Monday, February 25, 2013

If You Can't Say Something Nice

I can write about this now.  Last week, I would have been far too emotional but now, I can talk about it.

On Sunday the 17th we went to Panera Bread for little Sunday family lunch.  We were munching away on the deliciousness when the boy stated he needed to potty.  Boy and hubs went to the bathroom.

When they came back, my hubs told me what happened.

Hubs were using side-by-side urinals (you're welcome for that visual) and chatting up a storm.  As they went to was their hands, some not-quite-40 year old remarked to my husband, "That was English, huh?"

My husband, who let's face it--is the grace in our relationship--gave the guy "the look," took our son's hand, and left the restroom.

When he recounted this story, my heart sank.

Does our 3 year old speak clearly?  No.  Is he having his speech tested?  Yes.  Is it anyone else's business?  No!!!

Here's the deal.  I'm sure that guy was trying to be funny but folks, parents are sensitive about their children and do NOT want anyone joking about perceived abilities or disabilities.  So when it comes to other people's kids, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Really--it's okay.  You don't need a funny quip about everything.  Not everyone needs to know your every last thought.  Just because you have an opinion does not mean you need to share it with everyone  around.  It is better to look a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

I have spent over a week thinking about this guy and what I wish we could have said.  We could have said, "What do you mean by that?" or "Yes his speech is developing--apparently just like your social skills."

In the end, Matt took the higher road.  Though it would have been great to put that man in his place the truth is, no amount of rebuke causes a fool to change.  He would have taken anything we said and used it against us--like there was something wrong with us (and our three year old who doesn't talk like a college graduate) for telling him our son's abilities are none of his business.

The truth is sometimes you have to follow your own rules.  Matt, thank you for not saying anything when you wanted to say so much un-niceness.


  1. People these days. They never cease to stun me with their word choices.

    Thankfully, kids don't tend to notice people's rude remarks (probably because they don't have a filter) so hopefully it all went right over your little dude's head.

  2. We've been down that road far too many times with Parker's sensory issues. I'm not sure why people feel it's ok and I have been on the not so gracious side of things. And to be honest it makes me even more angry when it's a fellow mom, I feel like there should be some unwritten law that one mom would never pass judgement on another moms child over something they obviously can't help.

  3. I have three kids. My oldest two are twins and when they were still small but big enough to understand people would make the most insensitive comments..."Glad it's you and not me." "I am so sorry" and with downturned mouth and headshake "Glad it's you and not me."

    When I was pregnant with their little brother they were 4. The grocery store clerk who admittedly was pretty much a kid herself said "Oh wow!! It will be horrible if you had twins again." and My girls were right there next to me so I very firmly informed her that twins are a blessing and that if I were LUCKY enough to have them again I would be thrilled and then I spat out something about the inappropriateness and unkindness of talking smack about twins in front of twin children old enough to understand the tone and the words.

  4. Yes, people need to learn to keep their mouths shut. Eli (&Sim) were both pretty delayed with gross motor and I remember a mom at the playground making me so upset that I didn't even want to go to the playground anymore because of her comments. It was a frustrating time and I hated feeling so defensive.

    Love to you, friend. I've missed seeing you on FB and messaged Sarah to see what happened to you! Haha! I've been so behind with blog-reading too! Catching up on you and Sarah's blogs tonight. :) Hope all is well with you!


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