Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lightrail and the mean old lady

Each weekend K.C., Adam and Big Brother have been riding the light rail all the way into Phoenix. K.C. loves the light rail so much, Adam as well. Big Brother likes it too but just not as much as K.C. and Adam. We take the light rail into Phoenix, then get off and eat at Taco Bell. I have been taking the three boys alone on these trips without help. It's something we want to do as a family. I feel confident that there will be no troubles because they love rididng so much. So far so good. Adam loves putting the money into the ticket machine and getting our passes. I really enjoy going too, Big Brother and I talk alot on these trips. It takes about 1 hr and 20 minutes to get into Phoenix. That is a long trip for the kids, I am so proud of them.

K.C. has been taking a black comb with him everywhere, he's learning to brush his hair. He chews on the comb sometimes and knows he shouldn't so lately he just puts the comb to his lips. I really think he likes that his hair has grown out, I won't be cutting it again unless he starts pulling it out again. Let's pray he doesn't pull it.
Yesterday was not a good day for us. I took K.C. grocery shopping with me, his Dad is in town from San Fran. He took K.C. and I for Dim Sum with some friends of his. We all sat around a very big table and people were talking, laughing, it was noisy but K.C. did really well. The last 15 minutes at the restaurant he had had enough. He was reading to leave and we did.
After we ate, we headed toward the grocery store. As we went into the store K.C. looked very nervous, his little smile looked frantic and I told his Dad that we should do the shopping later because I didn't think K.C. would make it through the whole shopping trip. He agreed so we were going to leave but K.C. wouldn't budge. After he heard that we were going home that was it. He cried and screamed at the top of his lungs, people were staring, I asked his Dad to stop talking to K.C. because he was making it worse. His Dad is hardly ever here, he doesn't know how to handle K.C. When K.C. is angry words make it worse. He doesn't want to hear anything. He finally got up but wouldn't leave the store. He was walking again, but crying, his cry this time was different, he totally knew he was disappointed in himself for not being able to make it through the store. It was a heart wrenching cry. Tears everywhere, I said to K.C. I know he wants to stay and make it through the store, we were going to try. He did cry on and off but through the store I was instructing him to put things into the cart. He knows what food he likes and will pick it up and put it into the cart all by himself! As we turned the corner in the store, K.C. smacked himself in the face hard with both hands, each side of his face. His Dad was shocked. Again his Dad hurried over to him and held his hands, he was even looking around the store to see if we had drawn a crowd! During the whole trip I have to say that hurt me the most, to know his Dad was more concerned about who was watching than K.C. K.C.'s hitting and crying didn't bother me and neither did the people. I knew if we left him alone he would stop. I didn't notice that there was this old lady was staring at us for the longest time. His Dad kept telling me to look at her cause she was staring but I was concentrating on K.C., wondering what had set him off. I didn't look at her until she approached us and said, "I can't believe you are letting him behave that way." That was it. I knew I was telling this woman off. Her voice sounded mean, not caring like my own grandma would sounds. I have always been told to respect elderly people but this lady wasn't giving us any respect so I said to her, "you really need to mind your own business." I thought that would be enough to send her walking but it wasn't. She then said, "it was the most awful parenting she had ever seen." I was pissed. I told her, again, to mind her own business and to leave us alone. K.C.'s Dad looked angry at me! Me of all people! For some reason he felt he owed this lady an explanation, he said to her, "my son is Autistic." That lady walked away muttering under her breath, "excuses, excuses."
We did manage to make it through the trip. K.C. finally calmed down just enough to make it through.
When we loaded the groceries into the van and got K.C. seat belted in (he can do it himself now!) his Dad didn't move. He had his hands on his head and was sweating. He said he was a nervous wreck. We switched seats so that I could drive. I had took and box of banana pop sickles out of the bag before I put them into the van. I handed his Dad the popsickle and asked him to open it for K.C. He stared at me like I was nuts. I said, "well are you going to open it?" Just then we heard a thump noise and looked back, it was K.C. chewing at the interior of the van just near the side of him. There are obvious tear marks in the van from K.C. His Dad said, "oh my God he's destroying the van!" I then said, "NOW ARE YOU GOING TO OPEN THE POPSICLE!" He opened it quickly and K.C. stopped what he was doing. He was happy. Many of you may be thinking, does she always give him Popsicles in the car? The answer is no way. He does chew the side interior but I figure it's not going to hurt him, just the van. He knows the only time he gets Popsicles is on a trip to the store. He doesn't shop with me that much but when he does I always buy him Popsicles. He's not spoiled in my book. I think of it as more of an understanding that K.C. and I have. A silent understanding. It's unbelievable the communication we have without him being able to say a thing. His Dad kind of stared at me on the way home. He kept glancing at K.C. in his mirror. It was quiet. I was at peace and so was K.C. This was just a small incident. The only words that were said was from his Daddy. He kept saying, my son is handicapped, he will always be with us, no college, no job, no marry, no future. He also said he thinks God is punishing him for something he has done. I did speak up and asked him to stop saying negative crap because K.C. could hear every word he was saying. He doesn't understand anything his Dad kept saying. I know he understands and I asked him again to stop and he did. If K.C. wants to go to college he will go with help. If he wants to marry he can. If wants to have a job he will. He has a future. I will admit there was a time I felt the same way his Dad does but have learned that K.C. IS DOING GREAT FOR K.C. Things don't always have to be the same way. He's doing well for K.C. and I love him dearly.
Time for me to go have a popsickle!


Nicki Mann said...

That is very sad for KC, that it sounds like his dad isn't even trying to understand autism. I know he doesn't live with you and doesn't see KC much, but knowing he has a son with autism, he could have picked up a book about autism, or seen a video about it, etc, and then his reactions probably would have been different. It sounds like he is embarassed of his son! :(

kristi said...

Oh girl. You are sooo much nicer than me because I would have kicked that old lady's ass!

Even my Hubs does not get it. He will continuously ask TC questions and when TC says, "I wish Dad would shut up, " Hubs gets mad. It is a neverending battle.

KC's Blog said...

Hi Kristi, I sure did envision beating that womans ass. God I was so pissed!
Hi Nicki, yep that is exactly how I felt and still feel. Ignorance just plain ignorance on his part. He has this doom and gloom attitude that I try to stay away from, you are so right girl!

Anonymous said...

I am soooo glad you said something to that woman! Old people are worse when it comes to kids....

Donetta said...

I think you should have two pop cycles!
Oh how ignorance is so destructive and both the part of KC dad and the old woman.
It is hard to educated those who do not want to learn. Those who think there is nothing to know. I see no problem in explaining as long as KC 's heart is not wounded . Sometimes we need to set folk in their place, yet your absolutely right we owe them no explanation. I have seen fold become more compassionate with a bit of knowledge. I hate it though if they like feel pity or sorry for en or us.
Sounds like KC's dad has believed a lie. a common lie that is often fostered by religion (as opposed to relationship with God). Religion says we must of screwed up if bad things happen. If we are good people everything will go well.
It is the folk how are powerful who often get the challenges we are more of a threat to the darkness and lies.
Challenge that dad about that lie that he did something bad ask him to consider firing that "god". God is loving. He loves KC and dad equally. God accepts them both.
Maybe if the Dad knew God excepted him, he might be better able to accept KC (you know dad is just rejecting himself when he acts that way to KC) KC is just a convent target.

Sue said...

All I can say is that KC is so very blessed to have you. You are a GREAT mom!

redheadmomma said...

I agree. Old people have had a long time to get set in their ways, and she probably hasn't even heard of autism. Old bat. Ah well, she'll die soon enough.*

*Don't worry! I already know I'm going to hell! HAHAHH

But seriously. Sounds like your husband is trying to work through his feelings on all this, and it's unfortunate that KC heard that. It was right of you to ixnay the autism talk in front of KC. It was very respectful of you. And that's what I think I love most about you: You are so respectful to your boys. You inspire me and many others. Don't let the uneducated people get you down. Know that we love you & think the world of you.

I would make a suggestion, though; you knew what KC needed all along as this grocery store thing was going on; also, you saw that KC's dad was very embarrassed by KC's behavior. So you could say, "Listen: if you want to have the smoothest ride possible, please listen carefully to what I'm saying when things start to go south, and do what I ask." So you're working towards the same goal, which is a smooth experience in public. When KC starts to freak out (and my kid does this as well), it is NOT the time to start questioning your actions. You know him best, and you know what to do.

I loved the light rail movie of KC. He is such a gift.

Casdok said...

I try not to notice what is going on around us and like you just focus on C. But sometimes - just sometime i also have to say something.
K.C. with your support will have a great future.And i hope in time his dad will also see this.

mommy~dearest said...

I am very familiar with the father "not getting it", and being a complete ass.

Go have a popsicle and a bottle of Pinot Grigio!

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Hi Tina - dad's have a harder time getting it. No question. With our son, G can get soooo frustrated (and our son is only a 'little bit' PDD) but I just keep trying. What I wanted to tell you is that you were FABULOUS with that old lady, and I told my kids about it. I told them that it's OK to tell people that it's not their business what's going on, if it's clear that WE have a better picture than the person making the critical comments. We also talked about the difference between offering help and positive communication, and offering negative comments and criticism that doesn't add anything (at best). My kids were very impressed with you! Our sages say that, "A wise person is one who learns from everyone." and I'm pleased to say that I and my family are learning from you. Stay strong Tina! You are great!

JUST A MOM said...


Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

You're the most amazing Mama... I have so freaking much respect for you it's unbelievable!. You don't only love KC but you understand him and gosh that's a whole lot more than most parents can claim.

Melissa H said...

Wow, I agree with everything that's been said. And, at the least? I think I would have shoved that old lady onto her ass. :-/
As for KC's dad? God doesn't make mistakes. EVER.
Keep remembering Jeremiah 29:11. That goes for everyone. You, me, KC and his dad.

Lots of love from the Hoses <3

Lora said...

WOW woman! You never cease to amaze me, you are the most awesome mommy in the world! The understanding, the patience, the courage, and the tenacity that you have is never ending and I admire you so very much! I am so privileged to know you and to have the opportunity to learn from you...I am so grateful that I can attempt to live by your example and to be able to call you my friend.

I do not think that I would be so calm when telling K.C.'s dad to stop talking the way he was. It has got to be so frustrating for you that he does not understand that K.C. does understand what is said. Just because he is basically non-verbal most certainly does not mean that he does not understand. Just look at Amanda who made that video and she speaks through her keyboard. She is totally non-verbal and understands everything, she is brilliant and so is K.C.

We love you dearly You keep up the strength and courage. We are always here for support.

A Bishops Wife said...

I admire you so much.