So, after yesterday’s first-hand look into what it is like to see Jp in a new environment, I anticipated that the comments about me socializing him being the “fix-all” to all of his social issues being officially put to bed.
Because I am dumb, apparently, and totally bonkers-out-of-my-overly-logical-mind for thinking that it was that easy.
Today Jp and I woke up and went to the pool. Why? Because, as much as water seems to make him anxious, he simply loves going. He asks all of the time, “Swimming?”, even right before he closes his little eyes for bed. It does not hurt that we also have worked out a system for leaving that works nearly flawlessly and involves little to no drama whatsoever and I can get my tan on. Bonus.
When we arrived home, my mother-in-law asked me how it went (probably still gun-shy from yesterday) and I said that it had gone amazingly. He knows the drills and leaves with the ease that comes with knowing the place and having the same exit routine every single time.
Then she said something that infuriated me. Which is rare because the woman truly is a saint. She replied, “Oh, that is probably why [sister-in-law]’s girls were so good. She took them EVERYWHERE all of the time”.
Wha…? Did we not just go through this yesterday? Do you have amnesia? Remember that you could barely handle him in the checkout line of the grocery store for five minutes while I paid? Wait a darn second…DID YOU JUST COMPARE MY CHILD TO MY NIECES? My cute-as-a-button-and-little-perfect-term-baby-genius nieces? Did you just have the audacity to compare my son to children that do not have any developmental delays? Did you DARE insinuate AGAIN that I could change the way he reacts in public if I “took him out more”?!
Before I had a chance to process and calm myself from acting like a total B*&ch to a woman that really did not mean anything by it (she really is an utter sweetheart, honestly, she was probably just thinking aloud and had no idea how I would take it) I had my claws out. Mamma bear was standing in my place in that kitchen and was defending her cub from a perceived threat.
“NO. Jp has problems in new environments because he has developmental delays and anxieties. [Sister-in-law] just has good kids!” I spat out. *Roar!*
She told me that “lots” of kids act like Jp. That is when the lid popped off. Mind you, I have never really gotten mad at my mother-in-law, she is a wonderful woman, but I cannot STAND it when people downplay Jp’s realities. Yes, kids throw tantrums. Jp cannot understand florid verbal explanations so tantrums are more frequent than even your average tantrum-y toddler. Also, he has the tantrums in response to the same thing (leaving anywhere, people leaving, anything that involves separations of any sort) with such consistency that it is impossible for me to think it is a typical “I-want-what-I-want-and-you-won’t-give-it-to-me!” reaction that I see from other children his age. He feels anxious and uncertain. I coax him, I encourage him, and I respect his boundaries even if I cannot see or understand them.
I am not going to start dragging him around like a rag doll and ripping him out of places (which is how he mostly sees it when we leave a place) in the fruitless hopes that maybe, just maybe, he will be “good” like my sister-in-law’s girls.
He is good. He is also wild, crazy, tenderhearted, adorable, and perfect just the way that he is. So, I love you but back off, lady. *ROAR!* The look on her face today was twice as priceless as the one yesterday, I might add. 😉
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.