Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shopping malls and fear

On Monday that kids and I went to the shopping mall. The particular mall that we went to has a playground for kids to play on. I let the kids play for a little while (this usually helps Caroline to behave, knowing that she will be able to play).

The playground was packed, as usual. Will wanted to play too, so I let him out of his stroller and he went to town. He is not so sure of the play equipment and sometimes finds it hard to maneuver so I usually walk behind him and offer him a hand when he needs it (going up and down the stairs, etc).

Within two minutes of being there this little boy came up to Will and started looking at him. I would say his was about 2 years old. The little boy started touching Will's head and face and would not leave him alone. Will was bothered by this boy and would try to get away from him. I told the little boy that I didn't think that Will wanted him to touch him anymore, but he kept doing it! Will was getting angry with this kid and kept trying to duck away from his touching. I continually told him to stop and he wouldn't. His mother (who never got up from her seat) just kept yelling for him to stop touching Will's head and to leave him alone. Yeah, he never listened.

So we ended up leaving the playground after only about 15 minutes. Caroline was not happy but went along with it. Will still wasn't done playing either but was ready to get away from that kid.

My heart broke for my guy and fear started to set in. All he wanted to do was tell this kid to leave him alone and stop touching him but he couldn't. He can't tell someone that he doesn't want to play or doesn't want to be hugged or doesn't want to be touched. He can't call out "Momma!!" if he gets separated from me and feels scared. What would Will have done if I wasn't there?

I fear Will going to school for this very reason. I don't want him to be pushed around because he can't say STOP! I know that the teacher will be there but I am sure that she will not be able to see everything all the time.

Will starts preschool in August, so there is time. There is time for his vocabulary to develop and time for him to mature. But he is not going to be at the same developmental state as his peers. Let's just say...I am not looking forward to it.


Michelle said...

To cope with that fear (and to change diapers) Austin has a 1:1 aid. She's constantly with him (unless in therapy). When Austin is in the situation of people in his face, he cries!

Marissa said...

Myssie, I am so sorry. There really is no way to prepare our hearts for the way people are going to treat our babies. Or how our babies will be able to respond and stick up for themselves. It hurts and it is scary,



Cindy said...

I was concerned about Natalie when she was only 2, but she matured a lot in the year, and I'm sure Will will too (two "wills" in a row!)

The mom's response was not appropriate, but the other boy was doing typical 2-year old stuff. I am sure that any teacher in the same situation in class would handle it properly...that's exactly the kind of thing they're watching for. Observing Natalie's class really helped calm my fears, and I pray that you are comforted by the classes you investigate too.

Kelly said...

I am always so surprised how my sweet dainty little AnnaKate can "hold her own". Will will be able to as well. But it still does not ease the fear...


angie said...

Those are the moments that RTS frustrates me so much! Emma also has a 1:1 aide in the classroom for times like those. Although her speech is progressing, and she goes to a VERY small school (only 11 kids in her typical Kdg/1st grade class), she still often gets lost in the shuffle or doesn't have the right word at the right time.

When Em was about Will's age we had a similar experience in a shopping mall play land. The kids that were bullying Em had no parents with them at all...and they were just MEAN! It broke my heart!

Tena said...

I have had this fear as well, but someone it does all work out. We had an issue this year with too many girls hugging Caden and Caden in turn biting them back. It was pretty clear to me that he was saying - Go away, I don't want a hug, but instead he bit. It'll work out, he may communicate in ways you never thought of!! ((hugs))

Jacqui said...

HUGS. I have no advice to offer as Matt is still young, only to say I stand with you as someone who has similar fears. Fear is nasty because its tentacles seem to squish the life and warmth out of ones heart. Praying for strength and courage for you and Will so that fear does not find a permanent place in your hearts.

When I think about scary things that might lie in the future, I think about how I have been given strength and grace to cope with the tough things in the present. If some one told me I would have to deal with some of the things I have faced already I would not have thought is possible. That gives me hope that I will be able to cope with some of the tough things that lie in the future. This applies to you also.

Kelly said...

It is interesting that you posted this yesterday. I was folding Max's pants last night and I held them up and thought, how could I start to think about him going to school when he wears size 6-9 month pants. Then I started worrying. I know there is time for time before he turns three. . . but really there is not much time. He goes to day-care every day, but I know it won't be the same. Take care and let me know when you book your room!! I told Ava last night and she is so excited to see Caroline. Maybe I shouldn't have told her quite yet.

Terri H-E said...

Awe. Everyone has said everything say-able here. Nothing will take the fear away before he starts school. I believe I was beginning an ulcer prior to Addie's kindergarten start in September. But. She is a better communicator than many adults I know, just not with words. People may need a "legend" to her signs, gestures and expressions, but once they know, they know. Once they treat these things as communication, trust flows freely in both directions.

Before she started school this year, I wondered so much about Addie's safety, security, well being under someone else's care and instruction. Within a few weeks I got to transfer that wondering to who we'll invite to her birthday party, which teacher she'll have next year, what book she'll choose at the library. She does have an aide, but my relief comes mostly from observing, as Cindy mentioned. Addie does, indeed, hold her own. She holds her own so well that I can say she has friends of her own age. I didn't dare hope for that yet (just wanted her to make it safely through a school day)and she's done it already.

There's still time before school starts. Look back at all the times he wowed you. He'll be wowing you tons more before it's time to strap on a backpack!

Christine said...


I share your sentiments, I can't give any words of wisdom. I can only share hugs and walk the same road with you.
hugs and more hugs.


Lora said...

Oh Myssie, *hugs* to you. This sort of thing is so scary. I bet that Will's teachers will be right on top of it. But watching our children go out into the big, wild world is just intense and scary.

Finding Normal said...

I don't have any wisdom on this, as we're facing preschool in October too. She'll go to a special needs preschool, at least for the first year, so I'm not as worried about that. But I already worry about K and "real" school.