For many parents, taking kids to the grocery store presents a unique array of challenges.
It’s a large building with limited visibility so kids can slip out of view in a second, there are countless colorful items tempting kids to grab and beg for and the pressure of keeping a budget looms behind it all.
But for one Redditor, the challenges recently went even beyond that. She posted about it in the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as ladyjuststop on the site, offered a glimpse of the chaos in the post’s title:
“AITA for letting my child cuss at an old woman?”
As OP explained, other circumstances set the stage for the difficult errand.
“My husband is staying with his mother. Both are in isolation. Thank goodness my kids, and I are [negative].”
“I had to do an emergency grocery run because the delivery in my area was backed up. I took my kiddos: 5, 8, 12 with me.”
She took some time to introduce the whole ensemble.
“8 is on the spectrum and has trouble in places like grocery stores. I gave him an iPad with cellular and over the ear headphones.”
“He should be good to go. He doesn’t like loud noises or strangers touching him.”
“While in line, 12 is a lot of help with his brothers, so he’s trying to help me with 5 throwing junk food in the cart.”
“I decided to go to the cashier’s checkout, and then the line was long.”
Little did she know, another person would join the mix.
“8 is good. Just chilling watching his cartoons with his headphones.”
“Until this old lady behind us is upset over something. I’m ignoring her, but 12 grabs me and says I think we have an issue.”
“The lady starts going on about kids today and technology. She is trying to get 8 attention.”
“I don’t want to startle him, so 12 moves between them. But 5 is looking at more cookies.”
Apparently, the old woman was there to stay.
“The old woman told me my kids were rude, ignoring her.”
“She taps on my 8 year old, and I pull him aside. He looks up from his iPad and takes his headphones off to see if something is wrong.”
“I’m trying to get his headphones back on, and the old woman says these types of things are for at home only and I need to teach my kids to interact in public.”
“She tells 8 he’s old enough to know better than to act like this, scolding him. Loudly, publicly and in the middle of the store.”
Then 12 lowered the boom.
“8 starts to cry, the first sign of a meltdown with him.”
“12 turns to the old woman and says, ‘you stupid bitch, he’s autistic’.”
After it all went down, OP had trouble seeing it any other way.
“While I usually would tell 12 off because I have more issues to deal with. The old lady wants to talk to security and starts making a scene about my kids screaming they called her a bitch.”
“I finally leave a full cart of food there and leave—security tried to stop me—saying I had to get 8 to the car.”
“He has autism, and he’s going to have a major meltdown. 12 talks to security and tells him about the old lady in line.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most people assured OP she hadn’t been an a**hole.
“NTA – as a fellow autistic mother of a boy you handled this way better then I would have , how dare this woman”
“1. Touch your child ( during a pandemic)”
“2. Lecture you on what your children are doing and how your children should be acting people need to mind their business and keep their hands to themselves she was 100% wrong” — dwassell73
“I’d say the fact that 8 has autism is irrelevant to this story in the sense that the old lady had no business being in your or your kids business full stop. She didn’t need to know why 8 had headphones, it’s none of her f*ing business.”
“So NTA so many times and yay to 12, an excellent and appropriate use of language is what I would call that. I hope you managed to get some groceries in the end and some calm time at-home and together” — ZealousidealLuck6961
“NTA, neither is your 12 y/o. She crossed a number of lines, first with her rude comment.”
“Then demanding someone respond to her inappropriate comments. Then touching your son?! Ridiculous.” — marissa1090806
Others heaped total praise onto OP’s 12-year-old.
“NTA. 12 was standing up for 8. He deserves a reward.” — Ok_Candy7704
“NTA. The end of this story better be, ‘And then I took 12 for ice cream.’ ” — Any-Pay-974
“NTA, wow your 12 year old is a superstar brother. You should name and shame this store IMO, they deserve the public censure.” — DDecimal
“LMAO NTA. Your eldest clearly cares very much for his younger siblings, sounds like you’re doing a great job raising your kiddos.” — AllegraO
A few tempered their praise with some advice.
“NTA Family needs to back up family. Your 12yo was very brave.”
“It’s scary for kids to speak up to adults sometimes. However, it would be good to talk to your 12yo later in the day, and explain what is an appropriate way to speak and what isn’t.”
“He was right in speaking up, but the execution could improve. You have good kids.”
“As a parent, I know how hard this can be.” — pbrown6
“NTA. She was a pushy nosy broad who never learned to mind her own business. Getting told off by a 12 year old was the least she deserved.”
“Have a talk with 12 about his language if you feel so inclined but otherwise he’s fine” — PommeDeSang
“NTA. Be proud of your 12 year old. Definitely teach him about more constructive ways to go about… but he defended his family.”
“He should not be punished for standing up against bigotry.” — dohdohdoze
Thankfully, OP can rest assured her parenting is up to snuff.
Here’s hoping she doesn’t encounter this level of supermarket chaos again anytime soon.