Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Socially Acceptable

I saw this floating around on Facebook yesterday and I know I am a day or two late, but I would like to share it with you:

Its Halloween. Tonight a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you might be shy or non-verbal. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have an allergy. The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have Sensory Processing Disorder or autism. Be nice. Be patient. Its everyone's Halloween. Make a mom feel good by making a big deal of her special child.

It is a good reminder that maybe we, as in parents and society, should not be so quick to judge that woman who has her 5 year-old in a stroller (seriously, do you honestly think she would be pushing her child around in a stroller if she didn't have to?) Or that child who is screaming in the shopping cart without her shoes in 50 degree weather (aka me and the Ellie Bear and yes, I am aware she should be wearing shoes and socks. Thanks for asking me if I am aware it is cool out).  Or the mother who refuses to give her child foods with high fructose corn syrup or red dye #5 or anything processed in a plant that works with oats.

You do not know the situation.  You do not know the child.  Yet many people have no qualms about dolling out unwanted, unsolicited advice.  Perhaps the child is in a stroller because he tires easily or maybe he has cerebral palsy or he just had a broken leg.  Perhaps the screaming child is trying to cope with the environment which feels hostile to her.  Maybe the lights are emitting a horrendous buzz that is deafening to her and feels like fiberglass breaking into her eardrums. It is also possible that diet plays such a huge role in the behavior of a child.  Maybe he is allergic to corn and oats or is on a special diet for medical purposes.

I have a child who screams in the store unless I am shaking the cart.  She also casts off her shoes no matter how I try to keep them on; short of stapling them to her feet.  Maybe I should try duct tape. Ellie also chews on her shoes, which I KNOW is nasty so you do not need to tell me.  It is why I bring a "spare" unworn shoe for such oral craving instances.  Oh the looks I get.  As society and as parents, we are so quick to judge.  We are so quick to give out advice.  

Remember this, no one knows your child as well as you.  At least, that is what I keep reminding myself when I get such stares or unwanted advice.

We are all mothers (and fathers) trying our best to encourage our children to grow and navigate life to the best of their abilities.  Some children just need a little more encouragement or help than others.  I get it.  After all, I am the one walking around Target with the sensory-seeking, screaming, dairy-allergic child who is mouthing the grocery cart handle, throwing her shoes into the aisles, and still wearing a bib.

I hope that everyone had a great (and safe) Halloween.  It is the only day of the year when you can walk up to strangers and beg them to give you candy.  Here are some pictures.  Chunky Chicken was a fail due to a bit of well-time reflux.  Fortunately, Ellie still fit in last year's costume. . . barely.

Ellie with my Godson Grant and little Grace

Trick-or-Treating is such hard work.  It is important to stay hydrated.

Notice Ellie is signing "daddy".  



  1. Ellie is gorgeous...
    and you're a great mom
    and if anyone keeps giving you dirty looks let me know because I may have to come regulate...
    hugs mama...
    don't pay attention to them...

  2. Well said..and maybe she just wrapped her arm in the saftey strap and completely just popped her elbow out of joint...just sayin;) Yes that did happen to me and not one person tried to help me with a screaming child {who I though actually broke her arm at the time}and two other little kids in tote to get out of the store as quick as possible but they sure could take the time out of what they were doing to stop and stare awhile..made me soooooo mad!!!!

  3. Well said...Ellie is just a beautiful little bear, jijiji...and she has an awesome mom and dad who will always have a voice for her and for others who can not defent themself. You rock Ellie Mom.

  4. Very well put. Wish everyone would read this.

  5. I answered you back on my comments but didnt know if u would look again so i thought i would tell you here too:)) It was Avery:-) she is constantly popping her joints in and out but that was a first for her elbow!! My thoughts exactly!!!

  6. xoxoxo Ellie Bellie!

    ps. great piece on the child who might have special needs and halloween! we were just talking about that today in my parent support group - how one lady had to CONTINUOUSLY explain to people who chided her son for not saying "trick or treat" that he's not verbal (yet) and how utterly exhausting that was... Great post, Anna!

  7. From a momma who had to carry her not-yet-independently-walking almost 3 year old for trick or treating ... and who also can't yet say trick or treat, but sure as heck and can smile say thank you and bye ... I say thank you! Thank you for posting this.

    I shared this on my facebook page. I hope that people learn to think before judging, and not just for halloween.

  8. Some really excellent things to remember!

    Love Ellie in her bear costume. I didn't see her in it last year, so it's new to me! :-)

  9. I loved this! We had an incident at the grocery store recently where an older lady cornered me and yelled at me for not discipling my children because they were "all over the place"...which can't be true because only 1 of them can walk! I have to say I am completely exhausted of others thinking they have any right to comment on another's parenting or what they deem to be "lack of parenting"...things are not always what they seem (I feel a blog post coming on from our grocery store incident!)

  10. I really love this post! I hope you don't mind if I "share" the Halloween part on facebook. I know some others that really should read that!

    Ellie is so stinkin' cute!!!

  11. This is such a good reminder for EVERYONE not to judge!!


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