I often tell my oldest son, Cameron, the best way to stop fearing something is to do it (whatever scares you) afraid. This weekend, I took my own advice.
After some tears and children hanging on my leg begging to go with me, I decided, against my better judgement, to take my little ones to the Commissary to grocery shop. My 3-year-old is now wearing big boy underwear, but he’s never worn them in public. I’ve hesitated for fear that we’d have an embarrassing potty moment in public. Instead of making him change back into a pull up, I faced my fear let him keep on underwear.
Our outing started off great. They were very helpful and excellent listeners. My 3-year-old, Brandon, even told me he had to go potty, so I left a full cart and took everyone to the bathroom.
Wow, a grocery trip with no incidents. This was too good to be true!
We approached aisle 10, which is in direct sight of all the patrons in line, and began to place our groceries on the belt. That is when IT happened. The thing I feared the most.
I heard my 3-year-old whisper, “Mommy, I pee-peed on myself.” I looked down and there was a huge puddle on the floor that seemed to be spreading at an alarming rate. I quickly asked the scanner if I could borrow some tissue and if she could have someone from the janitorial staff assist me.
She picked up her black phone by the register and mumbled something into it. To my surprise, it was a phone that blasts the message over the entire store intercom system. It seemed that all eyes were on me when the message, “Clean up on Aisle 10! Clean up on Aisle 10!” rang out across the intercom.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t as embarrassed as I thought I would be. Actually, I really didn’t care what anyone was thinking. I had always pictured myself in my mind running out of the store in shame with my face covered like celebrities who don’t want to be seen. Instead, I just calmly finished paying for my groceries as my son stood in a pile of wet napkins. I helped the janitor clean up a bit and then loaded my kids and groceries into the car. We ate snacks and sang songs on the way home.
I was relieved that I didn’t blow things out of proportion as I have done in the past. In the big scheme of life, this really wasn’t a big deal. We all make mistakes when we’re learning something new. I am grateful that in this moment I was patient and encouraging to my son.
While I don’t particularly want this to happen again, I am not afraid of it anymore. Secondly, I learned that it is much more important to be loving when our kids make mistakes, not just when they do well. I am thankful for the lesson I learned through the “Clean up on Aisle 10” incident.