There’s a million ‘open letters to strangers’ out there in internet world but I wanted to add my own.
This is an open letter to the lady who stopped me yesterday and hugged me.
Normally I would feel a bit weird about a stranger stopping me at the shops and hugging me. But yesterday it was all I needed.
I know that our meeting was only brief but I wanted to explain to you what happened before you found me, crouched down on my hands and knees mopping up spilled coffee, hoping that I could hold my shit together long enough to get back to the car and cry in peace.
My kids needed new shoes. It’s a necessary evil that you need to take them to the shops in order to measure their expanding feet. Usually I try and avoid having three of them at the shops because without fail, everytime it’s a monumental nightmare.
Yesterday was no different. As I policed fights and tantrums I gritted my teeth and dragged them to the shopping centre after swimming lessons. The shop was busy so we waited. And waited. And waited. They were pulling stuff off shelves, the baby was kicking off. They were play fighting and generally being difficult.
Finally it was our turn. I knew that I was on borrowed time because the baby needed a sleep and hates being in the pram.
As I mentioned the shop was busy so I was trying to determine sizes of shoes while avoiding nasty looks from the shop assistant. I’m pretty sure it was her job to be measuring and checking shoes given that I was in a children’s shoe store, but I was there doing it.
Each time I asked to try and different style of shoe on it was like I was asking for her first born child. She was no doubt getting frustrated by the screeching that my daughter has developed a habit of doing. It’s ear piercing and I’m doing everything I can to stop her but she’s a baby! I could feel her stares every time she did it so I passed her the only food I had on me to keep her quiet. It happened to be one of those squeezie yoghurts.
Tantrums left, right and centre. Image: istock
She's had them before but this time, while my back was turned, she decided to squeeze it out all over the floor. I turned, horrified, as other people watched. As quick as I could I grabbed the wipes from my bag and began cleaning up the mess, all the while my other kids were running around like lunatics. I was THAT mother. Clearly the shop assistant wasn't impressed because she walked over to me, threw a roll of paper towel at my feet and said "I'll leave that with you to deal with. We have a no food policy for a reason."