The Life of Bon: What would you do?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What would you do?

Thursday afternoon found me pushing my cart to my car after an always exciting trip to Wal-mart.  In my cart I had three or four bags of food and June, sleeping peacefully away in her car seat.  I grabbed the groceries first and was putting them in the car when a man passed by.  He looked at June as he walked by, and turned around to look at her again.  He stopped.

"You know, you should really load her first."
"I'm sorry?"  I didn't know what in the world he was talking about.
"Your baby.  You should load her before you load the groceries."
"Oh. Ok."  Usually when strangers stop to talk to me like this I am so  thrown off guard that I don't know what to say. Ok was the best I could give.
"It's just a matter of weighing what's most precious," he continued, "Your baby or the groceries.  The baby is extremely precious. The groceries are not precious. So load the baby first."
"Ok."  I said again.
"I mean, that's just me. If I had a kid, that's what I would do."
"Umm. Ok. Thank you."  He wandered off, and I loaded precious June next to the not-so-precious groceries, and we headed home.

Now tell me, what would you do/say/feel in a situation like that?  Am I supposed to feel like a bad mom?  Should I be offended?  Do I need to defend my choice to load the groceries first?  (It was a hot day- the car was an oven!)  And why do men in Wal-mart parking lots think they should tell women the correct order to load the car?

52 comments:

  1. That dude was definitely out of line! I think you handled it well, though. There's no use in starting an argument with someone you'll probably never see again.

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  2. I thought you aren't supposed to leave babies in cars so isn't it more cautious to put the baby in last? I dont feel like its a big deal either way. It probably took you 30 seconds. I could never imagine saying something like that to a stranger. I would probably just say "thanks for the tip" or just smile or something. I dunno. So weird.

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  3. What I would do:

    Look at him as though he were an alien from outer space and say, "Don't you have somewhere else to be?"

    What I would feel: Lucky for him that I had a baby and not a baseball bat to knock his teeth out


    People are jerks.

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  4. In my experience, I think most people are really just trying to help. However, I do think most people need to mind their own business. That sounds like two different viewpoints, but I guess I'm saying while I don't think a stranger has any business butting in, I do like to think it comes from a place of honestly trying to help.

    That being said, how I would feel would depend on my day. Some days that would totally make me feel like crap. Other days it would make me just angry. Other days I could blow it off. There is so much you are unsure of as a new parent, and it's really hard to know what things you should stress over and what you should not!

    From everything I've read on your blog, you are a loving, level-headed, intelligent human being/mother. Just chalk it up to something to think about, then decide how YOU want to handle. Weather, time, where the cart return is located in relation to your, etc all play into that decision for you. Do what you feel is best and try not to be offended :o)

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  5. Oh my gosh that is so rude! You absolutely did the right thing - who on earth loads things into the car in order of 'preciousness' anyway??

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  6. I would have done as you did. i.e. load the groceries first. You probably had to return the cart to its place, so after loading the groceries I would have locked the car, took the cart to its place, picked up June and held jer in my hands and returned to the car to load her and drive off. I would never leave and lock a baby/child or animal in the car and leave her/it unattended even for a couple of minutes.

    You did right. That's my opinion anyway.

    xoxo Ruth
    www.whimsical-truth.blogspot.com

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  7. I agree that generally I think people are just trying to help. On the other hand it would have totally made me feel like a crappy mom and second guess myself - especially after my first. After my second no one could really make me feel anything different because I knew (mostly) what I was doing.

    As to whether you should have put June in the car first . . . if the cart is directly beside you then I think you did the right thing. Load the groceries, then take the cart to it's place and return with June in your arms.

    However, I would never leave the cart behind my car because too many people are reckless drivers and though the chance is slim, slim is still too high for me that someone might back up into the cart or sideswipe the cart with my baby in it.

    Also, from experience working at super markets, too many carts lose their alignment and will just randomly glide away from even the slightest jostle of removing groceries even after we think we have them in a parked and locked position.

    So, as long as you are sure of June's secure position near you then you are her mama and the man who gave his unsolicited advice was just that. A man giving unsolicited advice. In one ear and out the other. That is a huge lesson I have had to learn in motherhood. Take in ALL.THE.ADVICE and siphon it through what makes sense and what doesn't ... what is good for you and what isn't. :)

    Happy Monday!

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    1. ...Take in ALL.THE.ADVICE and siphon it through what makes sense and what doesn't ... what is good for you and what isn't. :) ...

      EXACTLY!! You know what's right in your own situation!

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  8. That's the weirdest thing I've ever heard. I know that moms are prone to give unsolicited advice to other moms, which is annoying, but this was a dude who doesn't even have kids. Why does he think he knows anything about taking care of a baby?? And I agree with others who said you did the right thing instead of leaving June in the hot car while you load the groceries. Either way, it was none of his business.

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  9. There's definitely no right way to do it. I usually try to park right next to a cart return, so that I can put my three year old in the car first. If I don't though, I load the car, then take the cart back, and either hold his hand or carry him back to the car. That's what I've pretty much always done. You did nothing wrong. That guy was a busy body (who doesn't even have kids by the sound of it). You're doing great.

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    2. Yes, what Erika said. I've always tried to park as close to the cart return as possible. If I'm right next to it, then my now 3 year old, then I walk the cart to the return. If I'm more than a car away from it, he goes, too, and then I walk him back. The car is way too hot for him to be in it while I load groceries and then return the cart.

      Although, in the winter or if it's raining, he does go in first, then groceries and then the cart to the return.

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  10. He was definitely offering advice where it wasn't needed, but at the same time I imagine his tone wasn't overly rude or demanding (at least that's how it sounded to me). In all honestly, I would have probably reacted the exact same as you. That is to say, a little bewildered as to why someone was telling me how and when I should load things in my car. Since it doesn't sound like he was being super bossy, I wouldn't have necessarily told him off. In the future, I might just say something like "I know what I'm doing, but thanks!" Or I might even say "Yes, she is very precious, which is why I don't want her sitting in my hot car while I load my groceries." However, in my experience offering excuses opens up the door for further discussion (i.e. arguments) so I would probably stick with the first statement. You did nothing wrong, so don't feel badly!

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  11. That's just dumb...plus he said "IF" he had kids...so he doesn't know anything about parenting. I don't have kids either and despite my babysitting years I'd never presume to tell a Mom what to do with her own baby...he was just rude.

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  12. "If I had a kid, that's what I would do". Love non-parents giving parents advice. Plus, if I loaded my kid first (in the summer), it would be way to hot in the car.

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  13. Throughout your entire parenting there will be people who know more, people who thing they know what's best, people who have an opinion on everything you could possibly think to do, grow and teach your child. The very best advice given to me when I had my son was from my Grandmother. She said, "You take everyone's opinions and suggestions. YOU decide what part or parts of it you can use and which parts to throw out." I'm sure the guy had the best of intentions and his opinion was one that made you think about how you're doing things. That's not so bad...However you choose to load your precious/not so precious cargo is the right way

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  14. I'm pretty sure you know what's best for your own child. He might have just been "one of those people." He had no clue what your reasons for loading the groceries first were. I'd ignore him -- definitely don't spend any time feeling like a bad mom.

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  15. Very strange. My reaction would depend on my mood, honestly. Some rays I night shrug it off and not care, others I might go off on him. But when he's not even a parent what business does he have telling you anything! And I think that as long as the baby is never out of your sight, then that's what's best. But what do I know, I am not a parent! ;)

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  16. I always load the groceries first - unless it's the middle of winter and then I'll turn the car on and get the heat going so that I can keep the baby warm. I do usually try to park next to the cart return so that I don't even have to really go away from the car. If we're not near the cart return she stays with me until I'm all done loading groceries and returning the cart.

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  17. I guess I would try to think of it this way... would you leave your purse in the front of your cart as you load your groceries? If think your purse is safe to leave unattended while you load your groceries then the same goes for your child.

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  18. Regardless of what is right or wrong (I don't have kids, so I can't say), I don't understand why people take it upon themselves to offer unsolicited advice. I'm sure he was good intentioned, but it was not his business and your child was not in harms way.

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  19. I don't think he was out of line. He was being helpful. I usually load the groceries first if the car is hot, always keeping a careful eye on them. If the car is fine, the kids go in first. I always park right next to a cart coral so I don't have to leave the kids or carry them back in a parking lot, even if it means oh park toward the back of the lot. Extra calories burned! Winter will probably find me shopping on an evening when my husband is home with the kids so I can park closer. I'm a cold wimp. :)

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  20. I think you did the right thing. I never load my son first unless it is cool and/or rainy out. And unless I'm parked right next to the corral I take him with me to return the cart as well. I feel more comfortable doing that than leaving him in a hot car alone, for sure! What is with people being bossy at Walmart? I have people telling me what to do all the time when I go there.

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  21. Um....no. Mom of 5 kids and 65+ foster kids. You don't load a kid in a hot car unless you're turning the car and the air conditioning on. Period. Plus, if you have to walk to return the cart you don't leave your baby in the car unattended. Ever. I always try to park next to the cart return but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Over the years I've learned to just nod, smile, say thanks, and then do what I'm going to do. No point in debating or defending my actions- it's none of their business. I think people generally mean well so I give the benefit of the doubt unless they're being rude.

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  22. I disagree with everyone who are giving this dude the benefit of the doubt. Policing the behavior and choices of pregnant women and mothers is actually a huge problem in America, to the point that women are arrested for not being "perfect."

    I think you were very polite in how you handled it, but don't be afraid to call someone out for being a judgmental, sexist jerk if you feel like it. Because if that had happened to me, I would have raised my eyebrows at him and said, "Oh, so you think I should load my baby into the hot car first, then unload my groceries, then lock her in the hot car by herself while I return the cart? Bless your heart," before turning my back on him.

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  23. My first thought was the car/oven thing... If it's hot and you don't want to leave your car running with the A/C (which takes forever to run cool air anyway), you wouldn't want to put your baby in there either, right???

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  24. Haha, I love this because whenever I go grocery shopping I wonder if it makes more sense to put my son in first or the groceries. It probably doesn't really matter because putting in groceries & baby takes like, a minute total.
    But it's really weird when people give advice like that! I'd be sort of annoyed if someone came and told me how to load my groceries/child. You're the mom-- you get to decide what's best.

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  25. Uh, what? I always load my baby last. That way, I can keep an eye on her while I'm putting my groceries away and also, she's not baking in the car. Then, I can also push the cart over the cart return (if I'm not parked right next to it and I'm usually not) with her in it and not leave her in the car! Oh please, dude. Honestly, I rarely listen to what people tell me to do. Hi, my baby, my life, my groceries, leave me alone. And if I'm doing it wrong, let me figure it out and do it wrong! Sheesh. When did people start feeling the need to tell other people how to live their lives all the time with no filter?

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  26. What? That's just weird. I probably would have been so confused and done the same thing as you, but then after he left and I thought about it more, I'd wish I was a little more feisty. haha.

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  27. Uggg....I would have responded just how you did. And I always load my baby in the car last. Like you said, it gets hot in there and you want to make sure you have your eye on your baby at all times, aka, they are right next to you! Silly old man!

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  28. ummmmmmmm.... i think you handled the situation like a champ.

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  29. I think you did it just the way I would have. I would still have to take my cart back to the return cart place and I would not want to leave my baby in the car while I do that. People always have something to say about something. Do you girl!

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  30. Being a non-parent, one of the things I've noticed is that other people always want to parent kids that aren't theirs. I think their hearts are in the right place and in a different time and place it would have probably been an amazing thing to have someone in your community want to offer their advice to you. Now, it's creepy and sometimes alarming. I would have just said, "I've never thought about it like that before. Thank you."

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  31. I wouldn't feel bad about putting the groceries in first. It's not like she was out of your sight or something. I'd seriously be super offended that the guy couldn't keep his thoughts to himself or at least leave you alone after he said his original piece.

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  32. I would probably just respond the way that you did. I think everyone always has some opinion or the other, so just do what you feel is best for your baby!

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  33. I always put my groceries in the car then return the cart then carry my son back to the car and put him in. There's no way I'd ever leave him unattended in a car. That guy is dumb.

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  34. It makes no sense to load the baby then the groceries. First, the car is hot so you would turn the car on and the air on, this means that when you go to put the cart away the baby is in a running car….that is worse. You can do things however you want to do them!!

    xo, Taylor

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  35. As many have said, I load my kiddos last. I always turn on the car if the cart return is close by. I load my groceries and then we return the cart together and then I load my kids. I would rather leave groceries unattended in my car than kids. I always find it awkward when random strangers give me advice like that, as if they know what you are thinking and they are really imparting some wisdom to you. Weird.

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  36. consider the source... he doesn't have kids.
    I load my baby last so that i can stay close to her and so that she doesn't have to sit in a hot car.

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  37. I don't even have a baby and I'll tell you I'd load her last, because you'd have to return the cart? Right? Unless you're one of those awful people who don't, and then the guy can maybe yell at you for that.

    But I agree that he was probably just trying to help. It's obvious she's brand spanking new.

    That said, welcome to what will probably be a lifetime of unsolicited advice from strangers.

    ;)

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  38. Ok nearly didn't read this post but glad I did as I have something to say on the matter, he should mind his own bloody business, ok he meant well but really he has no idea and your mum it is your choice when to put bub into the car. I would usually think do I have to return the trolley to the trolley bay and if so how far is that from the car (many of our trolleys are the type you need to put a coin in to get) so have to be returned to trolley bay, next if it's raining and I am not under cover bub goes in first if it is hot and the car is stuffy and like an over I may leave her to last...............

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  39. Oh men in walmart parking lots, how would we survive without their advice! No seriously though, June bug would not have enjoyed a hot car, trust your instincts Bon!

    guesswhathollie.blogspot.co.uk

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  40. I think he was really just trying to help, but he definitely overstepped and should have kept quiet. I think OK was the appropriate response. You handled it just fine.

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  41. I never post comments on blogs, but after reading all of these comments, something is really bothering me. Look, there's no "right" way. You decide what you are comfortable with. If you put your baby in the car with the AC running while you unload your cart, that's your call. If you put your baby in the car, unloads your groceries, lock the door and return the cart two spots down to the cart corral, that's your call too. If you are someone who religiously returns carts to the cart corral, but one day have already fasted the baby in and don't feel comfortable leaving her unattended, so you choose to leave the cart in the parking lot...is the world going to fall apart? No. You do what you gotta do. However. The comments like "people are jerks", "that man is an idiot", "that guy is dumb"...why are we so quick to be offended? Maybe that man is speaking from a place of experience. Child abductions can happen in the blink of an eye (or maybe as quickly as it takes for you to turn and throw a grocery bag in your trunk...). Maybe he has a very valid point, however did not express it in the best way. I'm willing to bet that he was trying to be helpful and did not realize how it would come across. I think everyone needs to practice giving each other some grace and understanding.

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  42. Interesting topic! You know, in the Air Force, I was taught "the standard you walk by is the standard you accept." So if someone is doing something that you think could be better (in the AF anyway), it's encouraged to stop and help them along.

    I don't necessarily think that this man said what he said to hurt you, criticize you or chastise you in any way. He most certainly wasn't trying to make you feel like a bad mom, which you're definitely not. I think he was just offering a suggestion of improvement.

    And here's my take. Say that you did load the groceries first. Sure, it may be a 10-second grocery load and then you're on to your baby. But WHAT IF in that 10-seconds something absolutely crazy happened? What if a car came out of no where and collided with your cart/baby? What if a predator came and snatched June while you weren't looking? Things can happen in the absolute blink of an eye when you're least expecting it, so I think that's probably where he's coming from. Think about how fast people can get into an accident while texting/driving and only looking down for a flash of a second? That could happen in a parking lot.

    Not trying to be all dramatic about it, but I can see where he's coming from. And I think it's smart that you posted about it to raise awareness about it with other moms, too!

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  43. Well it doesn't sound like he was trying to be rude or imply you're a bad mom. I think he probably simply accessed the situation as a passerby and realized how easy it might have been for your baby to be taken. I actually think about this very thing almost every time I leave the grocery store and get to my car - baby or food first? It usually varies depending on the day but I think maybe just brush it off and don't think anything of it. Do what you feel best in your own situation!

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  44. I think he was trying to be helpful and you handled it great.

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  45. I would have done the same thing you did. In the heat? I am not going to put my kids in the hot car first (especially because our fan isn't working on our car so I can't turn it on and have the AC run for them). I always keep an eye on my kids and keep them as close as I can.
    I may have been offended. But I think it is good if that wasn't your first reaction.

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  46. When my son was June's age, I would've cried. Hormones+newborn fog=me squalling in the Walmart parking lot. Eighteen moths later, I'm a lot more confident in most of my parenting choices because I've had time to think them through and legitimately think they're what's best for our family. I would've said (now), "Thanks, but I've got to take the cart back to the cart return and I don't want to leave her in a hot or running car by herself while I walk over there."

    Another hint: Park right next to the cart return if that's an option. That way if it's raining/snowing or incredible hot/cold you have the option to go ahead and put her in it if you want to. I leave Reuben in the cart more often than not, but I like having the option if I need it.

    Don't worry. You'll have your "mama sea legs" before you know it! It just takes some time :)

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  47. Of course I can't tell his voice, but zhe way I read it, there is no reason to be offended. Rather consider his advice and then do what you think is best.
    I would have reacted in the same way.

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