You know how you know when you are a parent? When your child misbehaves in public and you leave more frustrated with those around you than you do with your child, and it isn't because you think your kid is perfect, it's because it's expected for two year olds to act like two year olds, not grown adults.
Ok - so here's the story.
I was in Wal-Mart today (first mistake), trying to check out, and the cart was too full to coral my son. He had spent about 10 minutes already looking through the 'junk' that they try to get you to buy in the aisle before you leave, and you could tell he was wearing down.
Right as I was getting ready to pay, he decided he'd take off to the clothing section, which in reality was all of 15 feet away from me. Frustrating? Sure. Complete and utter failure? Absolutely not.
So, I calmly, but sternly, tell him to come back to me and hold onto the cart, and, in being obedient, he ran right out into the aisle in front of a woman's cart. Now, please note, that when I say right in front of what I really mean is that she was easily able to stop about 2 feet from him. Her look, however, told me that she was completely disgusted by the whole situation.
She let out a huge audible sigh, put her hand on her hip, pursed her lips together, and gave him a look that about made the bear come out of this momma. Worse? He saw the look and slunk back to me as if he'd been beaten... all in his being obedient in coming back to me.
Someone tell me, what is it that makes people believe that they can treat people so harshly? Especially children. Again, as has been the theme today in my life, I'm so grateful for a God who is merciful and gracious, and rude people at the grocery store just remind me how important it is to extend that mercy to others. (As I did today by not confronting the woman at the grocery store, as badly as I wanted to.)
Overall - all ended well, but I think said woman was feeling badly because (and God has such a sense of humor), as I was putting Bryton in the car I was praising him for being obedient when I called him and explaining to him how important it is that he stay with me. In turning around I realized that the woman who had been so hateful was parked right next to me loading her groceries into her car and had overhead the entire conversation with B. She not only would not make eye contact, but rushed into her car and out of the parking lot before a single word could have been exchanged.
Praying that I remember to extend the mercy to others that I want for myself, and even moreso for my children.