I am hiding with hot chocolate and What Not to Wear while the boys are playing in their room. Trust me, I don’t do this very often. I just needed some space after our trek to the library for story time.
I think I have a week’s worth of blog posts from that trip.
I kid you not!
Here’s the short version: Feel like I’m pulling teeth to get boys out the door. Walk to library since we don’t have a car today. Surprise ourselves and get there with time to spare. Meatball is not interested. Period. Fine, we’ll look for books and hang out. Dr. J mentions that maybe we should leave because it looks like rain is coming. Check out books, give Meatball last chance, he falls apart. Leave. Beat the rain home. Give boys snack and hide.
Between hanging out and leaving, one other mom had a resistant child. She had a little girl and an infant, as well as a stroller. Finally, her daughter lost it. Screaming and all.
This story time is for kids only, and the moms wait in the library. The moms who were sitting around waiting for story time to end–some reading, some chatting with each other–got pretty quiet. I was waiting for someone to say something to her about her child’s behavior, but they didn’t. I did here, “I think she’s ready to go home.” That could be down-the-nose or empathetic, so we’ll give the benefit of the doubt and go for empathetic.
When this started, the mom was holding her infant and trying to encourage her daughter. Once the screaming started, the poor lady walked around the edge of the library with stroller and screaming preschooler and struggled to get out the door. I wanted to go help her, but I couldn’t leave the boys, one of whom was having his own issues.
Here’s my question, and maybe next time I’ll get bold enough to ask it (in a nice way, of course!).
There were two grandmothers sitting on a bench chatting about vacations. Two other mothers were each standing separately, reading or holding books. Those are just the ones within the vicinity. Why didn’t they offer to help her get out the door?
I am really hoping for a discussion here. Yes, I confess I’m feeling a tad judgmental and I’m trying to leave that behind. I really want to know why we don’t help other people in public.
Why not offer to unload groceries for an elderly gentleman or lady, or someone who is dealing with a physical challenge?
Why don’t we say, “Can I push the stroller for you so you can carry your toddler?”
Why don’t we walk over and open the door?
The scenarios are endless.
I’m guessing my pre-mom self would not have offered help, not having been there. Now that I’m a mom AND a mom of a special needs child, I see things in a different way. But maybe I’m being unreasonable.
Are others afraid they will embarrass the lady by calling further attention to her? Is it taboo? Isn’t there a way to offer help that comes across as genuine and not judgmental?
So, I look forward to a discussion in the comments, if you would indulge me. I’m not ignoring matters of safety. I’m just wondering why we don’t offer to help more often.