An open letter
Today started off pretty good, aside from last night where baby had a sore ear and tummy and wasn’t calming down, I thought it was best to nip to the hospital, isn’t it strange the prospect of a three-hour wait medicine had kicked in so off home we went.
Night time was good actually slept most of the night, unlike the last two weeks where she has had tonsillitis and a cough she is unable to shift.
Today I was able to muster up the energy to take her out for the day after I finished the odd jobs I needed to get out of the way, when that was done she had been so good in the car we came to the centre, we hadn’t been for a while due to anxiety issues.
The staff are always lovely and welcoming and always make us both feel at home before play time started baby’s hair needed a trim, she sat there and had her hair trimmed with hardly and issues.
That being done mummy was feeling hungry, so we went to order some food they do lovely food.
Trying to get baby in the High chair was a bit of an issue, to say the least. So leaving her out while I was queuing to order lunch you was there with your friends and your three kids, I’m assuming the youngest was three years old. Baby was standing by the play bits, and I was watching, children play and mess about especially at baby’s age she’s two-years-old.
I watched your little one push her a few times with the other two children standing watching. Kids are kids; baby pushed back, so I called to stop anything bad happening while ordering our lunch.
Several times I went over and called while you stood with your friends talking and laughing amongst each other.
Finally managing to order lunch I sat down near where baby was playing when you approached me, “can you keep your kid away from mine, it keeps hurting my son flapping its hands about and pushing my child I’ve been watching”
I mustered up the courage to tell you “I have been watching, calling and pulling her away from your children who had started pushing her first but kids will be kids, and about her hands flapping and pushing she’s autistic and will push people.”
Your reply left me like you had punched me in the stomach “maybe you shouldn’t bring her to social situations where you can’t control her ?”
If only you knew how hard it had been for me to come back, how hard taking baby to places where people cannot accept differences. Given that this is national autism week I would have thought also it being a place that was set up for people and children with special needs, a bit of allowance would be given but clearly, ignorance is bliss.
I hope you enjoyed your lunch as I don’t know if I would have enjoyed mine as you made me feel inadequate as a mother and intimidated me with your friends. While holding baby in my arms during one of many meltdowns I was able to get up and ask for a refund while apologising to the lady for causing a scene.
You wouldn’t know this as you were to busy allowing your children to run amok around baby and me, while chatting about how much weight you had to lose, feeling, even more, crap because there is nothing of you. I couldn’t stand anymore, the room was closing in, and I couldn’t breathe, so I left, as I made my way out I bumped into two staff that I knew with tears in my eyes saying that will be the last time I came and wanted to go home. Balling my eyes out baby lay in my friend’s arms she collapsed from her meltdown.
Thank you for this lesson not all people can accept the differences each of us has and let kids be just that kids.
Thankfully I’m strong enough, but in reflection perhaps next time you see a mum alone don’t be too sharp with your tongue, some may be weaker than me, and you could be the reason she may never leave the home again.
World Autism Awareness Week 21st March- 2nd April 2017