Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. ~George Bernard Shaw
Before I get into the almost fight inside of Kohl's yesterday, let me give a little background on a certain little member of our family. BRODY, oh my sweet yet challenging son Brody, he can make me smile and sigh at the same time. Brody's mind works a little different than the average child. He is very literal, and he takes your word for truth. Should someone say they are coming to visit him, well they better do it because panic takes over him. "Maybe" does not exist to him. It's a yes or a no. It's either right or it's wrong. It's black or it's white, and there it absolutely no gray area to him. There are inappropriate words in the world to say, and he knows not to say them however he takes it to the extreme to become the "Word Police." He is slightly OCD, and sometimes it is very difficult for him to let something go. Should something really bother him, he will repeat it over and over, and it can consume him. It's difficult for me to watch him get so stressed. Our family has gotten good at defusing situations before they start, and Brody is slowly but surely learning how to deal with the anxiety he gets. Even though it is a challenge with Brody somedays it's also a blessing. I love him just the way he is. He can get consumed in doing nice things for his mommy too. He has building projects in my honor, and there`are times he is determined to write me the sweetest letters.
Lately he has had many good days. Since things have been going so well, I'm sad to admit I let my guard down yesterday. I've spent the last several years constantly watching for and trying to prevent intense situations. I try to be more relaxed as he is getting older because I can't prevent all bad in the world, and he has to learn how to handle the hard too. Yesterday was a reminder that although he has come a long way, he still has a long road ahead of him. I get teary eyed writing about this because it is very personal. Why do I write about our life adventures? Because we're not the only ones who deal with this or has challenges. I want to tell people they are not alone, and if you keep working with your child it does get better!
At Kohl's, I was getting a pair of running shoes. I had Brody sitting on a bench while I laced the shoes. He was watching a little girl about his age with her family. The mom of the girl got frustrated with her and said, "You are so stupid." Brody is not allowed to use the word stupid plus he did not like the way the mom yelled it. He jumps up and runs over to the family. Then he shook his index finger at the mom and said "It is not nice to call her that." She looks down at him and told him to "SHUT UP!" This upset Brody even more. He said, "That word is worse. You a baaaaaaaaaad girl!" The lady explodes at this point. As she is yelling, Brody begins to match her tone. I'm trying my best to calm Brody down and remove him from the situation as she is threating him. Let me just say, I'm no fan of anyone threating to hit my child. I'm a fiesty gal, and it took all my self control not to join in on the yelling. Shoppers began to gather around us, and no one helps. She is filled with anger, and she will not listen to reason. Eventually, I get Brody to walk away however he is completely stressed. For the next hour, he is consumed by the woman and her harsh words. Even though the girl was his age, he kept calling her baby. Brody would say over and over, "Moms are not supposed to talk to babies that way." I love his tender heart.
It's a hard lesson to learn at five years old, but there are lots of bad parents in the world. As we talked about it today, Brody said, "I just wanted to rescue the baby." That's my boy! I've explained to him that is not ok to yell at adults. I've replayed this event over and over in my mind. There was nothing I could have done to prevent it besides never leaving our house (we will continue to keep working with him on this). Brody sees things as either right or wrong and good or bad. I wished I would have been able to explain, but I guess she would have probably got offended by that too. I hope as she looks back on it she has some kind of guilt that a five year old boy was able to identify verbal mistreatment to a child.
The second lesson I tried to get Brody to understand is that you can be right and wrong at the same time. And no, he cannot process this yet. Maybe when he is a little older, we'll talk about this again. Until then, we'll take Mr. Shaw's advice "Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world."