I need to post about a partcular incident, just so I can get it out of my head.
Before I tell it though, there is something I need to say first. I'm not going to make excuses for myself. I will explain my thought process, but I'm not expecting anyone to say "aww gee, well it really is ok." Because it's really not ok with me - although I've made my peace with it for now. And the only thing that matters is how I deal with it in the future.
Thursday morning I went to my coffee place as I always do. C usually drives us to work, so he waits in the car while I get my coffee whistle.
On this particular day, there was no line. I was at the counter alone, there are two registers. A lady came tearing into the shop and rushed right up to the other register. She nearly ran me over, because I was somewhat standing in between the two stations. I was wating for my coffee and my muffin.
A few seconds later, I felt the presence of a child to the right of me. He was shoving his way between me and his...I presume....mother. He kept rapidly tapping me on my right hip. I looked over and decided he must have been about 10 or 11. I was a bit annoyed, but ignored it for the most part. His mom began to sternly speak to him in a language I couldn't understand.
The second my muffin/coffee hit the counter, I reached for it. The child then took both of his hands, placed them on my right hip and shoved me as hard as he could out of his way.
When I caught my balance I was FUMING. I was also completely shocked that a kid would push me! I stared him straight in the face, and he just looked at me like he wanted me dead. I then said to him, rather angrily "You do know you aren't supposed to push people, RIGHT?" He said NOTHING. His Mom said in English "Did you hear what she said to you!!!???"
I was so angry, and shocked at the same time that I just turned on my heels and quickly walked out of the store. I got in the car with C and tried to explain why I had "that look" on my face.
When I was done, C said "Honey, is that the kid you are talking about right there? The one coming out of the store?" When I said yes, it was, he continued "Well, I think he has issues."
My heart broke and then it sank to the lowest parts of my body. I was SICK. How could I have yelled at a "special" kid? What the hell was wrong with me? I asked him why he thought he might have issues, and he said that he had seen the kid outside kindof flailing before they entered the shop.
C says that even though he might have had a mental issue, I should still expect not to be shoved in public by perfect strangers. Be it a child or adult. And to a degree I agree with him. And I can tell myself that my reaction to a stranger even touching me was a lot more restrained than that which I was feeling at the moment - but I still feel really bad about it. Not only that, but if he indeed has issues, his care taker didn't seem to be very nurturing. But then again, I don't know a damn thing about kids in the first place.
I just wish I had taken the time to think about it before I reacted. THINK. C thinks perhaps the child was autistic. By all outward appearances, he looked "normal" enough. I wish I had asked his mother - "Could you explain to me why your child just pushed me?"
If I had done so, perhaps she would have said "I'm sorry, he's got this or that issue." I could have lived with that. I would have made room. I would have allowed them to go ahead of me.
And if the child has issues, is it wrong of me to expect the mom or guardian or whoever to let me know? To explain after the first physical contact that this is an extraordinary circumstance? Part of me says yes, it is wrong for me to expect that. Why should she have to tell everyone she interracts with why he's doing what he's doing? And maybe it's the first time he's actually physically reached out to a stranger?
The other part of me wonders why a mother wouldn't want to protect her child by letting the people around him know why these things are happening.
I'm also angry at myself for assuming. I assumed a lot of things in a split second. 1. Because I heard her talk to him in a stern way, I think I assumed she was trying to get him to behave. 2. I assumed it was ok to just address him directly instead of asking/venting at the mom. If I were a mom, I'd have to think a stranger addressing my child directly would anger me very much. Protective instincts would come out and I'd want to be the one to take care of the issue.