One of the hardest things to do with Andrew and Matthew is go out in public with them. If I can I try and avoid it. But at the same time I tell myself, "they need to learn sometime." So I usually try and go out in public with them with AT LEAST one other adult.
I can't even tell you how many times I have gotten stares or looks when the boys have been loud, have hit, thrown a fit, or been uncontrollable. I often wonder: "What are they thinking?" or "They probably think I am a terrible parent and can't get my kid under control!" It makes me want to just leave everything and run home and hide...hide away from the world.
One recent experience: My mom and I were out shopping and we went to a "Subway" type shop inside the grocery store. I forgot Andrew's snacks and drink in the car so I left Andrew with my mom in line while I went out to the car. When I came back Andrew was in full fit mode: screaming, hitting, and arching his back trying to get free of the cart! I ran up and tried to calm him down, the result was getting hit several times. I eventually got him calmed down. But there were definitely people staring at us. When my mom bought her lunch he starting throwing a fit again and the cashier was sweet and said, "Oh he must be tired or hungry! Poor guy!" but I saw the person behind them and he didn't look as sympathetic. While we were eating my mom turned to me and said, "Wow! People really do stare don't they! This is hard." I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "yeah, I'm getting used to it." But we did acknowledge the nice cashier.
I was looking for a video for a different post that I am putting together and I found this one. It is from the What would you do? TV show. And it addresses just this very thing. It amazes me the reactions of the people. I'm glad that there is tolerance and acceptance out there. I don't always feel it, maybe it's in my head, or maybe it actually exists.
Eric and I finally decided that we are going to start to live more and stop revolving our lives around not disrupting others around us. So we took the kids out to the movies to see Frozen. We thought this would be a great movie to go see and we thought they would love the big screen and everything. I came prepared with Andrew's favorite blanket, some snacks, and the iPad. The one thing I didn't realize that Andrew was going to want and we didn't have was POPCORN! Looking back Eric or I should have just gotten up and gotten some, but we didn't. The lady in front of us had popcorn and when she was done and put it down on the seat next to her, there was no stopping Andrew from trying to get it. He wasn't bad and he didn't throw a fit, but he was relentless. It was kind of funny looking back but we decided that maybe we should wait a few more years to go to the movies with him. The lady who had the popcorn kept on looking back at Andrew and at us, but never said anything and we didn't either. But Matthew was perfect and LOVED the movie. The favorite thing about that movie was looking over at Matthew's face and seeing it light up and hearing his laugh!
Going out is definitely a struggle but we have learned a few things: come prepared with toys, iPad, snacks, and special blankets, and to understand that the experience probably isn't going to be great or wonderful, but at least we are going out as a family. In time I have to believe that it will get better, probably never perfect, but better.