"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Friday, April 29, 2011

Firefly Friday. The Second. Dear Lady at WalMart:

I had all kinds of wonderful ideas for this post. I knew what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, how it would go.

And then we went to WalMart earlier this week.

Listen, I know people say insensitive things all the time, and I myself have probably done the same thing. Usually I don't let that kind of stuff bother me.

But it's been a tough week. Every time we get off schedule or travel, it takes Firefly a while to get back to normal. We tend to have several unbearable bad days. I call them "eggshell days", as in, I have to walk on eggshells around her, because there is no telling what will set her off. 

This week was no exception. It was only today that we were able to get some schoolwork done without falling on the floor tantrums and inconsolable tears. So I knew it was a bad idea to drag my three into WalMart. But every once in a while, these things can't be avoided, no matter how desperately we want them to be.

So here is my open letter to the (darling) lady at WalMart who thought I needed her parenting advice:

Dear Lady at WalMart:

I know that when you go to WalMart, you are expecting a peaceful shopping experience. (lol) I, too, would like to pick up an essential or two without a major interruption to my day. Trust me, I have been guilty of skipping an aisle here or there when I notice it is full of whiny children or arguing adults.

That said, maybe it would have been more appropriate for you to skip our aisle today. It may have looked like I was in dire need of your wisdom right at that particular moment when we crossed paths, but I'm not sure that the "wisdom" you chose to impart was exactly what I was looking for.

My child has a disability. It is a neurological disorder. Yes, I understand that she can walk and talk, is articulate and sweet. She does not look like a child who struggles (whatever that looks like). But she does. 

It kills me that it is such a struggle for her to walk into a department store. My heart breaks for her when I see her struggle to gain control of herself, only to fail miserably.

I may be a bad parent. Many times, in fact, I'm sure I can be labeled that way.

She is not a bad kid.

Spanking her will not help her brain to make the connections that are wrong go right.

I did not take drugs when I was pregnant.

I am doing the best that I can. I can't even tell you how many hours (and dollars) we have spent on doctor's appointments, lab tests, hospital procedures, psychologists, and therapies.

You have the luxury of finishing your shopping and walking away from the screaming, writhing child (the one that's too old to be acting like that) on the floor. You will go home and put your groceries away and put your feet up and not look back.

After I peel her off of this nasty floor and carry her out kicking and screaming, we will spend the next hour or two recovering from this tantrum. 

Emotionally and physically, my little girl will be worn out. 

My nerves will be shot, my other children will be shell-shocked. All the plans we had for the rest of the day are no more. 

This is every day in our lives. Every day.

And I didn't even get what I needed.

There. I feel better.

Next time, I'll write my pre-written, planned post. I'll also try to stay out of WalMart.


  1. First of all, I would like to say how sorry I am for you having to experience that from someone who is a stranger and does not know or even understand what you go through on a daily basis. We have a daughter who has selective mutism and has not been officially diagnosed with Asperger's, but shows many of the signs and behaviors. It is very hard when someone comes up to me and questions why a 9 year old is "acting like that" or asks if I need any suggestions or help in the discipline department. So, please know I completely know and understand where you are coming from and where you have been! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hello! Hopped over here and am following you. Come follow me?

  3. Hello, happy Sunday. I am a new follower and also a homeschooler. Nice to meet you.


    Have a great week.

  4. Oh, goodness. Why do people who know nothing -- nothing! -- about a situation feel the need to butt in? Unless it's to offer an encouraging word, there is just no need for it.

    Sorry you had such a rough day. (hugs)

  5. I have a friend who wanted to have explanation cards (like a business card, explaining her son's autism) printed up to hand out at those moments. Sorry the woman chose not to walk away. Hope your day got better!

  6. I'm hooked on these firefly posts now. I'm so sorry about everything that you guys have to go through. Prayers for you, firefly and your family. Thank you for sharing your story! Thanks again for stopping by the S&R hop and posting the button. You have a good weekend!

  7. having worked with autistic children and having had to carry them out of the store....I sorta know where you are at here. People can sometimes be... caring in a rather insensitve way. May your days with your darlings go better...

    1. Thanks so much! We have good days and bad days, but this one was a whopper! It makes me just want to hand out letters in the aisles as we walk them sometimes!

  8. So sorry for a rough day. I'll remember to be more understanding when I'm shopping. :)

    1. Hee Hee! I've been on the other side as well--sometimes it's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes when you really just want to grab what you need and get out, isn't it?

  9. I once had a lady tell my already screaming child at Christmastime that Santa wasn't going to bring her any presents if she acted like that. I wanted to slug her!

  10. I once had a lady tell my already screaming child at Christmastime that Santa wasn't going to bring her any presents if she acted like that. I wanted to slug her!



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