I heard him a good 10 aisles before I saw him. After weaving from the health and beauty section to the vacuum cleaner accessories I met the source of the screams — a towhead of about 3-years-old (maybe a tad younger) slung on his mother’s hip. She balanced the teary-eyed, red-faced youngster while pushing her shopping cart.
He squirmed and she tried uprighting him. My breath quickened, and my chest tightened. I was panicking as if this was my child having a breakdown. I gave the mother what was intended to be a sympathetic look, but what probably came across like fear, or constipation. I walked faster, as if leaving the tantrum in the rearview was somehow going to make it stop. Continue reading