Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Casting Stones

The days preceding a holiday are incredibly busy for hospice.  I think doctors put the full court press on patients they can't help and don't want to fuss with too much over these long weekends.  I mean that seriously.  Does the thought of hospice just pop into their brains on Fridays and holidays?  I've had an admission a day and last night, two.  Add to that, an array of unusual problems enrolled patients were having and I was hopping busy.  I'd had high hopes for sneaking into the market on my dinner break because the stores looked like madhouses during normal hours during the day.  Best laid plans.

I don't know what got into me when I got home.  I finished my work at exactly 12:30 AM, called the time clock to sign out and went grocery shopping.  I wasn't tired enough to go to sleep and my shopping list was weighing heavy on my mind.  The 24 hour Meijer's store looked like a bomb had hit it.  The potatoes were gone for God's sake.  Store shelves were empty and stock help looked overwhelmed.  I got everything on my list including the wine things I can't live without on Thursday.  Mr. Larger Than Life is coming and my husband is exercising his excuse of working that day so I can have some alone time with his father.  

I spent an enormous amount of money on food that should feed us for a week-or at least through Sunday.  It took me forever to scan all the food I bought.  The next lane over, someone else had brought her son too. (You didn't think I went alone, did you?) It was 1:40 in the morning and there she was shopping with her 6 year old.  Poor guy was wrapped pretty tight and looked tired. 

My own son, a criminal justice major in college muttered something about abuse.  He's had a pretty sheltered life and no real exposure to this kind of thing and now, he is taking a class in child abuse.  Is this abuse?  Maybe she was as desperate as me to get the chore done and did what she had to do.  Last month, while shopping at Barnes and Noble in Virginia, there was a woman in the coffee shop who'd bought her kid a piece of cake.  Her son was eating that cake with joy and abandon.  A man behind me said to another that he thought they should call the police on that woman for feeding her son a cake with a days worth of useless calories in it.  If her boy had been overweight in the unsafe zone, maybe I would have agreed, but he wasn't.  He was just a kid out on the town and eating cake.  Maybe it was his birthday.  I try hard not to be judgmental and I was annoyed with the man who'd said that.  Where I saw a kid in his glory, this man saw abuse.  I loathe the judgment police.  Here I was tonight though being just that.  Judgment Police.  I'd agreed with my son and felt the youngster should have been home in bed.  It wasn't until I got home and thought about it, I realized I never even gave her the benefit of the doubt.  If I ever bump into her again like this, I won't.

Do you think shopping mom should have the benefit of the doubt?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think we never know about one's personal circumstances. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Easy to say, hard to live by.

laurie said...

oh goodness. he'll bounce back. i feel sorrier for the mom. it's harder for us to recover from 1:30 a.m. journeys than it is a small child.

Rudee said...

You're quite right anonymous. We never do know.

Brenda said...

I almost always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But like your son, we might all come up with that thought at first. I have seen people in Walmart threatening their small kids with a beating if they didn't shut up, or slapping them on the head. It is rare to see something like that, but that is more when I think about abuse. I wouldn't think much of a Mom bringing the child at that hour because there could be a list a mile long of perfectly good reasons why she did. She may have been getting medicine for him or something, who knows. At least she didn't leave him at home by himself. I don't understand the cake remark. Are kids not supposed to eat cake? News to me. Human behavior has always fascinated me.

Rudee said...

Brenda, the thoughts behind this post have been stewing in my mind since I heard the man in the book store talking about the little boy and his cake. It bothered me that someone would even say what he was thinking about the cake incident. Then, I came home to fill out my annual benefits packet at work and there were a slew of questions re my personal habits and very personal questions re my health-isn't that a doctor/patient privileged info thing? It got me wondering why it's any of my employer's business what I do on my own time and worries me about the future. What will my employer do with that information? the entire thing is churning in my brain. I'm quite sure if I were a fly on the wall in the cake man's life, I'd find a thing or two wrong.

Anonymous said...

Having people eat cake never caused Marie Antoinette a problem..

BJ said...

Rudee - very interesting post. I worry more about children who are out in public and their parents are hitting or screaming at them. In the instance with the child out in the store with his mom......I would be wondering if she was a single mom.....going it all alone. And the remark from the man in the bookstore regarding a child eating cake.......that is just totally absurd!

It is hard not to be judgmental.....we all have done that. I'm really trying not to be though. We never know a person's situation.

Winifred said...

It's very easy to criticise as people have said, we don't know the circumstances. I could have taken my son out at any hour of the night, he just never wanted to sleep. When he was a baby we walked him in the pram late on summer evenings just to stop him crying and hoping he would sleep. People could have thought that was wrong.

As Brenda said it's better than leaving him at home alone or perhaps with someone she didn't trust.

The cake thing is baffling. What a sad git! Pardon the expression. If she had been force feeding him yes! Treats are great things. An occasional trip to Fat Donalds never hurt anyone either. That's what my grand daughter calls Mc Donalds.

distracted by shiny objects said...

I was a single mom for the first five years of CollegeGirl's life. I can imagine that I took her to the 24/7 grocery store after picking her up from daycare after I worked 3-11pm shift. Rough days, but gave me a lot more insight into situations like this. Ckae Man makes me laugh...Glad he's not coming over here for Thanksgiving:>)

Betty Flocken said...

I loved your post. I agree; she needs the benefit of the doubt; especially if he seemed clean and basically well cared for. Last night, my daughter took my grand daughter to Walgreens at 9:30 to get my pills.. Sabbs wanted to go and Gran was so tired. People could have taken the attitude that Katie was a bad mom. Glad no one called accused Katie. Missed see your posts!

Sandy said...

Yes..she should have the benefit of the doubt! No one can know why she was in there at that time of night.

I noticed you crossed off wine on your list...haha.what the hell drink and be merry.

I pre judge too at times...I don't like that about myself.

But heck, I think society is way too controlling anymore, and they are looking for reasons to call CPS...

the way I raised mine...geez, I could have been turned in, I believed in letting them be boys and if they got scrapes, we dealt with it...

have a good one today...turkey that is, okay, wine too.