Meltdown: Aisle 5. Don’t judge me from Aisle 6.


When my three-year-old son hears a crying baby in a store, playground or museum, he quickly turns to me and asks me why is the baby sad.  I tell him I’m not sure, but I bet the baby’s mommy or daddy will cheer them up and take care of them.  My toddler’s empathy is something I take pride in.  My husband and I and Daniel Tiger are contributors to my son learning to care for others and their feelings at such a young age.

Photo credit: Holly Miller


Not too long ago, my son had a mid-morning haircut.  Being the super mom I try to be, I took my toddler and eight month old to Target prior to making our final destination at the salon.  My innocent precious baby was starting to whine in the front of our double stroller, which is so big a CDL license should be required to drive one of these things. 

Photo Credit: Anna Dye

I started pulling out all the stops as I attempted to finish my shopping.  Snacks. Toys.  Songs.  None of the above were calming my little one.  I knew a meltdown was about to take place.  As I grabbed a few last minute items, a lady in the aisle we were in said to whomever she was talking to on the phone that she needed to go because there was a screaming baby in her aisle. 

I was stunned.  Was she talking about my sweet little girl that was missing her morning nap because big brother needed his haircut?  Was my baby really causing that much of a ruckus?  How dare someone talk about my little one whose fault it was none other than my own for allowing her to miss her morning nap.  

Photo Credit: Eva Warner

The Mama Bear immediately started to overcome me, and I knew I had a few options to rebuttal with.  But before I could get my mind in the right mindset to put this woman in her place and also be an example setter for my own children, she had left the aisle I was currently standing speechless in.  

Ladies.  HEAR ME OUT.  Whether you are a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, or just a decent human being.  Instead of putting down another mother, how about trying to bring that woman up?  I understand that no one likes to hear a screaming child, but guess who likes it the least amount of all?  That own child’s mother. 

There are times when schedules do not go as planned. 

Photo Credit: Nicole Suchy

There are times where a quick trip to the grocery store is a necessity. 

Photo Credit: Eva Warner

There are times when children just do not want to be cooped up in a stroller or shopping cart. 

Photo Credit: Dani Stewart

Consider this a public service announcement from all mothers out there.  Offer that distressed mother a smile instead of a sneer.  Offer her a head nod showing encouragement instead of a head shake showing distaste.  If all else fails, offer that child a flipping cake pop!

Photo Credit: Trisha Seifert

As women, we need to bring one another up and help one another out instead of knocking each other down.  If we as adults can’t show empathy towards one another, how do we expect our own children to grow up showing empathy.  If my toddler is capable of showing empathy to others, grown adults have no excuses.  



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Ashli is a Fayette County native but made the leap to Allegheny County in 2013. She married a man named Jarred that she met randomly at a Toby Keith concert at KeyBank Pavilion. Seven years later, they have shared four blissful years of marriage and have welcomed three children into their homes; their oldest- a black rescue lab named Fiona, a sweet toddler boy named Collins, and a precious baby girl named Carmie. Ashli and her clan live in the South Hills, but more importantly five short minutes to Target where she enjoys quiet weekend strolls through the aisles. Extra bonus points are added when she stumbles upon something she doesn’t need, but has to purchase because it has the red clearance sticker on it. Ashli is currently working on obtaining her Master’s degree in STEM Education. Ashli is passionate about working with children, and is a fifth-grade teacher presently on maternity leave. Last January, Kristine Sorensen from KDKA interviewed Ashli because she was nominated as a top Peer Mentor for the students in her district. While away from the classroom this year to take care of her own sweet babies, she receives weekly FaceTime calls from former students that need a pep talk. Ashli’s goal in life is to change the lives of students that have ventured onto that wrong path in life, and do everything she can to get them back on the right one.