If you guessed that I was at Target again, congratulations. You've been paying attention. I think I'm always at Target, especially since they added a few more aisles for groceries. I can almost get by just going there. Almost.
Sometimes I get to go to Target alone. If you had told 20 year-old me how very exciting that sentence would become in the future, I probably would have punched you. But, here we are. I can't think of many places I'd rather be alone on a Friday night than at Target.
On this particular Friday night alone at Target, it was all about the groceries. There wasn't much reason to walk down the other aisles, but we're talking about Target, so of course I walked down the back of all of the aisles. You just never know what clearance treasures you may find.
It was as I was mulling over a clearance pack of Play-Doh ($1.47 for 6 cans!) (but Mila is a color mixer sooooo ...) that I first heard it.
A screaming toddler.
It was the angry sort of screaming toddler. When you're in the midst of the toddler years, it's easy to distinguish between angry and sad and tired and all of that. This kid was definitely ANGRY. The fit that was going on was a solid 9 on the 10-point Eff You World scale.
My first thought was, "NOT MY CIRCUS AND NOT MY MONKEY!" Is that mean? I'm not sure that I care if it is. There is a 50/50 chance that if a toddler is acting a fool in a store, it's my toddler doing it, so I can't help but have a moment of celebretory relief when it's not her. I love that kid to pieces, including all of the pieces of her that are full of opinions and spunk. It's still nice when it's not her yelling.
(It's also nice the 50% of the time when Mila isn't a jerk. She only has two Target modes - Jerk Mode and Reason Lots of Babies Will be Born in 9 Months Mode. When Mila is pleasant, she's positively amazing and has a way of throwing joy at every single person she encounters. But, that pendulum swings both ways.)
When I was done being happy that the yelling toddler wasn't my responsibility, I noticed the mom's reaction. She was ... uh ... not having her best day. She didn't appear to be frustrated or anything like that. Rather, she was FURIOUS. I'm not really sure who was throwing the bigger fit, in retrospect.
I don't know the whole story. It doesn't matter, really. We all have our days when we handle this parenting thing well and we all have days when we screw it up royally. But, I think my girls should write a thank you letter to that mom. They had two solid days of me being super aware that I didn't want to act like that.
Two really well-timed days, if you catch my drift.
It's amazing how the universe knows to throw you a good reminder about exhibiting patience exactly when you need it.