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.