Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Think Before You Speak - August 23, 2011

I had a book to return to the library, so I loaded up the kid in the stroller (though lately she usually rides her trike-with-a-handle, I was going for easy-for-mama) and we walked over. I never take her there anymore - she refuses to look at the books and instead messes with the DVD shelves and sometimes bangs on the computers. And has tantrums - often connected to my telling her we need to leave. You know, typical kid stuff (I witness similar but lower-key tantrums like hers all the time) with a bonus special-needs cherry on top. But I had to go, and we both needed the walk, so I decided to be brave.

And while there, she was surprisingly subdued but, yes, still wanted to mess with the DVD shelves. Nobody was really around, so I let her. She stood, more or less (holding on to the shelves/me mostly, but upright the whole time) and she just rearranged the DVDs over and over, pulling them out, babbling at me, putting them back in new places that sometimes made sense. She pointed out words she knew and symbols she recognized and was kind of, sort of behaving.

A woman came up to us because she too wanted to look at the DVDs. So, with a smile, as I moved out of her way, I told her that my kid - who was looking at her and smiling too but beginning the wrinkled-nose thing she does before the storm hits - was known to scream at strangers and not to take it personally. Now, when I say that, I actually mean freak out hysterically when someone looks at her too long or gets in her space. It's beyond a tantrum - and usually I or my husband bear the brunt of her freakout. Physically, I mean. It's not fun. We still haven't puzzled this one through. We're working on it. I warn people and I try to handle it.

So the woman nods and smiles and tells me how she took her two-year-old nephew to a baseball game recently, and he screamed and screamed and screamed at strangers and just at everyone. I nodded. Good, I thought, she understands.

"I was like...people are going to think something's wrong with him!" she said. And she said it twice. "They probably thought something was WRONG with him!"

I just...closed my mouth and nodded again. By this time my kid had in fact started freaking out - throaty, wild yells and grabbing at my eyes, my nose, my hair, panicking because she doesn't have the words to say whatever it is she wants to say.

And I thought, lady, you might have looked one more time and thought for one more second before you said that.

(But while I'm talking about my kid, I will also add that she now is able to get off of chairs and take two full unassisted steps from a standing position and/or stand for many seconds unassisted without wearing her SMOs - she rarely wears them for one reason or another - and she's very close to being able to get up to a stand from the downward-facing dog position. This is good stuff. This is very good stuff.)

There's no moral to this story and I don't even know what my point is, entirely. The lady left, the kid calmed down and then freaked out again when I finally pried her away from the DVDs and cried until we were halfway home, at which point I distracted her and she started talking to me again. The end.

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