Friday, August 13, 2010

Be Polite to My Toddler!!


I just read a post at Mama's Little Chick in which she talks about some children being "not very nice" to her little girl.  It reminded me of something that just blew me away last week. 

Once a week I go grocery shopping.  The two stores that I always hit are Trader Joe's (love that store, but that's another story) and Ralphs (hate that store, but I get the things there that Trader Joe's doesn't have).

Kai loves sitting in the "soppin caht" [translation: shopping cart] and dumping the items that I pull off the shelf into the cart.  Then, at the check out, he gets great joy out of pulling the items out of the shopping cart and handing them to the person at the register.  He loves to help.  It just baffles me that many of the employees (mainly at Ralphs) have no friggin' clue how to respond to that.  At Trader Joe's people know him, so after being helped out by my toddler helper, they always thank him and offer him "stickies" [translation: stickers].  Imagine the joy he gets out of that.  However, at Ralphs he gets no response, other than the look of "what the hell are you doing?  Let me do that!"

Then, after I have paid, bags are packed and put back in the shopping cart and as I pull away from the check out stand, Kai proceeds with a LOUD "Byyyyeeeeee Everyone!  Byyyyeeee Byyyyeeee!!!"  And guess one responds!  Nobody!!  As in not 1 person has the decency to say "bye" back, resulting in leaving a little boy looking up at his mommy with a confused and slightly disappointed look in his eyes. 

It seriously breaks my heart.  What is a mom to do?  I cannot possible convince him that people "must not have heard" him, or that they were too busy? 

At the smaller local Trader Joe's he always gets responses, not only from 'our' check-out-person, but also from the person bagging my goodies, and other employees in the store who pick up on his excitement and desire to connect.  Only to proceed to the next store, where his attempts to communicate and be polite fall absolutely dead in the water.

It just makes me wonder what's up with people today:  I don't think responding to a toddler is any different from responding to an adult (in this instance).  Are people really that self-centered that they have no clue what is going on around them?  Or do people just not care?  What is it?  How do we explain this to our children?  And more importantly, how do we make sure that our children maintain that sense of politeness, innocence, happiness and continue to express their desire to connect and communicate?


Sarah Black said...

I do my shopping at Trader Joes and Ralphs too. But, at our Ralphs, most of the cashiers are very kind to my children. If they go to pay for something or put something on the belt or hand it to them, they are always very polite. I've even had cashiers on multiple occasions remember my children and ask where they were and how they're doing if they notice that they're not with me. So, if you want a completely different Ralphs experience, I recommend the Central Street Ralphs in Glendale :-)

Sorry that you had such a bad experience at yours!

Emily said...

Boo - who ignores a cutie like that! Bye Kai!! (shouting from Vegas!)
When he wakes up tomorrow tell him he yelled so loud at the store today we heard him hear and shouted bye back!

Supamom said...

I have had the worse luck at grocery stores with my kiddos! Some shoppers will just look at me with an agitated look if my child takes to long to get out of their way (Um, they can say excuse me to a child just as well as to an adult), and at one store that had the mini shopping carts, people look like my kids are going to terrorize their ankles (actually I am always a little concerned about that one, but the rude looks drive me crazy!).
It is frustrating when my child finally uses his politeness and the grown up doesn't respond. I wish everyone would grasp that a child doesn't need to be mute until spoken too! ;)

JWild said...

Wow, that is really rude. Most of the time I see people being very courteous to kids (especially at TJ's, but other places too). I would have thought that at least ONE person could simply say "bye" to him. I hope your next trip to Ralph's is much better.

TV's Take said...

I empathize. KLV says hi to all other patrons at our local Ralphs and no one says a thing. I just keep saying how nice it is that she says hi. People are strange.

PB Rippey said...

Customer service has gone down the toilet. Except at TJ's--they are very nice there. I think they're prepped for niceness. Taylor always hands them the items too. So cute! Love that picture of Kai!
PS. Can you switch Ralphs? When we lived in Noho we had a dysfunctional Ralphs and a glorious Ralphs--both were very consistent!

Megan said...

That really burns me. Madilyn waves to other shoppers at the grocery store, mall, says "Hi!", talks to other babies...and the grown-ups don't respond and the parents keep pushing their babies by like my little girl isn't even there. Thank goodness the cashiers and bag people like her and giver her suckers and blow her kisses. I always waved at babies that paid me attention before I had kids. Why just not be nice???

Mama Hen said...

Yes my friend, what is up with people today! First, I love Trader Joes, but have to go to other stores to get things they don't have there. Our Trader Joes people know Little Chick and always say nice things. However, there is another one that they are stuffy. We would have said bye bye to your sweet little one. One thing I did not mention in that post was that all the moms were right there when their children were being very rude and pushy with my daughter. I am sick over this, because this is her classmates. I am already trying to get in touch with the teacher to see why these children felt that they could be so rude to her. It makes me sick to my stomach. My daughter is about 6 to 8 months younger then the kids that were being rude, which can make a huge difference at this age. Then poor Little Chick stepped on a nail that was sticking up about a half inch in the ladies deck. She got a bad cut and I had to bring her to the doctor where she got her Tetenus shot a year early because of it. The woman never called, nor did anyone at the party, to see how my daughter was. She ended up with a high fever yesterday from the injection and she is limping because of the nail. I say, what is up with people? The apple does not fall far from the tree. Sorry this is so long, but as you can see I agree with you and it is sad to see people so indifferent to others these days when we are raising our children to be kind and loving. Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Here here. I hate it when people don't respond to my toddler- it's really not difficult!!

Carol said...

Gah. This part of parenting sucks. I've often had to explain to my daughter that some people are just rude and that it's rude not to respond when people are talking to you. I guess out of every situation there is an opportunity to teach what is right.

I miss Trader Joe's. When we lived in CA, I went there All.The.Time. In fact, I still use my TJ shopping bags and get tons of compliments on them!

Tricia at Mom is the Only Girl said...

It's the same out here in upstate NY. My kiddos get responses from the cashiers, but I think only because we tend to go to the same ones (the ones that are nice!) even if it means singing more songs because we're waiting in line a little longer. And the people in the aisles...don't get me started, but that's one reason I go when the nursing home busloads are there - at least they will wave and talk to my kiddos! It's hard to see the pain because someone won't say a simple 'hi' or 'bye' - needless!

flyrish said...

Poor Kai! It's unfortunate that some people can't take a moment to step out of their self-absorption to say "bye" to a cute, little guy.

We love TJ's, too. The people who work there are great and are so sweet to my Q. But when we have to go to Safeway (our version of Ralph's in the Bay Area), it's pretty hit or miss.

P.S. Visiting via Mommyhood Memos. Love your blog!

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, I so hear you on this. Unfortunately there are some people who do not feel that they need to respond to little ones. I remember one instance when my son (then 3yo) greeting another person inside the elevator (no chance that he didn't hear the greeting). After saying Good Morning a few times in an increasingly louder voice just in case he didn't hear and still no response (not even a look to acknowledge), my son turned to me and said, "Maybe his mommy did not teach him manners." Probably not.

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