The heat wave has finally ebbed. Temperatures are no longer triple digits. I decide it's finally safe to take my daughter outside. In an effort to be productive, we decide to go to the grocery store.
I pack Alice up in her infant stroller, which has horrifically wonky wheels, making steering a true challenge. But it has a nice big basket which will hold about three days worth of groceries if I pack them up with perfect precision. As we leave the apartment, my daughter smiles at her surroundings, happy to be out and about.
Forty minutes later, we make it to the checkout line. I notice Alice is getting antsy, so I unload as quickly as I can. "No bags," I tell the cashier - in order to get the groceries home, I have to line them up perfectly, like a mini game of tetris. Just as the cashier swipes the first item, Alice decides she's had enough. She doesn't fuss - she SCREAMS. She has never cried like this in public before. I'm horrified, and rush to pack up as quickly as I can. At this point, there are four people behind me in line, and they are clearly New Yorkers - standing, looking disgusted at me for bringing this wailing (but beautiful) infant into their lives. I try to sooth Alice - giving her the binky, gently push the stroller - but also work swiftly, desperately trying to get out of the store as quickly as possible.
Nothing I do is working to sooth Alice, so I decide to just focus on getting groceries packed and paid for so that I can leave and take care of this little one. Just then, I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder. I turn my head to see a woman in her mid-30s, with a child of her own hanging on her hip. For a brief moment I think, "Thank God! This woman is going to help me." But then it dawns on me - she isn't there to help. She's there to "give me advise."
Before I can say anything, this bitch looks at me and says, "Long term crying is very bad for the baby. It causes dama--."
Before she can finish her next unbearable sentence, I cut her off and say, "I've got it." She walks away.
The more I contemplate what just happened, the angrier I get. I am muttering under my breath, "How dare she? Who says this stuff? Who does she think she is?" I finally finish packing and get Alice out of there. And before I know it, I'm crying too.
So if you drove by Fairway this afternoon, you may have seen a young woman pushing a crying baby in a stroller full of groceries and steered by wonky wheels, crying herself and --- this is the best part --- leaking.
It was a real shitstorm, let me tell ya.
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