need to just love and guide them as they walk it.

For the mothers out there, there is no judgement from this fellow mom as you grab that bag that goldfish, do it, its liberating!!!



  1. As a mom of grown children, I pause this morning to applaud you for getting it and understanding that there are no perfect children…and there are no perfect parents. For being honest about the hard days and recognizing that breaking the “mommy rules” is sometimes the best possible decision. Sit back, sip some tea and know this mom/grandmom is smiling and, had I been in that aisle, would have paid for those goldfish to support and nurture your amazing mom skills!

  2. More or less, the same happened to me Monday. Brady and I had the same front/back of the cart arguement. Love your words and know you are a huge encouragement! Wish we lived closer :)

  3. I was in the grocery the other day with three boys 5 and under who were, at the moment, being somewhat obedient. Another women who could only have been a momma herself looked at me, shook her head, smiled, said “you’re awesome” and walked away. That small comment made my day and I’ve started to pass on that encouragement to fellow mommy shoppers, especially the ones with screaming children and a cart full of goldfish. We’ve all been there!

  4. I so relate to this!!!! Thank you for sharing your truths … You are beyond encouraging.

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