The Ignorance of Strangers

Max doesn’t like waiting at the school gates for Zack to go in, or come out of, school.

When I say he doesn’t like it, I mean the moment we get to the area we have to wait around in, he starts screaming, and headbutting me in the groin (just the right height, damnit!), and trying to pull me down the hill towards the nursery.

He’s so desperate to be in nursery. He adores it so much.

Thing is, there are two bells before the kids go into school in the mornings, and the kids go in at 9.10am. Then we have to wait 5 min before going into nursery, so he misses the group time at the start.

This morning I decided to let him walk. It takes a bit longer, and the way back after collecting him is… difficult.

I got to the school gates, gave Zack a hug, and off he went to find his friends.

Cue Max’s screaming.

And headbutting.

And more screaming.

Many of the mums know us and understand that Max has autism, though they may not understand exactly what that entails. They just smile and chat to me. There’s no point in me trying to tell him to stop, that we’re going to nursery soon, or attempting to soothe him. It just doesn’t work. Ignoring him is the best way. Keeping an eye on him obviously, but ignoring the behaviour.

Today there was a dad waiting at the gates.

Not one I recognised, but then there are a lot of parents who wait around till they know their kids are in safe and sound!

He was watching Max.

I caught a glimpse of the slight shake of his head. He couldn’t stop watching Max having his meltdown though.

I turned to my friend and said something along the lines of “ahh lovely, cue the looks from people who are thinking I’m a bad mother for “letting” Max act this way”. I think he heard. He looked the other way.

After the kids had gone inside, and some of the parents had left, Max started to calm down.

He was playing with my coat.

I said “good waiting Max, well done!”, and we walked down to nursery.

I barely got a look in when he saw the nursery.

I asked him to “say bye bye!”, and he waved his hands, said “pwees” for me to open the door, and toddled in happily for another morning in nursery.

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  1. January 19, 2011 / 6:51 am

    It’s sad how quick to judge people are, especially of parents. xxx

  2. January 19, 2011 / 10:50 am

    Indeed. I just let it go right over my head now. *I* know I’m doing a damn good job with my boys, and so do their teachers, my family, and my friends. That’s all that matters! 🙂

  3. January 19, 2011 / 10:52 am

    It amazes me that these people (particularly parents) are still acting this way. I’ve had dirty looks going in for my midwife visits at the hospital when I’m in the waiting room with my toddler (so the waiting room just has other parents/pregnant women really) and they give me dirty looks because she’s exuberant. One even gave me a death stare when she climbed up on to my lap and said ‘i love you, mummy’. I can only imagine what would have happened if she was throwing an all-in, throw-down tantrum. She’s good at those too. The mind boggles.

  4. January 19, 2011 / 10:53 am

    I think it’s difficult sometimes not to jump to conclusions, all children are different as indeed are Mums. I’d like to think I give people the benefit of the doubt but I can’t hand on heart say that’s always the case.

    I do try though and realise that things are rarely as they seem on the outside.

  5. January 19, 2011 / 11:01 am

    People can be so judgmental. If only they could walk a mile in your shoes I bet they would just be quiet. Hugs xx

  6. January 19, 2011 / 11:51 am

    And those people were in the waiting room, presumable because they’re about to go through the same thing… madness! >_<

  7. January 19, 2011 / 11:52 am

    I do know what you mean. I guess I’ve always been one who’s good at looking at all possibilities! 🙂

  8. January 19, 2011 / 11:52 am

    Indeed they would! They most definitely would… hell, even 20 paces trying to walk with Max would probably do it! LOL

  9. January 19, 2011 / 10:59 pm

    Se Marilyn….you’re a better person than me! In times like this, I take an un-natural pleasure in playing the autism card.

    I LOVE to see the apologetic and shocked look on their face when they learn that they have wrongly misjudged the situation and your parenting.

    I think you’re awesome.
    But you already know that! 😉

  10. January 20, 2011 / 9:40 am

    Oh I was *tempted*, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say more than I did. >_<
    I think you’re awesome too! 🙂 x

  11. January 23, 2011 / 10:06 am

    […] it can be easy to judge the parents and children around you. Softthistle talks this week about being on the other end of that judgement and perhaps we are ignorant of what’s really going on. A fact that Paul Johnston also picks up […]

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