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How Motherhood Made Me a Grocery Store Ninja

How Motherhood Made Me a Grocery Store Ninja

A simple trip to the grocery store. That's all I ask.

But, you see, my baby is really cute. She's a crowd stopper, people! I have to plan on my grocery trips taking twice as long as they should, simply because, literally, every person we walk by has to stop and talk to my baby.

Iris loves people. She's far more social at 11-months than I've been in my entire life. The grocery store is her favorite place on earth because she sits in that cart like a big girl, waving her chubby hand at everyone in sight, and as if she's beckoning them, they immediately respond.

It's cute, right? Sure. My daughter is darling.

But what about when the other people aren't so cute? How on earth do you deal with people and how they interact with your baby?

Last week's shopping trip is a pretty perfect example.


We strolled into Sunflower Market, barely making it through the doors before an older lady was at my heels.

"Oh, what a precious baby!" she squealed, and I nodded, said thank you, and tried to politely bag apples while she cooed at Iris. But then she started grabbing Iris' toes, and that was a little strange. Then things got real weird and she started kissing her feet. Next were the cheeks. She pinched them before I could get out of the way, and she was literally going in for the kiss as I pushed the cart toward the bread aisle saying, "Bye." 

I'm not unable to speak up for my baby. I was just caught a little off-guard. But I shook it off and continued shopping.

While collecting some nuts and granola in the bulk section, an elderly lady with an oxygen tank rammed into my cart. Three times. Trying to scoot out of her way (since it was clear she was NOT going around me), I tipped the cart a bit. Iris thought it was funny and giggled while she dropped her head to one side. Going "upside-down" is her favorite game. 

But then the lady suddenly noticed our presence and grabbed Iris' arm. Maybe she thought she was falling out of the cart? I smiled at her. She scowled at me. And she didn't let go of Iris' arm. I tried to make light of the situation telling Iris to "tell the lady hi," but things got quite awkward when this woman was still grabbing my baby 30 seconds later. That's a long time to just stand and scowl at a mother whist gripping the life out of her baby's arm.

"Excuse me," I said as calmly as possible. "Please let go of my baby." The woman kept looking at me as if I hadn't spoken.

"I said 'let go of my baby.'" I raised my voice and physically removed the woman's hand from Iris' arm. What?

We escaped Crazy Lady and made it to the cereal aisle. There, a middle-aged woman crept up behind me like she was playing peek-a-boo with Iris. A bit shaken from our previous experience, I smiled but did not speak to her.

"Boo!" she yelled. Iris smiled and the woman cracked up and, literally, ran away. Forty seconds later she reappeared behind me. 

"Boo!" And again and again and again through the cereal aisle, the baking aisle, and the ethnic foods aisle.


We made our getaway and headed for check-out. It couldn't have come soon enough. As I loaded my groceries on to the conveyor belt, Iris turned around to watch. 

"What is she doing?" the cashier asked in a concerned voice. Already irritated and even more so at her unnecessary concern, I reassured the woman that my daughter was strapped in and that I had an eye on her. She's 11-months-old. She likes to watch her mama. That's just how it is.

"But she has the cart in her mouth," she told me. She was disgusted. Now, I'm not in the business of letting my daughter put anything and everything in her mouth. But I'm also not a germaphobe. And sometimes, well, sometimes you just let things go, especially in public, because if your baby is happy, then great!

"Yep. She does," I said dryly. 

I must have looked perfectly unamused because the cashier changed her tune. "Have to build those immunities, eh?" Before waiting for my response, she jumped up on her soapbox and started to explain to me her vast theories on why anti-bacterial hand sanitizers were actually killing the human race and it was thanks to moms like me who let their kids chew on carts that humanity would live on.

There were absolutely no words to provide this woman a response. So I remained silent, which apparently annoyed her. I pushed the cart through and let Iris look at the coupon book. Since she wasn't getting a reaction out of me, she starts tapping Iris on the shoulder. Iris didn't look up. Then she starts SHAKING MY BABY. 

"Hey, hey, hey, heyyyy, cutie!" she said. 

"So, you can just leave her alone," I told the lady. She stopped talking but she was still tapping Iris. "STOP TOUCHING MY BABY!" I yelled.

She bagged my groceries in silence, and I seriously considered finding a new grocery store.

What's it like when you grocery shop with your cute baby?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Image Source: Sarah Ann Noel
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