She moved fast as she went between aisles, making sure to get every item on her shopping list. All of this was happening while the sound of crying echoed through the entire store
She knew from previous kicking fits that she would be left with bruises after this. Judgement was evident on the faces of onlookers. What was strange was that one of these onlookers decided to approach them. The stranger didn't hesitate to reach for the boy.
Errands To Run
Rebecca Patterson sighed as she held the phone to her ear, “Are you sure? I just need a couple of hours.” She was pleading, but no one was able to help her out.
The person that usually babysat for her was unavailable. She was finding it difficult to find anyone else that was up for the task. She had no choice but to take her children with her. She needed to get the items on her shopping list as soon as possible.
She worked fast as she strapped her two children into the car. Sat next to each other were her two-month-old baby and her two-year-old son.
The slightly older boy was in his defiant "no!" phase, and he was refusing to let her strap his safety belt. “We’re going to that store you like. Just hang in there, baby.” She told him as she finished strapping him in. She got into the car and made her way to the store.
When they made it to the Target, she looked at her grumpy two-year-old. He had a deep frown on his face.
She knew a tantrum was approaching as he crossed his arms over his chest and started breathing heavily. She had to go into the store. She needed to buy things. She took a deep breath and found a shopping cart before heading into the store.
Her grumpy son was sitting in the cart as she held her baby in her arms. Her son's frown hadn't left his face.
When they passed the shelf full of cookies, her son noticed and immediately started crying. “Maybe next time,” She told him. She was there to get essential, after all. She knew the tantrum would start at any second. That's when she noticed the dirty looks strangers were giving her.
As soon as her son started crying, it set off a chain reaction. Her baby started crying too.
Rebecca tried to sooth both of her children as she grabbed some tissues from the cart. Her son's tantrum only seemed to get worse as he started hitting at the cart and tried to stand up. She knew how much it would hurt if he accidentally fell from the cart.
She tried her best to calm him down and prevent him from falling, but he wasn't cooperating.
She quickly picked him up and placed him on the floor to prevent him from falling from the cart. He quickly grabbed a box from the shelf and threw it to the floor. That's when she heard a stranger mutter, "Shut that kid up.”
Too Much To Handle
It was becoming too much to handle. She had two screaming and kicking children that she had to deal with on her own.
She was running out of time. She held back tears as the frustration set in. That's when she saw a strange woman staring from the small crowed of onlookers.
Rebecca had heard some of the remarks from onlookers as they muttered words like “little brat”, and “discipline”. The strange woman was now making her way over to Rebecca and her children.
Rebecca mentally prepared herself for the unpleasant opinion the woman would share with her. The woman finally reached them and pointed a finger at the two-year-old boy.
Rebecca didn't know what to do. She had noticed the alarm on the woman's face. She had walked over to them with reason.
She panicked. The last thing she needed was to fight with strangers in public.
The woman was Tiffany Jones-Guillory, and she approached Rebecca. While the little boy was still kind of freaking out, Tiffany wasn’t deterred and began showing him photos of her own kids on her phone to distract him and help calm him down.
The woman asked, “Can I hold your boy?” Rebecca’s eyes screamed a pleading “yes!” What unfolded was something beautiful. Rebecca was so shocked — and relieved — that she took out her own phone and took a picture that quickly went viral.
A Kind Stranger
“Do you need some help?” Tiffany asked. Rebecca felt her body flood with relief and the tears stream down her cheeks as the stranger reached for her baby.
The motherly stranger picked him up and started to rock him back and forth, humming a soothing tune. Rebecca was astounded to see that her son was finally quiet. And the compassion continued…
“She walked with me while I got the essentials needed for the day and kept hold of my toddler while he calmed down,” Rebecca said. “She saved me today moms! I am so sleep deprived and was running on empty. A little kindness and understanding goes a long way.”
Can you even imagine how tired and exhausted she was? Not to mention the fact that people were giving her dirty looks.
Tiffany walked with Rebecca as she finished her shopping.
It was such a kind gesture, and the scene was so beautiful, that she took a moment to snap another photo of the moment. The errand finished quickly with the new help, and she was finally able to go home. But then the mom realized something.
Rebecca looked at the photo again. Something was wrong here. There had been plenty of appreciation on Rebecca’s part, but the woman deserved so much more.
Rebecca posted the photo online, hoping to find out who this stranger was. It didn’t take long for Tiffany to see her face on social media and remember the moment. It was then the news got wind of the story.
Tiffany sat in front of the camera, with a warm smile and describing that evening.
It was clear she just wanted to help and never expected anything in return. She had “been there before.” It’s especially significant when people are trained to be wary of strangers and we are afraid to help each other.
She Needed To Help
“I know how it is. I’ve been there,” Tiffany explained. “I have two kids, it’s frustrating, and that baby is two months,” she said. “You have hormones going…and people are looking at you crazy, and I just wanted to help. God sent me there to help her.”
It makes you think — how many times have you seen a kid melting down and wondered why the parent wasn’t doing anything about it? Maybe they’re doing the best that they can, and they just need a little compassion. Compassion is exactly what another mom urges people to have when they see that situation.
Another mom, Aly Brothers, had her own meltdown after taking her two young boys to the grocery store to grab some milk. While that sounds simple enough, her boys had other plans, which caused Brothers to lose it a little bit and customers to thrown some shade.
“This is motherhood. No fancy filters, no good lighting, no new lipstick,” she wrote in a viral Facebook post. “It’s messy hair that’s wet from the rain, yesterday’s makeup that I was too tired to wash off, and tears. Motherhood is HARD. Single-motherhood is HARD.”
“These tears started as the cashier of Giant Eagle handed me my receipt and continued for the entire drive home,” she wrote. She went on to explain how her younger son, 20-month-old Levi, was fussy from pretty much the second they walked into the store.
Not willing to cooperate, he didn’t want to be buckled into the shopping cart, from which he started throwing things — a shoe, groceries, his mom’s wallet. “And he cried. And people stared. That was fine, I could handle that,” Brothers wrote. As if that wasn’t enough, her energetic 3-year-old son Bentley wanted to play Superman by standing on the front edge of the cart.
“I told him to hold on and stand straight. He did not. He fell off, he leaned backwards and knocked things off their displays. He leaned back and bumped a stranger,” she said.
“Then I made him get down and he walked too far ahead of me and opened all the freezer section doors telling me all the things he wanted to get. I tried to handle that. I stopped multiple times and composed myself and my children. The people in line behind me glared. The cashier glared. Everyone’s eyes were on me as if to say ‘can’t you control your own children.’ One older gentleman whispered, ‘she’s pretty young for two kids’ and I lost it.”
In her Facebook post, she went on to explain just what was going on. “I handle my kids very well. Normally, they’re great kids and I wanted to tell that guy, ‘You’ve seen them for 15 minutes in a grocery store. I’ve seen Bentley for 3 1/2 years. So I know him way better than you.
“Don’t judge me, don’t judge my kids,” she continued. “We’ve all been here. You acted like this when you were three. Be compassionate. Show kindness.”
“If you see a kid throwing a tantrum, if you see a mom on the verge of tears…please say something nice. Please don’t glare with judgement (sic),” she wrote.
“And to all moms out there having a day like mine…I see you, I know you, I love you. You are strong and you are doing just fine.” Clearly it struck a chord, as her post received more than 65,000 reactions, with other parents sharing their own stories — and how a little bit of kindness can go a long way. But what if you’re a parent in the middle of a kid meltdown?
In a perfect world, your kids would all behave like angels every single time you go to the store. There would be no tantrums, there would be no diaper blowouts, there would be no grabbing things off the shelf like they’re doing a “Supermarket Sweep” audition.
But as every parent knows, it’s going to happen. If everyone put forward one gesture a day (big or small), the world would be a happier place. And as cliché as the idea sounds, it still rings very true. What will your kindness today be?