One of the most embarrassing things that can happen when you are a parent is your kid having a total fucking breakdown at the grocery store. I know this because I have been witness to many a meltdowns, and totally judged the shit out of the mom or dad whose child was screaming and pounding the floor. I was like “those parent’s suck and that kid needs to get a grip” as I perused the cereal aisle.
Yet eventually, you are that parent. You are the one everyone is looking at, thinking that your child is a monster. The more I try to be calm and reasonable, the more my kid loses her mind because she can’t get what she wants. At home this happens all the time, and I can wait out the tantrum – but in a store I have to accept the fact that my parenting is on display for everyone to criticize.
The longer it goes on, the longer both you and your kid look like assholes. So what do you do? Do you give in to save face? Or stick with the “no you can’t have that” rationale because you don’t want to buy your child crap just because they want it.
Recently I experienced this humiliation for the first time, and it was all over Welch’s grape juice. What Welch’s was doing at this organic hippy coop is beyond me, but The Munch really wanted to buy some. Yeah, okay… you are probably thinking, “what the hell is the big deal about grape juice?” – but to me there is so much that pains me to purchase a product like that. Yet trying to explain my logic to The Munch while she publicly wept was pretty much a lesson in futility.
Toni: No Munch, we can’t get that kind of juice. We can get a different kind instead.
Munch: NOOOO BUT I WANT THIS KIND OF GRAPE JUICE!!!
Toni: Dude, we really can’t. I will buy you this grape juice instead.
Munch: NOOOOO BUT I WANT THIS GRAPE JUICE!!!
Toni: Listen, that grape juice has GMOs. It is made with high fructose corn syrup. I just can’t support that company.
Munch: YES YOU CAN SUPPPORT THAT COMPANY! WAAAAHHHHHHAAAA
Toni: There is no way we are supporting that company. Listen, I will get you grape juice. I have no problem with you drinking grape juice – just not that brand.
Munch: BUT I WANT THAT KIND OF JUICE!! WAHHHAHHHHAAAAAH
Toni: Munch, it isn’t even juice. It is like 10% juice – if that. It is grape essence flavored with chemicals and environmental suffering.
Munch: BUT I LIKE IT!! WAHHHHAHHHAHHHAHHHHAAAA
Toni: You can’t ask me to buy this. We can’t spend our money supporting this company. It is giant food conglomerates like Welch’s that are annihilating the planet with their monoculture approaches to farming… and don’t even get me started on the pesticides. Don’t you care about the bees? Listen, I know you want this kind of grape juice, but Mamma will never buy it. I am doing this for you… so our food system is not totally corrupted and there is a slight chance of human survival. Don’t you want to have a future that isn’t a nuclear waste land ruled by robots?
Munch: BUT IT TASTES GOOD!! WHAHHHHAHHAHAHHAHAAAAAA
Toni: So does this one Munch. The nice organic one that is 7 times more expensive also tastes super yummy…