And it always seems to happen in the grocery store.
The grocery store is always an adventure when I take my kids. I could go by myself, but
1.there are so many teachable moments for my kids in a grocery store that I always take them along.
2. I have precious few hours with my husband in the evening and I like spending it with him rather than the melon man and the checkout girl
3. If I went by myself that would probably happen during my scheduled alone time during the week, and in my books, it doesn't count to have alone time when you are with the melon man and the checkout girl.
Our Little Man was blissfully sleeping in his car seat while we piled high our cart with all the trimmings for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. I was trying to be thorough and yet quick since I was aware that Our Little Man had been sleeping for quite awhile and that when he woke up he would start wailing for his food.
We had only encountered a few teachable moments (no, we don't lie on the floor at the supermarket, yes, you can have ONE box of Kraft Dinner,no, we don't pester the melon man with unwanted bird facts and you stay with Mommy and stop hiding in the aisle because you are freaking me out!)I headed for the checkout line thankful that I had made it this far without complete catastrophe.
And that's when it happened.
I had a rather large order. It's $200 Tuesday--you spend $200 and you get $25 dollar gift card. So, with Thanksgiving coming this weekend, my cart was full. And the checkout girl at the counter was in no particular hurry.
I live in a small town and so stopping and chatting with every patron is just part of the checkout girl's job--being thorough, taking her time...precious minutes slipping away only to equal up to the throaty yell of my newborn son!
He cries for his food, he wants his mother, he hates his car seat.
Pick a reason.
He's loud and he's awake. But I don't panic because I'm nearly ready to pay and the littany of endless chatter with the checkout girl and her conversation with the people next in line is almost at an end.
And then it really happened.
I was blindsided. I didn't see it coming because my back was to my baby and I was paying the cashier who had finally stopped talking and was taking my money.
I turned around and some woman in her forties had her hands all around my baby's face, stroking him, cooing him and telling him everything was going to be ok. Her face, mere inches from his, breathing her breath into his face.
My jaw was open. I stood shocked, and tried to find my voice to say, "Hey lady, get away from my baby."
And just as I find my voice, the lady sees that I'm finished at the counter and she steps up to pay and starts her conversation with the checkout girl once again.
I stand for a moment, wondering how I couldn't get the words out of my mouth. Praying that she didn't stick her finger in my son's mouth to keep him quiet as he has suddenly settled. I temporarily think about finding the melon man and asking for a large pumpkin to carry as arsenal to throw at anyone who attempts touching my child without asking.
And I leave the store feeling as though I had missed the opportunity to protect my child.
I leave completely blindsided.