Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Evil Cart Pusher

Back in January, Sammy almost got hit by a bus. And when I say "almost" I mean by a hair, seriously, that boy was saved by angels that day. I was pulling the kids out of the car, and had one under each arm as we were going into the house. Sammy, who had his first bus ride the day before, heard the shuttle coming up the road. Excited, he wiggled out of my arm and dashed off faster then I could catch him. The bus driver didn't see him and was going about 35 miles per hour. I threw Nephi in the house and ran after him, but I wasn't fast enough, especially because the ground was covered in ice. Fortunately, my baby was saved that day. Something or someone unseen stopped him just before the bus speed past him. Nevertheless, I was sick about it, for days.

So I went to the store and bought the kids some harnesses cleverly disguised as animal backpacks. Here they are proud of themselves.There was no way I was going to let my kids be in danger again. Then came the trip to the local grocery store...

I guess what bothers me the most is that total strangers can be so judgmental! I get the stares... you know the ones... that let me know they don't approve of kid-leashes. But then again, I get the same looks when Sam throws one of his famous fits. Their eyes just scream, "Can't you control your kids!" But in this certain instance they were looking at me like I should be the one wearing the harness. I just say to myself, they don't know me. They don't know my boys. Better safe than sorry, Cat. Just keep your head up!

Continuing on, so I took the boys to the grocery store, to get a few food items. I like to go this certain store because their produce is really fresh, and the kids get to ride in a really cool car-cart. Since I went by myself, I made them wear their backpack-leashes. They were fine with it... even if some of the other people were not. As we were checking out, the bagger boy asked me about the backpack-leashes. I explained to him that my kids run away from me in parking lots and stores, and I assured him, like I did every curious person, that they liked it.

All went well until we got to the car. Just as I was opening the trunk -- the kids still in the cart -- the cart-pusher guy came over to us. He asked me if I was done with the cart. Now, I get a little irritated when people ask me dumb questions with an obvious answer. But I took a deep breath and politely pointed out that I still had bags, and children to put away. He told me he would wait. Stubborn as I am, I refused to be hurried. So I took my time putting my bags away, and wheeled the cart to Nephi's side of the car. The cart-pusher had ants in his pants and kept staring at me with a frown. Then he asked me the question, "Why do you put leashes on your kids?" For the millionth time that morning I told him... and it crossed my mind that I should have a tee shirt made that said, "Yes, my kids wear leashes! Mind your own business!" But I am just too nice I guess to be rude.

Anyway, he just snorted at me like old men do, which he was, and I leaned down (Sammy still in the cart) to buckle in Nephi. Just as I looked up, I saw Sammy running passed me to the front of the car. Furious, I dashed after him and caught him just as he was entering the danger zone. I looked back at my cart where I had left him, and it was gone. Joe Cart-Pusher was walking off with it. I was irate!! How dare he take my kid out of the cart! Who gave him the right to even TOUCH him!! If I didn't have the kids with me I would have marched right back in and given him a piece of my mind. Instead I jumped back in my car, headed home, and called my dear husband.

He was more angry then I was! He actually called the store and talked to the manager about it. The manager, bless his heart, was mortified!! I wish I had looked at his name tag, but I had been trying to ignore him. Ben described the man to him, and he thinks that the manager knew who it was. Anyway, the manager promised that it would never happen again. I hope it won't, because I really like that store!

Update: I still shop there, and haven't had any problems since. I do, however, have a crusty look I keep just for him, when I see him... and I do


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24 comments:

Rocksee said...

Oh no.. I wouldn't have liked that either.. at all.

I think the leashes are cute.. and if they like them and it keeps them safe.. whooo cares.

Do what'cha gotta do girl!

Nina said...

You do what you feel is right for you and your family and I think that is to be admired!

Kritta22 said...

Oh my goodness!! You go girl!

Anonymous said...

I remember that day Sammy almost got hit by the bus. You called crying. I also got sick to my stomach. You will find in life people believe what they want to believe about you. Most of those "unapproving" looks come from people who have never buried a child. We do what we can as wives and mothers to keep our babies safe. They will be in the world soon enough and the choices we have made to try to keep them safe will no longer be ours. -Mom

Pam said...

OMG! That is completely outrageous. I'm glad your husband told the manager. That was out of line. Just ignore the ugly stares. You need to do what's right for you and your children. Next time someone asks you why you use a "leash". Smile pleasantly and say, "Why do you ask"? That should shut them up and you don't even have to be rude!

Our Family said...

I still can't believe that man had the nerve to do it. He certainly could have waited for you guys. I would have been really upset, too, especially after your recent experience with the bus. I like Pam's advice of how to respond to the nosy questions.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

People get their panties in a twist over the craziest things (and I'm NOT talking about you!) Here everyone uses these leash things. I don't think badly of anyone who does. I strap my kid in a stroller and I use the harness. Would that constitute a look from anyone? Nope. I really think it's the same thing. We just want our kids to be safe and toddlers and preschoolers don't exactly get our same sense of what is and isn't safe.

I would have been utterly upset if someone took my kid out of a cart. Livid hardly would describe it.

becca said...

wow, you got me fuming for you!!! There's no way I would have put up with someone even touching my kid, let alone removing him from a cart. That is absolutely unacceptable. As for the child protectors (i can't even call them leashes!), you should not even for one second feel uncomfortable about using them. They are fantastic products that let you have peace of mind while you're out at about. Maybe you should teach your kids to growl and bare their teeth at strangers when they give looks... then they won't feel the need to question it! :)

Jill said...

I remember you telling me about these instances. Oh man... my heart was sick just thinking about Sammy almost being hit by the bus.

And I know those looks you get. I get them with my son, too. It's so obnoxious. You want to scram at the top of your lungs "YOU DON'T KNOW OUR SITUATION AND WHAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH!!!! SO MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!"

And I'm so glad you guys called the store. That man should have NEVER touched your kid... even if it was just pulling him out of the cart. The way Sam runs -and he's a RUNNER!!!- he could have been really hurt.

You're a great mom. Don't let those stares get to you. I know you don't but sometimes it gets exhausting just trying to ignore them.

Baseball Mom said...

I can not believe he did that! I do not blame you one bit! I would have called, if not stormed the store.

Leashed are just sometimes necessary. Period. If they are safe that is ALL that matters.

You are a good mommy and should not doubt that. Even with the nay sayers.

Meagan and John said...

Your a more faithful customer than me, I once had a lady who worked at a store I loved and went to quite a bit for the great sales (Oh everything was so cheap) make a huge deal about me asking her to put a few items back that Dominic had thrown in the cart, she stopped ringin me up despite the huge line behind me to put the items back wow loudly questioning my parenting skills, had it not been for all the cheap items I desperately needed at the time and couldln't afford to buy anywhere else I would have walked out then and there but I stood my ground, returned home wrote a fuming letter about how rude their employees are and have never been back, yeah my wallet feels it some days, but I tell you I have learned my lesson, it is worth paying a little extra to have your disgnity and self respect still in contact when you leave a store--now the point that got me is I was the only white person in the store at the time, which is probably why the lady (who was not white, but I won't specify which race she was) made such a big deal about it, she was not only trying to make me look like a bad mother but a rascist infront of all the other non-white people--dude if I was a rascist would I really be living in such a dominently non-white neighborhood and allow my son to be the only white boy in his class?

Oh man,m once I find my glasses I think I will have to blog about that into more detail on my blog

anyhow, and as far as the leashes go, Dominic would have a choice between the stroller and leash, he chose the leash everytime, and when people asked I would say, "what leash, my child isn't whereing a leash, he is taking his dog for a walk (since it was the doggy one that we had)" and I kid you not he would ask if he could take the doggy for a walk, he loved it--so there all you judgemental people

www.lewis4higher.blogspot.com

Andrea said...

Oh my goodness!! I'm irate just reading that-I SO would have marched into that store and given him and the manager a peice of my mind! I'm so glad Ben called and spoke to the manager!!

Teri said...

All it takes is loosing your child for a millisecond, for your attitude to change about leashes/harnesses, etc. I would NEVER judge a mother that chose safety for her child over letting them run free to be hurt by objects much bigger than they are!

Heather said...

Ugh I have had similar things happen with my kids and the little ones have worn *leashes since. We like the backpack animals best too!

I get the stares and the comments. But whatever.

My comment to them is always...Why do people put leashes on dogs? To keep them from runnin out in the road and getting hit by a car.

Should my children be less important than a dog????

I think not.

You do what you gotta do.

DaveandRuth said...

I think I would have taken my kids back into the store and talked to the manager. I can not believe that someone would do that. I get the looks aboout the meltdowns. As far as I am concerned, they can just keep on looking. I have enough to worry about without the people who are passing judgment on me. Good luck!

Alex the Girl said...

I have the moneky and the dog version of those leashes, and I think they are priceless. Anyone who has the nerve to be judgemental should offer to hold your children's hands for the duration of the shopping trip to and from the car included. The first time we used the leashes was for a zoo trip, and although I got looks of scorn from some, I also got looks of envy from the worn out moms on their way out of the zoo.

NYC Mama said...

Good for Ben!!! How dare that man touch your baby! Grrrr. That makes me so mad!

As far as the leashes go, I heard a great saying that I believe applies here, "You do your best parenting before you have children". I used to think putting a leash on a kid might be a bit extreme until I had a toddler of my own - and boy do I get it now! I bet most of the people who judge have no idea what they're even judging because parenting looks easy until you find yourself actually in the trenches. And if other parents do judge you for it, they're just big poop heads. LOL!

amonkeyslife said...

Oh. My. God. I would have KILLED that kid. (not yours, the cart kid) Dude should NEVER lay a hand on another person's child and a child's safety is much more important than an extra couple of minutes.

BTW, I bought those same harnesses for my cousin's twin boys and will be buying them for my daughter. People can look and talk all they want, but my child's safety is much more important than what they think. Kids can run FAST and take off just when you think they are within reach.

Tobi said...

I would have called the store and complained too. I'm glad your husband did it for you.

I love leashes. My kids both have a monkey leash and they put them on at least once a week just to wear them around the house. =)

Guilty Mother said...

Good grief!!! You're story got me on many levels today. Firstly when you spoke about Sammy and the bus I got goosebumps and all the fine hairs on my arms stood on end. What a hideous moment for both of you. It also happened to remind me of the time I fell off the back of a London double decker bus (on my OE, in my early 20's), something I had completely forgotten about til I read your blog tonight. Also, the trolley guy. I swear I would've hunted him down and run over him repeatedly with his damned trolley. HOW DARE HE TOUCH YOUR CHILD!!!
As for the leads, it's tough when you can feel the 'looks' but always pride yourself that your doing exactly the right thing by your kids. I bought a dog lead (a pretty pink one) to attach to the pram for Lucy to hold onto when I first had Billy. It kept her focused, close and she liked it to.

Ana said...

Wow, that blows me away; that cart guy deserved a good smack for that one. I'm glad your husband reported him.

Shannon said...

I cannot believe that guy did that. Jerk!! As for the kid leashes, I've thought about it, I think they are funny but they help parents so much & what else do you do when you have a "runner". Better safe than sorry & yes, people should mind their own business. I'm a people watcher so I hope I don't stare for too long. I just get a kick out of people & sometimes I learn stuff too. I'm glad your husband called the store. That is just uncalled for & he could've offered to help. What a jerk!!

Amber Lynae said...

I read this for the first time today, and when I read that he took your boy out of the cart I was livid for you. I would have yelled at him even with the kids there. That is ridiculous.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

That is crazy. I cannot believe the balls to take someone's kid out of a grocery cart in a parking lot-- that's insane. Did he need to take your cart away that badly? What the hell?

I used the same backpack harnesses for about two years my boys are a year apart and there's no way I could keep them from running off unless they hold my hand nonstop which is virtually impossible. We never called them leashes, we called them their backpacks and they kids loved them. Good for you for not caring about what a bunch of people who ARE NOT IN YOUR SITUATION think.