So every year I take Patrick to have photos taken at Target for St. Patrick's Day cards. Now it being 3 weeks before Easter, it is not that crazy there yet (thank GOODNESS) and we are able to wait peacefully for our turn. This is great for Patrick because he has major problems when children getting upset. So of course they are running behind and of course we get there 10 mins early... so we had about a 45 min wait.
Patrick goes and picks out some books and is honest to goodness happy and content, which makes me happy and content and able to look outside my bubble of Patrick. I notice two moms that seems to be sisters with 2 young kids. I'm going to wager a guess that they are about Patrick's age, 4. One of the little boys OBVIOUSLY doesnt want to be there and OBVIOUSLY doesnt want to put his Easter suit on (what boy really does anyway).
This is how the conversation goes...
Mom (yelling): "PUT YOUR GOD DAMN PANTS ON NOW"
Boy: "I don't want to"
Mom (still yelling): "I DONT CARE WHAT YOU WANT"
The boy says nothing, just staring a blank stare at mom.
Mom (yelling louder): "PUT YOUR DAMN PANTS ON, STOP ACTING LIKE A BABY"
Boy still doesnt say anything but you can tell his eyes were filling up with tears
Mom (totally losing it): "IF YOU DONT PUT YOUR FING PANTS ON NOW, I'M GOING TO SLAP YOU!"
Now everyone is watching...
Boy: "NO, DONT HIT ME!"
Boy tries to run away and Mom grabs his shirt collar and the boy falls to the floor. Now the little boy is a mess, sobbing and sobbing. My heart is breaking. The mom than scoops the boy up takes him down an aisle and smacks him, still yelling horrible things.
At that time we are called in.......
On the drive home, that incident really got me thinking. I didn't want to judge the women because as a parent to a child with special needs, I know how that feels. I also don't know anything beyond what I saw. What was going on before she entered my extended bubble? Was she just a stressed out, at the ends of her rope mom? Is the boy really a brat and this was just a tiny bit of what she had to deal with on a regular bases?
But the question arouse....
Regardless of the circumstances....
Is that how any mother should talk to their child??? No, absolutely not. Than it got me thinking further. Is this one of things Patrick has taught me? To be patient and to us kind words, even though I'm at the ends of MY rope?
I know there are PLENTY of mothers out there with typical kids that would NEVER EVER EVER speak to their children in such fashion but there are those few that just lose it. I could never lose it and take it out on Patrick. GOODNESS to me that little boy was being a TYPICAL 4 year old. Us mothers to DXed kids crave for that typical behavior. We crave the "NOs" and I would die if Patrick actually said "I dont want to".
Does having a special needs child make us moms more tolerable of bratty behavior? Does it make us more tolerable to stubborn behavior? Is our rope just that much longer, so we dont lose it?
I know what you are thinking... "Like she has never lost it?!?!"
Of course I have BUT I cannot talk to Patrick in that fashion or even rise my voice because he will melt down and Ill lose him completely. I have to explain things in a gentle, calm voice. I have to get down to his level and let him know I understand. As I do make a conscience choice to, in reality I HAVE to. There really isn't any choice to go down the nasty road. Even if I do slip down it, I have to run as quick as I can back up.
I wonder if I had a typical child, would I ever lose it like the mom at target? Well forget her because I KNOW I would never hit my child, but would I still be able to keep my cool? See there IS a choice there. Even if I'm completely in the RED and smoke is coming out of my ears, would I make the right choice? Would I make the choice not to yell or become nasty? Would I stay calm and even? Would I still get down to his level and let him know I understand?
See having a typical child, comes with typical expectations of behavior and understanding. Would I just expect my child to behave regardless of what is asked and when it doesn't go as planned, do I get angry straight away? As I do expect good behavior from Patrick all the time, I know that is not reality and so when it does happen I guess I'm more prepared? I don't know I guess I'm just rambling on now.
I guess what it all comes down to is, is that I would like to think I'd still be the mom I am now. In reality though Patrick has TAUGHT me all of this. Patrick has taught me to be more kind and patient. He has taught me to roll with the punches and to make things work. He has taught me to expect the best out of him but also know when the best is just not available, take a breath and make a new best for that day. He has taught me to look through his eyes and to understand his world and why certain things might not work that day. Before him I viewed the world in such a different way. Not in a bad way... just different.....
Patrick 3/09 His First St. Patrick's day :)