Monday, July 11, 2011

Seeking Random Stranger

We're figuring out that one of the more difficult aspects of parenting Owen is discipline. It was explained to me that his brain learns things a little differently than the "typical" child,  so a lot of times the normal disciplinary actions aren't going to work on Owen.
(Of course, they don't work on my other two half the time either......just sayin')

Anyway, one of our biggest thorns is shoes.

He likes his shoes to be a certain way. He does not like the velcro to overlap or veer off the intended path. Easy fix, right? Just line it up perfectly and move on.

I wish.

Specialist said to intentionally mess up his shoes and make him cry it out. Hopefully over time, the behavior will change.

So as we're leaving the hospital one day, his OT reached down and messed with his shoes (thanks, Jessica.....) and he, of course, launched himself into an all out fit.  I'm talking knock down, drag out. This was the kind of fit that had the other parents looking away and thanking their lucky stars it wasn't them while the toddlers in the room took notes and admired his tenacity. 

And if you've been wondering if it hurts to get hit in the mouth by Horsie?
I can assure you, it does.

As I dragged my mini Mike Tyson out of the hospital kicking and screaming, we walked by an older man sitting on a bench. He definitely seemed interested in what was going on. He was giving me the Look. You know the one? The look the older generation has that basically says "that kid needs a serious a___-whoopin'!"
Usually the the older generation is right. Just sayin'.

I ignored our audience and just kept dragging Owen along and telling him his shoes were fine while he screamed bloody murder and hit me repeatedly.

Got all the way to the car.
Forgot to get the parking voucher.
Double Crap.

Dragged him back in still screaming and hitting me.

Random Stranger still staring audaciously.

Fourth trip by Random Stranger and Owen threw himself on the hot concrete.
Yup, still kicking and screaming.

I just stood beside him and waited.

Random Stranger stops me.
Me in my head: Oh geez. I know you think he needs his butt whipped but there's more going on here than what you're witnessing.
Me for real: "What?!"
Random Stranger: "I just wanted to say I think you're doing a great job. A lot of parents would have given in by now. You're teaching him."
Me, embarrassed with my jaw on the floor: "Uummmm. Thank you."

He had no idea how much I needed to hear those words right then.
Or maybe he did.
Maybe he was an angel in disguise.
Maybe he was just a grandpa who gets it.
Maybe his shoes annoy the bejeezus out of him and he could just sympathize with the battle.

I don't know why he was there at that precise moment to encourage me,
but I sure as heck needed it.

And now I'm trying to track him down to come live with us and continue being my personal cheerleader. So if anybody from New Jersey is reading this, I'm looking for a tallish, thin, 70-80ish year old African American man with gray hair.  He was last seen outside the St. Joseph's Feeding and Swallowing Clinic in Paterson. I will pay his fare to get here and I have his pom-poms ready.

If you see him, please call asap.


  1. Love that man. In our church lingo we would call that a "tender mercy". That reminds me of a guy in Trader Joes who said the same sort of thing to Emily once. A comment like that can carry you for days!

  2. I LOVE that man! I believe too that he IS an angel here on earth, because we ALL have the opportunity to do the same thing for those around us! I like Jessica's "tender mercy" note - it is awesome that it lifted you up when you needed it.
    Oh, BTW, will this cheerleader be taking up residence in the guest bed? Shall we start bringing our air mattresses? :D

  3. Can I have him after you. This is Ashlyn and she has not even been diagnosed with any learning disability. We all you know you are pretty amazing!