I’m Not Sure Where These People Come From


May 20, 2010 by Marj Hatzell

Look, I try not to be overly sensitive but when you are the mother of a child with special needs, it’s tough to keep your Momma Bear Claws contained, you know?  Actually, when you are a mom PERIOD I think it’s tough NOT to get bent out of shape when someone does or says something that could potentially injure your child.

Bugaboo is non-verbal.  He isn’t deaf.  Not being able to speak does NOT mean he has nothing to say. He just hasn’t found a way to SAY it yet.  YET.  Trust me when I tell you he is listening. Trust me when I tell you HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU SAY.  So do me a favor, people of the world, don’t insult him RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE.

Yesterday we hit up the local overpriced pharmacy (right near my mecca, the place that sells the best Pico de Gallo on the planet) since we had some errand to run and I always let Bugaboo get a snack.  Yesterday he signed, “Candy.  Drink.” So we went in, I let him get a bottle of water and pick out his m&ms.  Then we got in line.  And another woman got in line next to us (supposed to be behind but she was confused, even though there was ONE register open and people typically wait BEHIND the person that is next, but whatevs).  Bugaboo was excited, making his little happy noises (but honestly?  He was pretty quiet.  Just chirping and bouncing, like usual).  When it was just about our turn, he rushed forward and put his things on the counter.  I called him back since we weren’t quite there yet.  The woman “next to us but behind us in line” started commenting on him.  She said, “That boy is O.O.C.  Oh-Oh-C? Get it?  OUT OF CONTROL.”  Then she started prattling on about the way he was bouncing and making noise.  Then she told him not to open his water or candy because, “Your mommy needs to PAY FOR THAT.” and she was really loud and embarrassing and my ears started to burn and I can’t remember what else she said but something about, “Being more patient” and possibly, “O.O.C” again.  I don’t know because my face was burning hot at that point, my ears were ringing and that airplane engine noise was drowning everything out.   When it was our turn, Bugaboo put his things on the counter, we paid and then turned to leave.  SHE WAS STILL TALKING.  I was trying soooo hard to get out of there and not be rude but OMFG SHUT UP, LADY!  Everyone stared. I truly despise that.  Then Bug Boy came in teh door and asked me to buy candy and started towards the line and I was all, “HELL NO.  GET TO THE CAR.” and he was upset but I literally dragged them both out to get the heck out of there.

Seriously.  What the heck is wrong with people?  I mean, this was a younger woman. She might have been my age, give or take a few years.  I would never, EVER make comments like that about another person’s child. I would never, EVER presume that someone’s kid was out of control.   I really, really wish I remembered that I had a stack of, “This person is autistic and that’s why blah blah blah” cards with me.  Bugaboo’s school gave them out, and although I don’t make it a practice to tell folks that he’s autistic (because I don’t go around telling people I have OCD and I’m bipolar and have suffered from Bulimia for twenty years although I no longer make myself puke) but JEEBUS woman!  It would have been a great opportunity to school someone.  Next time I’ll remember.  Because what I really wanted to do was slap her. And ask her why her mother didn’t teach her better manners.

This is the reason why we have Autism Awareness month, folks.  So that people UNDERSTAND and aren’t so ignorant and we ask them to be a little more understanding and patient and give my kid a chance to learn things that are very difficult for him to learn.  Although I’m fairly certain people like her would remain ignorant anyways.

20 thoughts on “I’m Not Sure Where These People Come From

  1. Michelle says:

    You’re a better woman than I because I would have told her to shut the fuck up.

  2. GeekChick says:

    I understand you trying to be all PC and all, but tell the woman to shut the f-ck up and mind her own business! My claws come out and I don’t censor it. She’s an ignorant slut, yes, but you have every right to respond. Don’t keep biting it back – tell her that she was out of line. Defending your kid and speaking your mind are not only acceptable in that situation, but therapeutic as well 🙂

    Question – why were YOU embarrassed? Why did YOU feel bad about the situation? Who the hell is she and all those people out there? No one. They don’t matter. Our mom instilled in us way to many neuroses and this is one of them – caring what the world thinks of us and our kids. To hell with them! They aren’t in our homes and lives, living what we live. F-ck ’em all!

    Carry around some little cards or flyers on autism and when someone says something snarky, rude, ignorant, or just plain bitchy, silently hand them one. It’ll shut them up.

  3. GeekChick says:

    Right on, Michelle!

  4. Deanna says:

    Sweets, it sounds to me like he wasn’t even acting outside of a typical childs frame of mind. You have no need to be embarrassed, when one of mine has a fit in a store or runs around like a loon no matter how many times I ask them not to, then yes I get embarrassed and so would you but in this instance? No way, this woman was way out of line and clearly has no idea what “out of control” is, but we can happily give her an example of “adult out of control” behavior if she wants. Luvs and hugs

  5. RuthWells says:

    I appreciate that you were trying to not return rudeness with rudeness, but you know? I’d have slapped her DOWN.


  6. Terry says:

    I like reading your stuff…

  7. Kelly says:

    I think a simple “Your comments are completely insensitive” would have been entirely appropriate. Frankly, I like “shut the fuck up,” but ultimately it would have done nothing to make her reconsider her behavior. (I get the sentiment, though, really. Assholish people deserve that shit.) I’m sorry this happened to you and Bugaboo.

  8. kwombles says:

    ((())) Been there. Cold stares and a simple, hard Stop! said to the woman has usually quieted the person. Not always, though. But it’s hard in that situation and you never know what you will do until you’re in it and each time can and will be different. Twenty years into it, though, the cold stares have been perfected; we don’t have much trouble.

  9. Laura says:

    Next time give them a good stare and say ” this is far from out of control; but one more word from you and you will see out of control from me”! Then tell them to mind their own business and spend some time getting educated!!!!

  10. rockle says:

    Sometimes I think I used to be that person — before I had kids, I used to get annoyed with other people’s kids when they weren’t acting like adorable little robots in the store or whatever. But I never SAID anything. Because that is BOGUS. Kids are kids.

    Now I have a daughter who is 3 and my husband basically won’t let me take her anywhere without him if there is even an outside chance that there will be other people, because if anybody even thinks about saying one negative thing about my kid or any other kid — and I swear to God, I can SMELL when they’re thinking negative things about my kid — I really have to work hard to control myself and not PUNCH THEM RIGHT IN THE PIEHOLE.

    Have to set a good example, you see.

    Now, if people get really obnoxious, like this lady, I get very obnoxious right back. I have said, out loud, to my daughter, in front of other people, “Honey, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything, or people will think you’re a complete chicken butt head.”

    Sometimes, I’m not even THAT nice about it. So you totally win for not knocking her on her ass.

  11. Perky says:

    You should have looked her in the eye and told her that SHE was O.O. L. — Out of Line!!!! And then looked away and gotten back to your purchasing and parenting, totally ignoring her for the rest of the time!

  12. Ok, Perky, your response is the best so far.

    If this ever happens again? I’m using the O.O.L business. Or F.O.O.L. F*cking Out of Line.

  13. Kristy says:

    So sorry that happened to you, my friend. Remember my latest blog entry and what being too nice did to me? You and Bugaboo don’t deserve emotional injuries. I would hope that a small comment would be enough to make anyone with a shred of decency not only shut up, but be ashamed enough to educate themselves to make sure they were never so insensitive again.


  14. Casdok says:

    Infortunalty i think you are right we are not going to get through to everyone.
    But im not going to give up trying!

  15. kathleen says:

    Been there…usually I just smile and say “he gets it from me-isn’t he fabulous!?”

  16. Amanda says:

    Oh there are so many snarky things to say back. I have a whole bank of the snappy comebacks for people like her. I’m not even above saying to the younger ones like that “When you have kids I hope they act just like mine.” You really just can’t fix stupid.

    I’ve seen those cards and considered getting some to carry myself for when people are just truly way out of line like that. It’s not just autism people are ignorant about. I have a 3yo who wears size 5/6 clothes. He’s 3ft 7in and 40lbs. But, people see babyish behaviors from him, and say ignorant crap because they expect him to act like a school aged child. I just wish people would mind their own business.

  17. Lora says:

    I understand why you acted like you did. Because you are hurt and shocked and irate and probably tired on top of all that. So you bite your tongue and just pray for it to be over asap so you don’t lose your fucking mind and set a bad example for your son by taking your wrath for all ignorant people who have ever crossed you out on this one idiot.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ok, don’t hate me, BUT… Maybe she has some sort of disorder too. Maybe she can’t pick up on social cues or maybe she appears not to have empathy for others, you know, like some people with Aspbergers. Or… Maybe she’s just a bitch.

  19. Jennifer says:

    How about…”My son has a developmental disorder, what’s your excuse?”

  20. Heather says:

    So sorry you had to deal with someone so stupid. I would have told her that “She was out of line” too. Or used the “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” line. I actually read all of the comments and I’ve been in Amanda’s situation with our daughter and two of our nephews. They have always been big for their age, and people would have a tendency to make comments when they thought they didn’t act their age. Of course it was just their perceived age.

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