I love helpers. I am a helper myself. I think you should talk to strangers and help people just because. All of that said...
Its the Holidays! Everyone is a bit more comfortable and willing to help right now. I think that is awesome. But I want you to know a few things about addressing a child in public who you do not know. It was so kind of you to try and help me convince my boy to try on the snow boots. All of your points were valid. I totally agree that no one likes to have boots slip off in the slush of Winter and soak our feet with snow. That is most definitely a bummer. You were exactly right that kids can't play in the snow here in Ohio without snow boots. You even hit the nail on the head that trying on the snow boot would only take a few seconds and would be over before he knew it. Finally you were on point when you said that in order to go sledding and build snowmen that he needed those snow boots.
But here is what you didn't seem to notice.
You had invaded his personal space and scared the shit out of him. For a kid with sensory processing disorder, an introverted personality or a spectrum disorder, or hell, just shy... having a dude get all up in their business out of nowhere and with hand gestures and a booming voice? That shit is terrifying. It triggers a fight or flight response that is really hard to pull out of. My guy wanted desperately to just disappear while you were trying to help me. I wish you would have caught on to that, man.
I am bummed that I had to tell you to back off because you didn't seem to notice that his face flushed bright red and quiet tears were dripping giant plopping drops from his eyes and that he was shaking and trying to fold himself into my jeans pocket. I didn't want to tell you to back off because your intentions were good. But dang, dude, I have no idea how you didn't SEE WITH YOUR OWN EYES that you were scaring my kid. Regardless, I will give you some props for not calling me a bitch and sneering when I said, "Dude, I need you to back up and head away. He afraid of you. Thank you for trying to help, though". I was ready to hear a few choice cuss words from you that never came. So that was cool. Still, the damage was done so we TCA-ed and headed for the car without snow boots.
We really needed those farking boots.
So please keep in mind this Holiday season that for some kids all of those things we associate with Christmas can be hard to manage. Its hard to regulate for me, let alone a child. And shit, adding in the sensory business makes it a fete of astounding proportions for my kid just to hit Walmart for 5 minutes in the last 8 weeks of the year. The lights are brighter and everywhere, the stores are jammed, the music is louder, things are spinning, displays of noisy toys are all around, there.are.so.many.glittering.colors., your socks are often wet, your face is cold and the wind is whipping. And yep, sometimes well meaning strangers get in your face out of nowhere and try and force you to try on snow boots.
So that's all I'm saying, keep it in mind. Offer help where you can but please, PLEASE, be mindful of how you are offering that help. Remember that some kids and adults may need more space than others and that it's not an insult. It just is what it is.
Love and Happy Holidays!
might be something awesome, something awful or a lesson that I learned during the week. Every Sunday I put that lesson here. Let my wisdom words inspire or frighten you. xoxox, Mama Pants}