I Should Have Kicked Him

Once upon a time, I was at the check-out at Target with Henry sitting in the seat of my cart. William had taken the other two out to the car as what I was purchasing was not for their little eyes. Hank was contentedly devouring a bottle while I was fishing for cash from my adorable over-the-shoulder style bottomless pit.

I heard a large voice behind me say, "Are you going to drink all of that? Will you share? Will you share?"

I half-turn to see a VERY large (in stature and in girth) man staring at Henry and his bottle. I turned to look at Henry, who was staring at this man with his bottle half-raised to his mouth.

I'm used to people fawning over Hank. He's delicious with his mess of dark curls, big blue eyes, and round, pink cheeks. Granted - usually Hank is accepting the attentions of older women or young girls (both of whom are powerless to resist him) and not an unshaven giant of a man - but I smiled, anyway.

"Will you share?" he asked again, and took Henry's bottle from him.

Total stranger. Large man. Now taunting my baby with his own bottle, bringing it to his massive face pretending to drink, trying to get some kind of reaction.

Henry stared up at him with a solidly stoic expression. I could almost hear his thoughts, "Dude. really?"

Then the man bent over a little closer to Henry, and said with a little too much intensity, "Are you going to cry?"

This is the point where, in the car with William after recounting the story to him, we came up with all sorts of perfect retaliations. I would completely unman him with nothing but the power of my scathing vocabulary, perfectly delivered. William would have beaten him to the ground, and pinning him there, gotten right in his face and asked, "are you going to cry?"

In the moment, though, my Mama Bear awoke and sat on ready-to-spring haunches. The man gave the bottle back to Hank before I could forcefully suggest that he do so. I pulled the cart forward, placing myself between this man and my bear cub. A glance at the cashier told me that she was unnerved by this man's behavior, also, and she hurried me through my transaction.

The man then asked, "How big is his daddy?"

Again - later in the car, William came up with a far better reply than my merely annoyed reply in the moment. What I said: "Normal size. He has always been a bigger baby." What I should have said: "His dad is a lot bigger than you."

This is when I noticed the painfully embarrassed adolescent with the burly man. The poor kid practically flung himself on the check-out belt in agony. This was when I decided that I probably wouldn't need to kill this man. Probably. He was probably just awkwardly showing off for his son.


"Yeah, he's HUGE! I figured his dad must be a big guy 'cause you're not very big."

Ugh. After handing the cashier a small stack of greens and accepting her apologetic smile, I pushed my cart forcibly away from the whole scene.

I felt a little sad - especially after exploring all the alternate-universe reactions I could have had with William - that I hadn't kicked the man in the shin or something. I wondered a little at my reaction. I've had people cross my comfort-boundary before due to the compelling adorableness of my children - usually I am far more generous in attitude than I was with this man. Why were my find-his-jugular instincts triggered with him? Was it because he was so large and unkempt looking?


But I think that an old woman pinching my baby's cheek while telling me how beautiful he is and how lucky I am is one thing.

A middle-aged man taking my baby's bottle and asking, "are you going to cry?" is an entirely other thing.

Next time, I'm going for the shin.


Mari said...

LOL, yes some people! Great photos by the ways. Just wanted to encourage you to stop by and join in on the fun 12 Days of Capturing Motherhood Through Your Lens! You can join in for fun or for some fabulous prizes! http://inspiredbyfamilymag.com/2012/04/15/mommy-moments-photo-challenge-has-begun/


Emily said...

I wouldn't have gone for the shin...I'd have aimed higher. ;)

Kalli said...

Hi right back!

You should have kicked him, right in the junk.

I get creepers all the time looking after Triple. Guys are flabbergasted by his sheer girth and ladies get distracted by the cheeks and lashes. Usually I just laugh uncomfortably and start acting like my phone is vibrating.

It's a useful diversion tactic.