Babies cry in Target. Of course they do. Why wouldn't they? This hardly ever bothers me. Perhaps at 9:30 or 10:00 PM, I might have to remind my Judgy Brain that people work late shifts and have to shop sometime and don't have child care, but at 11:30 in the morning, I don't even think about it. And people say whatever they have to say to get out of the store without the baby and the grownup melting down simultaneously. I know that.
So I don't judge. I do try to smile at the baby and the grownup. Sometimes a smile and a wave can distract a fretful baby or toddler. At the very least, when I was the mom with the fussy kid, I appreciated the show of sympathy and solidarity.
Today, though, as I smiled, the woman holding the fussy baby glanced at me, looked down at the baby and said, in a sing-song voice "That lady smiled at you! That lady will take you! She will take you if you don't stop crying!"
The only comfort I can offer myself is that the baby was about six or eight months old and can't possibly understand the words. But I am having a very, very hard time finding empathy for the grownup.