Last week I took daughter with me on a “Mama is going out and doesn’t have a thing to wear” mission. We popped over to the Espirit outlet in hopes of finding a new shirt. Ever mindful of my…my…budget *shudder* I limited my quest to ONE item. Painful as it was, I sourced out a few tops to try on and headed to the change room…after I helped Avery pick up the pile of purple sweaters she had knocked onto the floor, put back the umbrella and two purses slung over her shoulder and removed the lavender tank top from around her neck. Shopping with a curious child is a challenge. However, how will she ever behave appropriately if she’s never given the opportunity to learn?
While I tried on the first shirt, Avery kept busy by yodeling. She found the echo of the empty change room area amusing. While I struggled out of the blouse (picture Houdini trying to escape from a straight jacket and chains), Avery began to hum.
Eventually her patience ran out and she attempted to escape under the door. I can’t really blame her. It was way more fun out there, unfolding carefully folded t-shirts and whipping belts around, cowgirl style. In order to gain a precious few minutes more, I gave her my iphone. She enjoys an APP that records her voice and plays it back in a higher pitched version. A loud-ish activity, but it’s not like we were in the library or a retirement home or something.
As she happily played, I stepped out of the room to ask the saleswoman for a wide belt. I explained how lately I’ve been using belts to tame my mid-drift and how a carefully placed belt acts as “muffin top camo.” Then out of nowhere, we hear a loud “Shushhhhhh!” from one of the change room stalls.
Oh my god. Some old bag just shushed me! I had been shushed. I despise “the shush.” It’s beyond rude. I suspect she was shushing Avery and I both. Me for talking and my child for humming and laughing.
In response I said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know anybody else was in here.” I went back into my room and Avery exclaimed, “Hi mummy!!!” I said, “Avery, we are not allowed to talk. We need to be quiet. We just got into trouble for making noise…in a public place. How thoughtless of us.”
As I dressed, Avery coughed. I told her (sarcastically) to “keep it down” and that it was time to go.
Yes. This was my passive aggressive response. It was either that or fling open the shusher’s door and smack her with a hanger.
There was no reply from the grouchy lady in the neighbouring change room.
As I stood at the checkout to pay for my ONE shirt (pats self on budget savvy back) the woman emerged from the change rooms and approached the cash. When she saw me, she veered away and looked through the sale rack. I took a deep breath and told the cashier it was taking every ounce of restraint I had not to confront that woman.
I paid for my item and left the store without saying a word.
I was so angry as I sat behind the wheel, contemplating whether to go back in. I wanted to tell that woman that I’m not a lax parent with an unruly child. My daughter wasn’t screaming or having a tantrum. She was laughing and singing and sitting still while her mother attempted to try on clothes. I wanted to explain how shopping with any child, and one with special needs in particular, is difficult. A little compassion and understanding would be appreciated.
Instead of returning to the store and saying my peace, I drove away. I couldn’t be trusted to speak to this person in a calm manner. Yelling at a stranger in Espirit was not on my outing agenda.
What would you have done? Walk away, head held high, knowing this person was not worth your time or approach her to explain why her rude behaviour wasn’t warranted?