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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?

Image Source: Sarah Ann Noel

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.

Join The Conversation
KristynSchauer KristynSchauer 4 years
Read this out loud to Mike. Laughed so hard, equal parts mortified for you. People are frightening! But I have to say if I saw Iris and didn't know you guys I would at least try to get a smile when you weren't looking. ;)
CoMMember1363115943773 CoMMember1363115943773 5 years
I dont have that problem at the grocery store so much...its usually when we go out to eat especially at this chinese place that we go all the of the waitresses came over and started the whole cooing and awing at my son and i felt a little uneasy so i handed him over to his dad..and the next thing i knew she literally tried to pull my son out of my husbands arms. my husband gave her a dont ever touch my baby look and needless to say she didnt come and mess with my son again.
KellyDiNorcia KellyDiNorcia 5 years
My three-year-old son has curly blonde hair and big blue eyes, and this kind of thing happens to us everywhere we go. Most people tell me about how their kids had curly blonde hair like that when they were babies (which causes me to wonder why it is so attention-grabbing if everyone's kids looked like that when they were babies!). There was a crazy lady who worked at the dry cleaner we used to go to, she would pick him up and hug him and kiss him and he hated it (and frankly, it freaked me out a little), so we started only going when both my husband and I were there so one of us could stay in the car with him. So then she started coming out to the car when she saw us pulling up to give him kisses and hugs while he was trapped in his car seat. We now drive fifteen minutes out of our way to avoid this place. Crazy!
ShonneeBurris ShonneeBurris 5 years
I know how you feel! My daughter is a red head and people always wanted to tell me about every red head they EVER knew and they would just come right up and touch her hair. I have had to raise my voice and fend off crazies more than once. It still happens, but not quite as much. She is 7 now and I turned around the other day and found a woman playing with her hair. What the hell people????
monikawertman monikawertman 5 years
It's been a while since my kids were little, but I remember those days well. I don't think I ever had a continuously bad trip like the one you described, but can certainly understand the eventual blow-up:) Sometimes I thought: "If I could only hang a sign around my child's neck that says, do not touch, then it would all be good" Older people are especially bad and also like to give advise. The latter was what surprised me the most when I had my first one. I always thought they figured I must have just fallen off the moon......I am now about to be a grandmother and have already warned my daughter that she will run into nut-cases who want to touch and fondle and give undesired advise. Turning into a lioness as a mother is what is needed and if the well-meaning individuals do not appreciate your concerns, you can always remind them that they would not touch a puppy uninvited, so why the baby?
MickeyMorgan MickeyMorgan 5 years
I had an older lady say she would kick my daughter if she didn't behave! (my daughter was being very good at the time) Took a while to try to explain that one to her, she had never been talked to like that.
LauraEvans81836 LauraEvans81836 5 years
That is pretty unreal. I put my babies in slings sometimes and that really helped b/c to touch them would be to touch me basically and MOST people will at least give an adult personal space.
NickyNye NickyNye 5 years
Me too I know how you feel, my 9 month old twins attract people like bears to honey. I have come up with several amusing replies and have even considered putting a sign on my buggy. People just don't think its like your public property when you have babies.
TracieDumm TracieDumm 5 years
Omg - I am so sorry you ran into so many crazy people at once! That's terrible. When my girls were babies, they were show stoppers, too. I feel your pain! We were literally chased down in a department store by a woman, and once an old lady neighbor of mine put my baby's entire hand IN HER MOUTH! Ack! I'm no germaphobe either, but that was way over the line. I would often resort to the old, "Oh, she's got a terrible cold, I don't want you to get her germs." That usually did the trick to get people to keep their hands (and mouths!) to themselves. Congrats on your precious girl!!
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