Recently I read a blog post about people being out with their young kids and having moments where a little outside assistance would have been appreciated but was never offered.
(I cannot remember where I read the post. Babble maybe? I’ll try to track it down.) (Thanks Erin! I linked to the post. That’s the problem with reading things on my Kindle while I’m feeding Hazel, then trying to write on my laptop later. Mommy brain FTW apparently.)
We’ve all been there, and we’ve all seen it-a mom or dad struggling with the kids for whatever reason. There have been times I’ve seen it and wanted to help but haven’t, because I just never can tell if it would be welcome.
We live in a tiny town, and the bigger city where we go to do any real shopping or anything is barely big enough to be considered a city. One day I took the kids to the post office, and I couldn’t figure out why people were so eager to open doors for me until I caught my reflection in a plate glass window and remembered that I was noticeably pregnant and hauling around two toddlers.
On another more recent trip to town, someone pulled a basket out of the cart corral thing for us before getting one for themselves.
Today the girls and I went to the grocery store, a little trip with just a handful of things to get-Hazel went Moby-style and the big girls rode in the race car cart (the cart that some vendors on a smoke break warned me might be hot because it has been sitting in the sun). Just to kill time we had gone up and down nearly every aisle, and had probably drawn more attention to ourselves than absolutely necessary, but we were having fun. We had to wait in a long-ish checkout line, and I had been chatting with the lady in front of us but not paying much attention to who was behind us. When it was our turn, the man in line behind us loaded all of my groceries onto the belt, and he also put the bags back into the cart for me.
It strikes me that all of these instances, and there are more that I’m just not remembering off the top of my head, I wasn’t struggling. Yes, my hands were full, but no one was screaming or flailing. I wasn’t dropping things all over the floor (oh, that reminds me of another incident when Lucy threw a bottle of juice on the floor at Safeway, the top broke and it started leaking. The lady behind me in line helped me mop it up-I was very pregnant at that time. And not long ago with just me and Lucy we had an exploded soda incident that was just random and the lady in line behind us helped flag down an employee with a mop and she was very patient and gracious-that was at WalMart). But still, in all of these situations I was calm. Does that invite assistance maybe?