Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Bystander

We've already covered the fact that I am a parent of special needs kids. They have a wonderful school, amazing behavioral program, in home help etc etc.

 I've learned LOADS from these lovely people who have come in and worked with my kids. It has been mentioned that I am amazing in how I handle them (Not bragging, because I have my fair share of days, just wait ^_~) Our team lead is next going to teach me how to run their speech programs and then I'm as trained as any of our team. I will still NEED them as they are invaluable to our lives, believe me. I am ONE person and I would never be able to do it all!

 Today, something happened that I am still not sure if I'm angry, ashamed... I'm a total frappe of emotions about it.

 As any other Wednesday, I got my 4 older kids onto their buses and off to school, did breakfast... which btw, my husband is questioning mine and my 3 year olds humanity because of our refusal of bacon this morning... Then we took off for playgroup!

 It was like any other day, it was even better, because a friend I hadn't seen in some time was there, another who had been spotty in the last few weeks due to circumstance, and all our kiddos... as well as a half dozen from a special day class... spent the morning playing! Sometimes happily, sometimes not so happily... They're toddlers, what do you expect?

 As the end drew near it was time for clean up and this is where my story 'starts'

 One little girl had been emotional today, and got stuck on having to put a certain set of toys away. All her friends pitched in to help, but she didn't want help. The playgroup leader tried to direct the activity to include everyone but the inevitable meltdown occurred. I was sitting near her father and he was watching the whole time. He mentioned watching to let her work it out, but it didn't quite go to plan. After a couple minutes the playgroup leader, obviously frustrated, asked for help. Then another mother berated in our direction for us laughing at her.

 I don't remember laughing. I know I wouldn't take any amount of enjoyment in her misery. I don't think her father was laughing. I tend to not be phased as much by these meltdowns, my kids have a dozen every day. I wait it out. I use the ABA techniques I have picked up over the last couple years of studying how professionals work with my kids. But laughing? I don't honestly remember now. It's all rather frustrating.

 After being yelled at/towards... was she even yelling at me? I DID have a small anxiety attack. I was shaking... or was I angry? I can't remember now.

 Was I out of line for not stepping in and offering my help? I forget not everyone has as much training as I have been able to pick up. Should I be angry at the other mother? I can understand a screaming and melting down little girl is a lot more traumatic for other people who don't face it as often as I do. I didn't even think that he was having trouble with the situation. I remember mentioning, with a smile on my face, to the other playgroup leader that he was going to have to go back to square one to sort it out... but now I don't know. Was she stressed out about it?

 I have obsessed over every detail of this that I can remember. It wasn't that significant to me as it was happening, but now it is, and it bothers me that it wasn't important enough at the moment that I could recall what actually happened.

 It is hard to be a bystander.