Friday, October 10, 2008

Stop and stare

Running errands with children can be daunting at times. Doing it with a child that can be set off by the littlest thing can be extremely difficult. This is not about a child throwing a tantrum because he doesn't get his way. This is about a child who has a hard time dealing with emotions and who can't express them and who sometimes sees the world as a scary, unsafe place.

Being a single mom, with an ex-husband that only sees our son once per week, it makes it hard to get things done without my son. I now live with my fiance and he helps out a lot, but with the way our schedules are I still end up running most of my errands with Joey. Most of the time, it works out well. Our trip to Trader Joe's reminded me of how hard it can be when Joey is having an off day.

The afternoon started out with me picking Joey up from preschool. He was very excited about the lizard he made and he wanted to show it to me. I love when he is so excited. He is just adorable. Then, we went to the car dealership to pick up a rental because my car need warranty work. He wanted to go in and watch the big TV but we didn't have time. Looking back, I should have appeased him for a few minutes because it might have made my day go smoother. Once we were settled into the rental, I realized he was starting to go into what I call the nap zone. Trader Joe's was around the corner so I figured I could get a quick trip in now for the stuff I needed for dinner that night. The rest of the afternoon would be taken up by our trip to the Melmed Center which is on the other side of town, so this was my only chance.

Joey apparently didn't want to be at the store and melted into a pile in the parking lot. I pretended to walk in so that he would get up. This instilled fear in him which is not what I wanted. As I walked back towards him, he ran towards me and then fell back into a pile in the doorway of the store. I picked him up and put him in the cart. He was hanging on the cart and crying hysterically. The cart was dirty and now his tear-streaked face was dirty too. Eventually he calmed down and after seeing a girl pushing a child-size shopping cart, he wanted to push one too (which he usually does). He was doing great and took turns putting groceries in my cart and his cart. Everything was wonderful until his wheel got stuck when he tried to turn and he got frustrated. This happened right in front of an employee who of course did nothing. He sank into a pile again and began to cry. These are the times when I need help and seem to have none.

I grabbed another employee and had him take the tiny cart, hurried up and finished my shopping and got out as soon as I could. Do you think people got out of my way when I said excuse me? No! They just stopped and stared at me because I had an upset child. I never do that to people. Little do they know what Joey is going through. I wish I understood how to help him more. I'm working on that.


Dougal said...

Hey Michelle, I just stumbled upon your blog about little Joey. I am also Michele and have a Joey (was 5this June.) He also received a dignosis of PDDNOS. Your comment about needing help sometimes and not receiving it really struck a chord with me. At the moment we are trying to challenge some of his(what I would consider irrational/antisocial or just pure oppositional)behaviours. It has resulted in minimal success, but a few extra grey hairs for me to deal with. I wish you luck with Joey and will continue to read your excellent blog. Take care of yourself.

Michelle said...

Thank you!