I was standing in the checkout line at Price Chopper this morning when the checker said, "You're really patient."
"Yeah?" I looked up from the coupons I was going thorough and smiled at her and realized she was looking at me instead of Charming who kept asking "Ca-Ca?" (cracker).
"Him, or me?" I asked.
"You," she declared incredulously.
Yes, Charming had asked, in a normal, non-whiney kind of way, for crackers ever since he saw the box go on the conveyor. Possibly 25 times. And to each request I responded, "Cracker?" He'd say, "Yeah." I'd say, "In just a minute. After I pay." There would be 2.4 seconds of quiet when he'd again ask, "Cracker?" (wash, rinse, repeat) But there were no theatrics. No crying. No whining. No reaching. Just repeated conversation as if he was saying, "Now?" "How about now?" " Done yet, Mama?" And I was thinking about other things, as moms do, like where-is-that-yoplait-yoghurt-coupon-anyway-must-be-home-on-the-counter-where-all-good-coupons-seem-to-be. And, gee-should-have-picked-up-one-of-those-I-didn't-remember-I-had-that-coupon.
Come on moms, you know you can have intelligible conversations with your toddler without actually paying attention. Fess up.
So she was amazed at my patience in answering the question I wasn't really even listening to.
I told her that he was the patient one. He was asking politely.
I don't think she bought it.
What really gets me on this is how, just minutes before, I was praying, "God, please give me the patience to get through and out of this store before I let loose on one of these people."
The elderly, God love 'em, had taken over Price Chopper and it was busier that it often is on a Saturday. Except it wasn't busy with busy, fast walking moms and their lists. It was congested with slow walking people stopping to read the signs and swerving back and forth across the aisles. I think one of the local assisted living places must have brought a bus. (I'm serious.) And, as I said, love elderly folks, but my rambunctious toddler has a time limit at Price Chopper and we were nearing it. Halting every few steps because there was no way around, over, or through was trying my patience.
And then I got complimented for being patient about something that wasn't bothering me a bit.