All mother's know how effective shopping cart seat belts are on a wiggly toddler. My options were to let TL wonder around along side me or have him fighting to crawl out of the cart. Knowing his track record for getting out of even the tightest seat belt I let him walk along side. I made it to aisle 17 with TK, TL stopped at aisle 16 to look around, so I stayed in the main corridor and glanced down aisle 17 looking at prices.
After what seemed to be 2.3 minutes (meaning it was more like 52 seconds) I noticed TL hadn't caught up, I called for TK and backtracked down isle 16 to fetch TL. He wasn't there. The isle was long and he was gone. That moment of panic when from up above I heard his tiny voice.
"look at me mama!! I climb!"
And there he was at the top of a stairwell, the rail above his head, and no balusters. The stairs were tall. The landing at the top was well above my outstretched arms. He was excited and starting to jump, so very close to the edge. I knew I had to keep my cool.
"WOW!! you did a great job climbing. Can you show mama how you can climb down?"
and I waited at the bottom of the stairs, my calm demeanor hiding my panic.
He started down the top step just as the manager starts rushing my way.
I gave him a nervous smile, and said, lets stay calm so he'll walk down safely.
He tries to shove past me to climb the stairs.
I moved, using my entire frame to prevent him from reaching the stairs. My fear starts to elevate as I now have to divide my attention from my son, who has since retreated back to the edge of the landing, and this idiot who thinks his stores rules are somehow still on the playbook.
"If you touch these stairs he will fright and fall back."
He ignores me and pushes to move past me. I stop him again.
"If you touch these stairs he will fall, I don't give a damn about your stores liability, I care about my son. He falls this store closes. Don't touch the stairs."
He backs from a threat to a hover.
Left alone my cutie climbs down the stairs. I snatch him up and hug him. Tell him what a good job he did climbing. I load both my boys into the cart and walk past the jerk without a second glance.
I reach the check out station, unload a few hundred dollars worth of remodel material, and walked out the door.
I loaded my boys into their seats, sat in mine and sobbed until the adrenaline left so I could drive.
We have since spent a couple thousand at Lowe's. I will never return to that store, not as long as that A-hole is in charge.
Because even on my WORST day, my actions are out of love, and yours are for power.