Friday, December 15, 2006

Argghhh!

I don't know why I let it bother me. Now that Tyler is 2 1/2 you'd think I would be used to it. But I'm not. Tonight I took both kids shopping. I rarely do this, just for my own sanity. However, I was feeling festive and figured they could use the time out of the house as much as I could. We loaded up and headed to Kohl's. I strapped them into the double stroller and we worked our way through the store. That's when it happened. People, young and old, stop to look at the kids. They usually assume they're twins and who can resist twins? Then they always talk to Emmalee....smile at her, wave at her, try and get her to smile. I love that. What I despise is that they ignore Tyler. It's as though he isn't even there in the stroller next to her. "How old is your little girl?" they'll ask. I answer but I follow it up with some comment about Tyler like, "...and he's 2 1/2." That usually makes them stop and take notice of my absolutely adorable son. Not always, though. I don't know if it is that they don't know what to say or if they are just that rude. I saw a t-shirt recently that said "We all have special needs. Mine are just more noticeable than yours." I want to find it in Tyler's size and put it on him whenever we're out in public. I want to pretend that this will not continue to happen for the rest of Tyler's life but I know better. I know there will always be the rude people in the store, the bratty kids at recess, the well-meaning elderly lady who asks what is wrong with my son. I guess all we can do is love him and treat him just as we would any other child. Too bad everyone else fails to see how completely perfect and amazing he is!

7 comments:

Colette said...

Jodie and Brent...what a blessing it is that Tyler has you as parents! They are so cute and so sweet! I am sorry that people can't see the good in all of us and just look at the out of us. It just isn't fair. Love him and protect him the bet you can, that is all we can do. Give him a big hugs and kiss for me, and Emmalee too!

Alyssa said...

Jodie my dear... I feel for you. I think people are just, ingorant, and silly sometimes. While I know it is a bit different, Marc and I deal with a lot of random/silly/unnecessary comments when we go out as a family and it drives me nuts sometimes! People should think before acting or speaking!!

Tyler and Emmalee are amazing kids, and you guys are amazing parents!!!

Jodie's Random Thoughts said...

Thanks Alyssa and Colette! Alyssa, it isn't really any different. People are just plain silly sometimes. My friend has two adopted kids, both AA. They get all sorts of comments and she has given me a lot of great come backs! :)

Lanna said...

I read an article recently about autism from the perspective of a child with autism. The basic message was this: "I am a child. I have autism. My autism does not define me. I have more to offer than just this one special quality. Please do not label me."
Reading the article drastically changed my perception of children in general. My nephew is not autistic. He is a child with autism, just as his sister is a child who loves to play soccer and dance. Porter is not a vegetarian. He is my son, who just so happens to not eat meat. His food aversions should not define him, just as Tyler's special needs should not define everything about him. I hope this makes sense.

Jodie's Random Thoughts said...

Lanna-
You are absolutely right...Tyler is a little boy who happens to have Down syndrome. He is still, first and foremost, a little boy who loves and plays and smiles and grows and makes us happier than we ever thought possible. :)

Our family said...

Jodie, don't you wish you had a cattle prod sometimes?? Or the chance to tell those rude people the only thing "wrong" with Tyler is that his idiot repellent seems to have worn off?? Seriously, though, you and Brent are gifted with amazing children and the heart and skills to parent them. Just think of all that those silly people are missing out on!! If I find that t-shirt I will be sure to let you know. :D

Our family said...

oops! "our family" is gen :D