Yesterday, our daughter had a Dr. appointment with a new Dr. I was lucky that my husband was in town so we were both able to take her together (lets face it, we all like not having to take our child to the Dr. alone).
The day started off pretty good. K woke up in a GREAT mood, smiling & happy! While there was a bit of stress around getting out of the house on time, pretty standard with a 3 year old who has no concept “hurry up”, we still managed to get out of the house in a good mood & had a nice ride to the Dr. Out of the car & into the office she was being a little silly but she was happy.
Then silly started to turn into a lack of listening. I imagine this is also fairly common with 3 year olds but since I only have one, I don’t know for sure. Still in a good mood, we were lead to an exam room for the customary wait for the Dr. to come in. This was her first time meeting this Dr. but she actually seemed to like him. Things were going well, until in the blink of an eye, she was no longer happy.
From that moment on, she was all tantrum. Screaming & crying about everything & anything. This is where the embarrassment sets in. We needed to leave the room we were in & go to another room, then come back to our room a few minutes later. That few minutes we were out of the room & in the office with everyone else, felt like an eternity.
With K screaming bloody murder as we carried her down the hall, I started to wonder what everyone was thinking. Are we driving them nuts? Do they think we should do a better job of keeping her under control? (I’m sure at least some thought this) & so on. Yes, all 3 year olds throw tantrums but not to the extent that we often deal with. The other people in the office don’t know that our child is special needs, so they have no basis to understand why this might be harder for her than for other kids.
I thought about it a bit more after we left (with a still hysterical K) & have come to this conclusion…
NO, I am NOT embarrassed. I KNOW that we are great parents & that K is a GREAT kid! I know that their thoughts come from a lack of understanding & that’s ok. I guess where I am going with all of this is 2 fold.
1. If you are the parent of a “special” child (or even a mainstream one for that matter) & a tantrum happens, just do the best you can. Its all any of us can do really, & as long as you are making an effort, that’s all that matters.
2. If you see a child having a tantrum & subsequently a parent who is likely embarrassed & stressed, tying to deal with it all. Offer a smile or a quick word of encouragement. Understand that you likely don’t know what’s really going on & accept that most of us parents are really just doing the best we can.