Screaming Children in Public Places

There seems to have been a recurring theme all summer, and it has now bled into the fall with the latest story of a couple of ladies who took it upon themselves to write a passive aggressive note to a parent at a restaurant. In previous cases, a restaurant owner balled out a toddler, and a woman had her check paid by a stranger.

It seems a pretty divisive conversation.  People do not hesitate to comment, and comment strongly, about WHAT THEY THINK.

I get both sides of the issue.  I really do.  And I was not there in any of these cases, so I personally do not know the extent of the “screaming”. There are times that The Man and I have been out to dinner, and been severely annoyed by a toddler allowed to run around the wooden booth behind us, and there are other times when a particularly enthusiastic child doesn’t bother me. A lot depends on the situation, the age of the child, and the parents’ attempt or lack thereof to control the behavior.

But here’s the thing. Public spaces are public. Kids are kids. Restaurants are open to all kinds of people. You cannot control your environment unless you are at home, and as soon as you try to, you infringe on someone else’s rights. Parents with rambunctious children have a right to go out to eat once in awhile.  And you may have to suffer through an annoying experience once in awhile.  That’s just life.  Unless you want to go off-grid and live like a hermit, you will have to deal with other people who are not under your control.

Also, how do you expect children to learn how to behave in restaurants if they never get the chance to go to one? What are we teaching children if we whisk them out of every public place as soon as they make a peep? The Boy is not whisked out of his classroom every time he needs to pace or starts to get upset, nor should he be.  He needs to learn how to manage his emotions and still participate in class, much like a small child should learn this as well.  They can only do that in situ.

This does all depend on the parent making the moment teachable, and monitoring when the behavior gets to be too much for the surroundings.

Judgy and opiniony.  It’s getting a little thick out there again.  Be nice, don’t judge, offer to help, and get over it.

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Meltdowns, Blame & Brains

The glasses we found in Myrtle Beach broke.  In the parking lot to The Boy’s favorite restaurant the other night – the lens had been popping off, and it popped off onto the concrete, and promptly broke into pieces.  He flipped out, obviously upset.  I tried to quickly calm him, but it was a no go.  It escalated, and I had to physically manhandle him into the car.  Then, because we were headed home, everything was my fault.  I broke his glasses by “punching them” with my fist!  I am the “meanest mom ever”!  I “hate” my son, and “want to kill” him as soon as we get home!

Through all this I was silent.  We got home and the harangue continued for a short while.  I sat down and pointedly ignored the ongoing outburst.  He came over to me, attempting a hug, all the the while still blaming me for his misfortune.  At one point he asked what it would take to be allowed to go back to the restaurant.  I told him I needed him to calm down, and I needed an apology.  The first apology I got was pretty backhanded, and so I explained that he had hurt my feelings with the things he had said.  I reminded him that I love him no matter what, and then he apologized for hurting my feelings and blaming me for the broken glasses.  After he had calmed a bit, we headed back to the restaurant and had a nice dinner.  At one point on the way home (again), he said all of the “hims” inside his head had made him think wrong about what had happened.  I asked how many were in his head, and he said, “Millions!”  I said they’d have to be very small to fit a million little versions of him in his head, to which he replied that they were microscopic, and you could only see them with a microscope.

He seemed to be joking, but sometimes the things he thinks up boggle me.  I can’t even begin to fathom how his mind works and processes information.  There’s a video on upworthy about having “empathy”, and “what it can be like for people with autism” – maybe you’ve seen it floating around facebook.  My mom brought up a good point, saying unless it was produced by a person with autism, wouldn’t it just be an NT assumption about what it would be like to have autism?  Yes!… But then The Boy watched it and said, “Hey! That’s just like real life!”

I don’t know if I will ever get used to not knowing what goes on inside that head.

This ultrasound shot of The Boy's Brain is probably the closest I'll ever get...

This ultrasound shot of The Boy’s Brain is probably the closest I’ll ever get…