Dear Mama with the Screaming Kid at Target

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Dear Mama with the Screaming Kid at Target,

I heard the high-pitched screaming from across the store, and before I reached the cosmetics section where you and your red-faced son were, I felt for you. I didn’t even get a chance to see your face because you were likely hiding out in the aisle a few feet from your child while he threw the loudest, “I hate you, Mom!” fit, but I can tell you that we are kindred spirits. I have been in your shoes oh so many (way too many!) times before. I know how much you wished you could disappear into a dark, soundproof hole, or at least have the ability to instantly teleport you and your son back home, away from glaring eyes. I understand what it feels like to have people stare and whisper behind your back (or sometimes in front of it) about what a bad kid your child is and what a bad parent you are.

I’m here to tell you …

I get you.

You’re not alone.

I’m working on that teleporting machine and will let you know when it’s ready (kidding, haha).

But seriously, I want you to know that I am not here to judge you. If I could have, I would have given you a kind smile and a reassuring hug. I would have let you cut in front of me at the checkout line so you could have exited the store quicker. I would have called out to you above your son’s roaring that, “This too shall pass!”

Because that is what I hoped other people would have done for me when I was that totally frazzled mom with the two screaming kids at Bed, Bath and Beyond a few years ago. Or most recently, when I was that nearly-in-tears mom with the screaming kid (who was overtired and over-hungry) who just wanted to have a nice lunch out at a restaurant.

Even though I didn’t get a chance to talk with you, I hope you are having a much better day today than yesterday. I hope you had a good cry or a warm cup of tea or a hot bath and feel a little less drained and a lot less defeated. I hope you have family or friends you were able to vent to and receive comfort from.

Most of all, I hope you know that all those bad days you have as a parent will eventually fade from your memory and be replaced by better ones as your child grows up.

Till the next time we meet again at Target.

Sincerely yours,

The Other Mama with the Screaming Kid

I think Daniel Powter’s song, “Bad Day” is the perfect song for this post. 😉

What do you do when someone you care about has a bad day?

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