Three simple words changed the course of my day today from one that could have been a "I am going to go crazy" to a "I can do this. I am a good mother" kind of day.
No, they weren't the precious words of "I love you" coming out of the mouth of my 3-year-old or my 15-month-old (that one would've been shocking since he barely says mama), but it was the words, "Good job mama."
This complementary phrase, again, didn't come from my 3-year-old; although it could have, because lately he has randomly been telling me I'm a great mom and thanks me for doing everything...he must be up to something, or perhaps he's mimicking an episode of Caillou. However, it came from a random lady at Trader Joes today.
Yes, here I was at Trader Joes again with both boys in tow. What was I thinking, right? I did it again, I tempted fate. And this time, it wasn't looking so good.
I foolishly promised Evan that he could help mommy grocery shop with one of the little kids carts. He thought that this was a fantastic idea. Once we got to the store, I secretly hoped that all of them would be gone and I'd have to put him in the cart with Oliver--no such luck.
So my harrowing experience at Trader Joes began with Evan by my side pushing his very own cart, and subsequently, wanting to put EVERYTHING in it.
With my list in hand we began in the produce section which turned into the beginning of the big mistake of opening my mouth and telling Evan he could have that cart. Every time I put something in his cart, he would race around and turn back to me smiling and say, "Mommy, I'm going on my branch line, see ya later!" The kid is obsessed with trains and especially Thomas. Everything has to do with "coupling" and "uncoupling" and "bishing" and "bashing..." train terminology for pushing train cars and hooking and un-hooking them.
Great, this cart was now a train. Look out patrons of Trader Joes.
As my excited 3-year-old did wheelies throughout the aisles and raced back and forth with his cart full of my produce, might I add, I hurriedly tried to make my way after him while putting what I needed in my cart, and at the same time keeping Oliver from screeching at the top of his lungs. A new sound he's practicing, no less.
Finally, we were at the dairy aisle and were almost done.
As my patience was about to come to its end after Evan cuts off another customer to "couple" his cart to mine, his little voice shouts, "Excuse me, please go ahead," to a lady who was coming our way.
This was the woman who was about to make my entire day. She smiled down at Evan and then looked at me and said, "Good. Job. Mama."
I was taken aback. All the other adults who didn't happen to have a tiny tot with them were giving me dirty looks, but this woman, with no kids attached, stopped and said those three beautiful words. She then went on to say that it was so nice to hear a toddler with such nice manners.
Now, I have to give Evan some credit here. Even though he was racing around like a mad man throughout the store, when he did cut someone off or bump into them, he did apologize and say excuse me.
As I left Trader Joes, and thought about the next feat ahead of me of taking the kids to Whole Foods during lunch time (crazy again, I know), I thought to myself, "I can do anything!"
That confident thought quickly left when I found myself in the bulk aisle of Whole Foods filling up bags with quinoa and wheatberries while Oliver decided to use his Goldfish as confetti instead of eating them.
This time, I couldnt' tell if I was getting dirty looks for my son throwing the crackers, or if they were appalled that I was giving him Goldfish and not some kind of organic cracker. Oh, the shame.
We didn't stay in Whole Foods very long and made our way home for lunch and naps very quickly.
Getting a complement from a complete stranger about your children is about as high as one can get; especially when your life is full of muddles. That lady will never know how much those three simple words meant to this muddled mom.