We were on the freezer aisle when it happened.
There I was, about an hour into my grocery shopping trip with my newly turned 1 year old tagging along. At 12 months old she is is walking and climbing and has a will as strong as her three older siblings combined so it’s really not all that surprising.
Our shopping trip started off well enough
As we started into the store I was carrying my tot in the backpack – she was content all the way through the produce and dairy departments. At around the time we loaded four gallons of milk into our cart though, she had enough of that and was ready to get down and help.
I obliged and we continued on through the store – she was “pushing” the cart and grabbing everything that caught her eye while I followed along after her and tried not to forget anything on my list.
I didn’t mind
This was our first morning together, just the two of us. All of my older children had just gone back to school and we really had the whole day to shop. There were no expectations of a quick trip so we went about the store taking our time and trying our best to stay out of the way of the other shoppers.
As the store became busier back into the back pack she went. She wasn’t happy, and let us know it, but was quickly appeased with a snack so that we could finish up.
Down the rows I went. Meat department, bread, cheese, and then we landed in the frozen foods. She had finished her snack. She wanted out. She let out a loud squeal just as we rolled past an older woman reaching into a door to grab a bag of frozen peas.
The woman looked at me with disgust
And there it was. She made a face so cringe-worthy you would have thought someone kicked her in the shin.
I smiled and continued on, assuring my child that it was alright and we were almost done.
What did I NOT do?
Apologize. I did not apologize to the woman that was so awfully hurt by my baby’s voice. I did not even whisper a half hearted “Sorry”.
There was a time in my earlier parenting day that I would have flushed bright red and nervously apologized to the woman that was so offended by my baby’s outburst. But that was four kids ago, and now I’ve learned.
Sorry, not sorry
I will not apologize for my children acting their age.
I will not apologize for a baby that is frustrated and does not know how to deal with her emotions.
I will not apologize for a child that does not yet have the verbal skills to tell us how she’s feeling.
Does this make me a bad parent? Absolutely not. It makes me a good one for putting my children’s feelings ahead of a complete stranger.
The one thing I will not apologize for
As our children grow and mature we teach them these valuable lessons. At each age there are expectations for behavior that are based off of their development.
So the next time you are in public, and your child has an outburst or a meltdown or a tantrum? Don’t apologize! It’s what kids do. They are learning and we are teaching them, that is nothing to apologize for.