The terrible twos are real, and they're even more real when you're on a shopping trip to Target with your relentless toddler. For Ashley, the mom behind Puzzle of Five, her latest battle came when her 2-year-old son decided he had had enough of his shoes and socks, which led to quite a few stares in the store. Ashley knows you're concerned, but she has no time for your judgments, especially without knowing what's gone into her struggle.
"I'm aware his feet are bare," she wrote in a powerful Facebook post. "I'm aware it might be a little chilly out (or maybe it's warm, I still get the same looks). I'm fully aware his poor little toes may of gotten a tad bit chilly on the walk from the car to the store. How. Dare. I."
Ashley explained that this is by no means bad parenting — this is exhaustion.
"I've become extremely tired of picking up his socks from the floor," she wrote. "I've become extremely tired of realising a shoe is missing and retracing my steps through Target to find it. I've become extremely tired of grabbing something off a shelf and having a shoe fly right by my face. I use[d] to try to make him be fully dressed head to toe while we made our trips to the store, and chances are his socks are tucked safely in my diaper bag because I tried to put them on and he took them right back off. But my patience is low with silly things so I probably already gave up."
Her son doesn't like things touching his feet, and on that day, she didn't feel like fighting with him, and that's totally OK. Ashley's post may be her personal story, but it reasserts the fact that we have no idea what a parent is going through in any given instance. Sure, Target is full of germs, but it also rivals Disney as the happiest place on Earth, so let's keep it a judgment-free zone.
"Socks and shoes are just little sweaty feet prisons, screw them. And I'm in no position to pick this small battle with a 2-year-old," she explained. "So I thank you, I thank you so much for your concern, but I got it. His feet are bare, but he is fine. He's happy and I have some of my sanity in tact. So excuse me while I go grab the laundry soap I came here for and 738,291 other things I don't need."