Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I choose my battles

On Sunday I had to get caught up with groceries and errands because I came down with the flu on Friday and was out of it most of the weekend. Horrible flu, I do not wish that upon anyone. . . well except for maybe on the woman we encountered this weekend.

Eric, the kids and I are at Costco looking at this new bike they got in. We put Carter on it to see if his feet would hit the ground. A woman walks up and says "He is special needs, right?" And believe it or not in Carter's two years of life, no one has ever asked. I politely respond yes and she starts to ask if he signs. So she is signing a million miles an hour in his face and Carter plays the shy card. Which I don't blame him, she was a little much. I mean he is two, yes he signs but what child is going to respond back that quickly to a stranger. Any how she goes on to say "oh those children are so special, they are so neat". Like my baby is some other species or something. Eric and I chalk up the conversation as someone trying to be nice but not using the best choice of words. Not to big of a deal but wait there is more. So later on we are standing in line and she sees us and makes her way with her husband and cart-"we want to be by you guys because he is so cute" she says. Then as if she had a mega phone the woman begins asking invasive questions like I have never heard before. "So did his disability happen in your womb or was it during conception? What disability does he have?" I answer back DS and smile trying to keep my cool. She says, "hardly at all, are you sure?" She continues to ask extremely personal questions and I can feel people around us starting to stare. The cashier and bagger at Costco are looking back at Eric and I with their eyes as about as big as ours. This woman did not stop talking until we left the line. She never really wanted to hear any of our responses, she just wanted to hear her own voice. As we were finishing up the bagger loading our cart put her hand on my arm and just smiled. Full of so much emotion and ready to explode I just said, "I choose my battles".

I am more then willing to share just about anything I can about DS and about our little man but when you come at me like that . . . I think of myself as a pretty outspoken person, never really been the shy type but at that moment I could not think of anything to say. What hurt Eric and I the most is that women left the store and went on with her business like it was nothing. Here we have been still talking about it, blogging about it, and thinking about what we would do next time. That lady best not show her face again at my Costco, I am ready now. Its on! I realize that the rest of our lives we are going to encounter people like that so that is why my mission is to educate people on DS. If you want to know about Carter ask about Carter. I am more then willing to share but at least let's be on first name basis before you go asking about my womb!


Kim said...

Oh Ali, I'm so sorry. People can be complete idiots. The stares are bad enough but then when they open their mouths and blurt out nonsense it's extremely hard to bite your tongue. I'm proud of you for handling it like a lady. Next time you can ask what her disability is...lack of tact or social awareness maybe??

Love you!!!

Alexis Gradwohl said...

Ali, I read your blog everyday. I'm Erin (Coffey's) big sis from Pi Phi's at WSU. I have watched your family grow over the blogging world. I agree with your friend Kim, this lady clearly has lack of tact as her disability. People can be so rude and hurtful. Your blog is a great place to vent and next time (I hope not anytime soon) you can be ready to fire back if and when you run into her again. BTW, I think Carter is too cute and love how he smiles in every picture with his new brother. You have an amazing chance to impact people and education people who are clueless when it comes to DS. Thanks for being so bold and brave to say it on your blog.