Sunday, August 09, 2009

SMACK: Part 2 of 3 in which I am in the company of parents with their infants and toddlers

Was just minding my business pushing my grocery cart through Safeway last week, when I noticed a little girl, maybe two-years-old, moving all over the aisle in front of me, so I stopped. I could see she was lost in her own activity and did not see me, so I backed way up and to let her decide where she was going to end up, before I advanced.

I turned and looked behind me, considering going back the way I came, but that half of the aisle was even more congested, so I just stood there.

Her father held her infant brother over his shoulder and spoke kindly to her the whole time I was watching. "Honey, move over this way." "Honey, watch out, there's a cart coming through." "Honey, scoot over," etc.

She would hear none of it. Literally.

Then, out of nowhere she just turned in my direction and RAN straight into my cart. SMACK. I could see her distorted face from my end. She started screaming.

I felt terrible. I apologized to the father who was very understanding, and appropriately so, more concerned with making the toddler feel better, than me.

As I progressed through the store and finished my shopping, I could hear her continue to wail. What could I have done differently? I thought.

I still don't know, but I do know this: we both got a good lesson in listening to the warning signs.


Anonymous said...

i'm not sure what you could have done?

Wanda said...

Not really anything else you could have done. You were "parked".Perhaps the father could have gently directed her physically since she was not hearing anything he said. At two, gentle steering is appropriate. I am glad the father was kind and gentle. So, my friend, are you.

pixiemama said...

I'll speak for the dad, having just been to Target yesterday with my 2-4-6-8 crew. There was NOTHING you could have done differently. These kids in stores - NT or not - they are out-of-it. Stores are a wonderland, where a 2-year-old probably thought that a picture of a brownie on a box meant that it held delicious brownies! Or that those measuring cups would be PERFECT for her playhouse. Stores are the land of magical thinking for kids, especially the really young ones. They think that anything they see, they could have. It's IMPOSSIBLE to see other shoppers when you're magically thinking of all the STUFF that surrounds you.


kario said...

Nothing anyone could have done differently. This little girl wasn't in a space to hear anything from anyone. She was fully in her own world. Lucky for her, that instant gratification age also meant that as soon as it stopped smarting she forgot about it entirely. Doesn't blame you. Doesn't blame Dad. Doesn't blame herself.

You, either, okay?

Amber said...

You should have said, "Good job, KID!" ;) No, just KIDDING! You are so kind, but this is why my kids didn't roam free at that age. Too much stress for all. lol


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Even thinking of having either of my two boys in Safeway or any other store at age two makes me start to hyperventilate. I only did it in dire emergencies, and it never went well. Nigel would get so sensory-overloaded in stores that he would smack into carts and just keep going!

Jerri said...

Life's funny that way. Sometimes we can't avoid the SMACK. All we can do is limit the damage, which you did by stopping.

Anonymous said...

this was obviously completely your fault - 100% - yup. why? really? i have to tell you?

fine - you didn't de-materialize the moment she made impact. cause hullo? OBVIOUSLY that was your responsibility.

Robin said...

Sometimes I say, "Look up! Look up!" and hope at least the parent will hear me. It is just like I tell my boys, no matter who is at fault, the blame will always fall on the bigger person.

Deb Shucka said...

Great story! Sometimes you just have to run into the cart. She was loved throughout - the rest was up to her. As it is for all of us.