The Storm After The Calm

, , , , , | Friendly | January 14, 2018

(My husband and I are BLESSED with a very calm toddler. His calmness often worries people, usually strangers. One day while I’m out shopping with him, my toddler decides he wants to open a box of crackers while I’m browsing.)

Me: *taking the box away from him* “No, no. We don’t open things before they’re paid for, sir.”

Toddler: *whines and reaches for the box* “Mama!”

(At this point his face pinches up like he’s going to cry but I know he’s not going to do it so I shake my head at him.)

Me: *puts the box back in the cart’s basket* “No, that doesn’t work with me. You just ate before we came to the store, so you are not going to starve.”

(My toddler proceeds to very calmly jabber at me as if he’s trying to argue with me, but I keep telling him, “no,” and he finally shakes his head and goes back to playing with his stuffed animal. At this point, I realize that a woman is staring at us with a shocked look on her face.)

Woman #1: *awed* “I just knew he was going to have a meltdown, but he never did. How did you get him to act like that?”

Me: *shrugs* “He’s always been like that. He’s never actually thrown a tantrum, either.” *laughs* “My husband likes to joke that we’ve got a defective kid because he’s so well-behaved for his age.”

(The woman laughs and I hear a loud “harrumph” behind me so I turn around to find another woman glaring at us.)

Woman #2: *accusing tone* “You should be ashamed of yourself! Your son is obviously autistic or has something else wrong, and you’re making fun of him by calling him defective!”

Me: *rolls eyes* “No, ma’am, he does not exhibit any signs of autism or any other disorders. If you must know, his pediatrician says he is in good health and is a very happy and average toddler, and that he is calm because my husband and I are calm. Kids learn by example.”

Woman #1: “Yeah, which means if you have any kids, they’re probably rude little a**holes just like you.”

([Woman #2] stomped off in a huff and [Woman #1] and I shook our heads before wishing each other a nice day and returning to our shopping.)

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