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What to do?

December 19th, 2007 · 4 Comments · Allergies, The BoyChild

Last night we went to the GirlChild’s Christmas Band concert. For whatever reason, they combined it with another, huge, Catholic School band and had it at one of their two gyms.

Because there was insufficient seating, and the BoyChild doesn’t sit well anyway, we moved to right under the basket along the wall. The music moves the BoyChild but he doesn’t have a lick of rhythm. In any event, he danced the night away, looking like a spastic chicken, to the beat of Jingle Bell Salsa and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

Standing next to me was a woman holding a little boy about three years old. He had rosy cheeks. Red ears. Shrieked and covered his ears with his hands whenever the band played. And at one point flailed around to the point that she took him to his father who took him outside.

This gym was relatively new. And it reeked. Of something rubber. Of something industrial. Something. I couldn’t put my finger on it. But I felt like it was poisoning the BoyChild and I was glad when the concert was over.

The BoyChild, too, had the red cheeks and his ears turned a little red. He had blood shot eyes. And when the concert was over, we fled from there lest he get in trouble for biting or head butting or running into someone or some other infraction.

All in all, the BoyChild did very well.

What disturbed me was the woman with the boy standing next to me. She had that look I know well. The, “he’s really a good boy and I don’t know what’s causing this behavior and I’m doing the best I can” look.

And I wanted to lean over to her and say: “the covering of the ears and shrieking while the band plays is probably auditory sensory problems.” And “the red face and ears are probably environmental and food allergies. There is something toxic in this room that’s causing my boy problems as well.”

But instead? I didn’t say anything. I smiled sympathetically. But I wondered. On the way home, I wonderd if I should have said those things? Should I have handed her a business card and said, “call me.”

And I wondered how I would have felt if someone had said those things to me when the BoyChild was three or two or four? I wouldn’t have believed that the things you eat and the smells around you could have such an effect on behavior until I actually saw it. I didn’t know anything about auditory sensory or sensory perception problems before I had reason to educate myself.

So I didn’t say anything to this woman. I simply tried to smile at her in my best non-judgmental smile. Because I know that the feeling you feel the most when your problem child is having a problem, is judged. And it’s an awful feeling you get in the pit of your stomach.

But I wonder? Should I have said something to her?

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leanne // Dec 19, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    You know you can’t win with this one.

    Probably you should have said something, then been prepared for a dirty look and known that you’d never hear from her.

    But, just maybe you’d have gotten her thinking and maybe that would’ve led to the poor little guy getting some help from some where else.

    I’d probably have done what you did though and not talked to her about it unless I knew her fairly well.

    I’m a wimp though. A nice person, but a wimp.

  • 2 missmamamoon // Dec 20, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Margaret, I have so been there. When I see those dark milk allergy circles under kids’ eyes, I want to scream at the parents to do something! I hate being in that position because you KNOW you could make a difference to that kid’s life if their parents just had a little education!

    Sometimes you can get a casual opening and lead into it, but more often than not, the parent is just trying to cope with the child and is not particularly interested in listening.

  • 3 daysgoby // Dec 23, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    I can only tell you that while we were struggling with Rosey not talking it would have flattened me to have another parent (who was a stranger) talk to me about there being something wrong with my daughter. I would have felt like we all had flashing neon signs on our heads saying ‘Damaged!’

    If I knew that parent slightly, it would have been better. I don’t know, M.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  • 4 Victoria // Dec 31, 2007 at 5:33 am

    If only we mothers communicated more…just saying “Hey, here’s what’s working for us…” or “This is what I learned.” But I agree that it is hard to hear from someone else that they recognize your child’s challenges. Especially if you haven’t discovered and accepted them yourself.

    Sigh.

    Happy New Year, M.

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