Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Incident

Back in December my family and I, along with my parents, my in-laws and my sister and her family were in Salt Lake for my son's dance recital. We decided to grab dinner across the street from the venue. Well, because the place was SO crowded, it took us forever to get, literally, just across the street. We should have just walked, but whatever. Parking was a joke, and both my husband and I were a little short tempered with each other, London needed to be changed and it had just been a long day. When we got inside (finally!) I went to the bathroom to change London's diaper... well, there was no changing table, and I was hardly able to get the wheelchair in there at all. I was so frustrated (really, the drive over there was ridiculous, we were all hungry, and like I said, tense words were spoken!) and I really started to feel like the whole world was out to get me. It seemed like the walls were just creeping closer and closer in a room that was already not made for London and I. So I went back out and, probably rather gruffly, told my husband that we should just go home. I'm sure at this point there were already tears in my eyes, the place was packed, I didn't want to go all the way out to the car to change London in the FREEZING cold (remember, no parking) only to come back in again, and I was probably dehydrated and low on blood sugar. Naturally my bad attitude resulted in some bad attitude given back to me from my husband and since Kannon was already eating (he had gone over with my parents) he challenged me... Which made me feel worse.

I was breaking down and I felt it, and I just wanted to get out of there.

Everyone started 'shh'ing me, and it just wasn't what I needed. I said some extremely bad words, right there at the door of the restaurant, and slammed it on my way out. I needed to go! I felt like I couldn't breathe, I was completely defeated for the day, and I wanted to cry myself to sleep. Thomas came out after me and there were a lot more tense words exchanged. I went back in to get the kids (I was freaking leaving!) and there was more 'shh'ing... my mom and mother-in-law were trying to calm me down and it just wasn't working, Thomas was pretty upset with me (I'm sure he was embarrassed to be with the crazy woman) and I felt like nobody would just let me go.

My mom and mother-in-law got London into the bathroom and, between the two of them, changed London's diaper on the 12 square inches of counter space by the sink. In the meantime, of course, other people are coming in and out of the two-stall bathroom probably thinking to themselves that the woman crying is completely off her rocker and should be institutionalized. So I'm standing in this tiny bathroom, crying, muttering to myself that I just want to go home and have my nervous breakdown, while my mom and MIL are trying to get London taken care of, and there are a few kids coming out of the stalls who will be needing the sink that is not really accessible because of our freak show, and I just want to disappear into a black hole. My mom and MIL are still 'shh'ing me and telling me that everything is ok and all I can do is cry and list the reasons that things aren't ok... like the fact that there's no changing table, or that the bathroom isn't handicap accessible, and that everything is so difficult. Well, those kids who were so kindly (probably out of terror!) waiting for the sink? Their mom was holding the door open (which was behind me) and as I went to leave after London was tucked back into her wheelchair, she said to me, "No, it isn't fair"

And finally someone was just listening.

Instead of trying to fix it, or tell me to calm down, someone just validated my feelings.
(But thank goodness for my mom and MIL doing what they did, too!)

So after all that, we're standing back near the door to the restaurant, sort of blocking the aisle to the tables while I got things shoved back into London's backpack and I hear a woman behind us saying some stuff about blocking the way and standing right in the middle of everything...

It was obvious that she was talking about us. And it was obvious that she didn't care is she was overheard. I bit the insides of my cheeks to keep from totally just flying off the handle on her, when, bless his heart, my father-in-law looked at her and said, "well excuse the shit out of us!" And then all the sudden Big Mouth was changing her tune, feigning confused innocence, and claiming she was talking to her son. Yes, Big Mouth, maybe you were talking to your son, but you were very clearly talking ABOUT me and my handicapped daughter standing between you and your onion rings.

Finally we left. I cried pretty much the entire way home. I hated the situation and I hated myself for letting it get to me. I'm sure I made a scene and embarrassed everyone.

To the woman who agreed that things weren't really fair for moms like me, thank you. You honestly have no idea how much I needed to hear that.

To Big Mouth, you should be ashamed of yourself. I'd be humiliated if my children or spouse said the things you said considering the situation that was painfully obvious right there in front of you. I hope I can teach my kids more tolerance, patience, and empathy than you displayed that night.

Looking back, I'm just grateful that I had my mom and MIL there to take care of things when I obviously couldn't. And I'm glad that my FIL had the guts I didn't have to call Big Mouth out on her comments.
(Apparently Big Mouth went back to her table and told her husband what happened and he asked if she'd like him to go 'kick his ass'... LOL)

So anyway, it was something that happened.

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