The other day, I was standing in line at the grocery store to pay for my food order. At a certain point, I heard some serious wailing coming from another register nearby.
Right away, the mother in me kicked in. "How old is the baby?" I wondered. The screaming continued.
My order bagged and ready to go, I proceeded to push my cart down the aisle and looked over surreptitiously to get a good luck at the little screamer. Just as I thought, the child was about 18 months to 2 years old. She was twisting around in great distress in her stroller, clearly dying to get the heck out of that horrible contraption. Maybe she was hot (yes, the weather here is just broiling), despite the air conditioning. Maybe she was hungry. Maybe she was tired. That wraps up most of the reasons a child that age would be screaming in her stroller.
Just as I walked by, I heard her mother say something like "there, that better?" in a very matter-of-fact way. The kid continued to scream. Curious, I again shot a quick glance over at the child. She was now holding a chocolate bar, which was still wrapped up tight.
"Horrors!" thought I. And then I immediately looked at the mother, my subconscious expecting to see the quintessential fat, slovenly mother who is pushing her little girl into morbid obesity. Come on, didn't you think the same thing?
Well, of course, the truth was quite different. The little girl's mom was a slender woman, probably in her early thirties, wearing a lovely summer dress. She looked fairly well off.
Oh, the assumptions we make...