Friday, 28 August 2009

Supermarket screamers

I'm guessing that it's every parent's nightmare: the moment when your seemingly adorable and rather sociable toddler becomes a supermarket screamer. At the supermarket this afternoon, a father walks in with two pre-school boys. They do a wonderful job of helping select produce, carrying small grocery items and chatting happily along the way. We moved to different aisles and the pleasant, animated chatter rose above the muzak.

And then, in a flash, things changed. A tiny voice begins to ascend, with volume to match. What starts as occasional squeals erupts into full-scale chaos. Every backward glance from Dad, who continues going about his business with his second son in tow, only seems to increase the fuel-efficiency of a lungful of air; the decibels steadily rise and the child becomes lower to the ground. I wander into his aisle and step around him; he quietens for a moment (no audience here!) before taking another deep breath and starting afresh. I quietly admire Dad's resolve as he occasionally calls out, "come on, we're leaving now" etc, all the while keeping his cool.

Dad, second son and I arrive at the checkouts. First son joins us, somewhat subdued, in the arms of a female shopper. Checkout operator comments, "ohhh, he just wanted Mum". Dad continues paying for his groceries and cheerily calls out, "oh no, that's not Mum". Nervous laughter all round as first son is returned to Dad and every other parent in the supermarket either recalls a time when this has happened to them, or dreads the moment it could happen again. I quickly make my escape. ;-)


~JarieLyn~ said...

Kudos to dad. I don't think I'd have that much patience. Great story and you told it well.

Sab said...

I agree, good for dad. Catering to the child right away is just cause for more trouble later down the line!

Donna said...

wow. we encounter them all the time here, and the parents don't do a thing. Go dad!!!!!