|Don't I look all sweet and innocent. . . like a little angel?|
The Ellie Bear is a lively toddler with definite attitude and definite likes and dislikes. The problem is that her likes and dislikes change on a minute-to-minute basis. We head off to the mall and I am armed with 4 different kinds of foods, two clothing changes, a chew, a lovie, and a straw sippy cup of water.
|I'm going to be a little stinker.|
There we were in the food court after a very very short stint of playing. The Bear was refusing all food (there was throwing involved) that I brought with me a long with the food I purchased at Chick-Fil-A for myself.
|Here comes trouble!|
A kind, older gentleman sitting next to me in the
I am sure it was quite obvious--my hair was most likely frizzy and standing on end like I shoved my finger into an electric socket and I am positive I was sporting some nasty under-arm sweat stains (gross, I know but it is 104 degrees here people).
The Chunky Chicken was looking like this:
The older gentleman says to me: "Chick-Fil-A gave me an extra box of tater tots by accident. Would you like them because I cannot eat all of this?" I graciously accepted and helped Ellie sign "thank you". We are working on manners. Correction, I am attempting to teach manners, but Ellie isn't quite there yet.
Low and behold, the ever so picky and sassy McSpitsALot likes tater tots!!! My angel Knight in shining Chick-Fil-A armor!!!!!
|Just in case you want to check out The Bear's tonsils.|
The gentleman proceeds to ask about Ellie and tells me that I have been very blessed. He says that there will be challenges, but it is all worth it and that yes, all children have challenges.
I look at him and ask who he knows with Down syndrome. I am expecting a sibling, a child, a grandchild, a niece, or a nephew. He proceeds to tell me that he was in the military and during his travels he met many families who had children with Ds. He tells me stories of war and the places he was stationed. He tells me that all parents want to protect their children. That they want what is best for them, but that it is important to not hold our children back. That we need to have high expectations. I am now thinking of him as the Wise Older Man who has graciously served our Nation.
At this point, it was evident my spunky Bear needed a nap. She never truly smiled or waved at him like she does with so many people. She was in true cranky pants tired toddler form. Yet, when I thanked the gentleman for sharing his stories, his wisdom, and his tater tots, he said "no thank you for letting me chat with you and your daughter."