Monday, January 13, 2014

Not Everyone Is Awful...

Yesterday, I posted THIS BLOG that my friend Barbara posted about people who just say the most inappropriate things when they see her family of multiple children (btw- she doesn't claim everyone is awful at.all- I just sometimes think they are!). I post things like this all the time. I talk about it all the time.  Mostly because I find comments like that so awful and I get so frustrated…I just have to vent. I've heard them all.  The
 ‘you’re done right?’
'you know how that happens’
'you don’t want anymore do you?’
It sucks. 
Especially when people say them with anger, which happens from time to time.  But, there is another side to it.  I’d like to tell you about that side.

On Saturday, our little family took a trip to Trader Joe’s, on the recommendation of people like Mary and my cousin Judy.  I’d been wanting to go for a while, pretty much ever since I was made aware the prices were compatible with other grocery stores.  Here’s the thing, I like shopping in pleasant places, and Trader Joe’s is a pleasant place to shop.  So we loaded up the boys and we took them to go see what the hype was about.
We looked like this.
Note the matching outfits from Grammy...I KNOW!!!!
I’m not sure exactly what we were thinking, because we went with the three boys during the witching hour (5:30-6:30 pm), where behavior goes out the window and we long for bed time.  In addition, we went on a  Saturday night, which apparently is quite the hoppin’ time at Trader Joe’s.  There were LOTS of people, LOTS of crowds and us with our double stroller, shopping cart and three kids under the age of three.  Needless to say, there were melt downs…plenty of them.  But as we rounded the corner, there was an employee, about my age, refreshing the avocados.  He was tall, stocky (is that a word) with longer hair and facial hair if I remember correctly.  He kind of looked like a manly-man dude if that makes sense.  And he looked at our boys.

 ‘Oh my goodness!  There’s three of them’.  I nodded and smiled.  Joey began to meltdown, throwing himself backward because he didn't want to sit in the stroller anymore. I picked him up, hoisted him on my waste and shot Big Aaron a look that clearly said, ‘take this child from me and place him in the cart’.

‘What a blessing you have there!’ the man said.  “Ha, thank you!” I responded, “we certainly have fun in our house”.  At this point little A started crying because he didn't like that Joey got to ride in the cart. I hoisted Little Aaron up and was holding him.  OH HOT DAMN, one of his shoes fell off.  I bent down, while still holding my toddler to grab the missing shoe, whispering threatening words to lil’ A as I tried to get our huge double stroller out of the way so the crowds could pass.

“They are so good looking! What a blessing”- the man said again.

The man peeked around and saw John Paul “Is that a boy too!  You have three boys!”

At this point I was quite exasperated, begging Big Aaron to check the price of the nuts against the wall to see if they were comparable with our regular grocery store, lil’ Aaron still whining as I held him and tried to put on his shoe.  To be honest, I kind of wished the guy wasn't talking to me as I tried to manage the chaos.
“Four men to take care of you!”- He said (or something like that, I don’t really remember) “what tremendous blessings you have in your life!”

I stopped and looked at him.  “Thank you so much” I said, grabbing a box of granola bars, handing little A and the shoe over to big A and beginning to move the double stroller forward while avoiding the crowds of people. 

The rest of our trip was awesome in that Trader Joe’s is fantastic and will become part of our routine, but miserable in that there were a ton of people, lil’ A completely melted down (I was the mom with the kid that was screaming in the store).  We quickly checked out and loaded up the van.  Went home, fed the boys and put them to bed.

I didn't think about that man in the grocery store until yesterday morning.  And I thought about his repeating that we are so very blessed.  He said it over and over again, even though my children were obviously melting down, there were large crowds and we were kind of the opposite of a good witness to big families. 
And the thing is, for every person that says something dumb to me (and there are those people) there are probably three or four that say something kind, like this man at Trader Joe’s.  But, of course, the voices that sometimes stay with us are the negative ones. 

However, I’m gonna try to remember the 20-30 something man at Trader Joe’s, who reminded me what blessings I have.  The blessing of three boys under three.  The blessing of our little life. 

So, Mr. Man at Trader Joe’s.  Thank you.


  1. See?? Trader Joe's is the best!! Actually, it's one of those places that attracts crunchier types so you'll get people who are truly natural-minded who get that natural sex normally leads to babies and then others who think you're ruining the earth and should be polluting your body instead. Glad you got some good words said to you. And you need to go first thing in the morning especially on weekdays and it won't be so crazy crowded and then letting lil A use the kid cart won't be AS terrifying...

  2. Wow, God bless that Trader Joe's employee!! I have to say, I am especially impressed that it came from a 20-30 something as opposed to a grandpa. I generally like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, but (excluding the naughty language in the article), I feel like my experiences there run more akin to this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-maclean/surviving-whole-foods_b_3895583.html

  3. We love Trader Joe's too! TJ's is pretty much always busy around here!

  4. I love Trader Joes. I call it the poor man's Whole Foods. Still great quality meat and fruits. Low prices, a ton of variety and I can get two or three bottles of wine, organic fruits and veggies all under $200. For a family of six that is awesome. But there's also something magical about that place (corny I know) but it's like all of the employees were given sensitivity training and just know...

    I'm so glad you had a good experience despite the meltdowns. My only negative experience with folks was at a farmers market with a bunch of old people gawking at me and made awful comments like how they would hate to be me! But the majority of people think it's cool that we have a ton of babies :)