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Captain Know-it-All Visits the Park

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It was such a beautiful day, I couldn’t believe we were the only ones at our neighborhood park.  We made the best of it, and Connor laughed and played and ran around like crazy.

Go, Monkey, GO!!

Finally, another car pulled up, and a little girl and her dad walked over to the playground.

Connor busied himself with following her around, and asking “Want to play with me?,” about 20 times.

Her dad and I swapped stories about being exhausted and not able to keep up with these kids.  We agreed that they had us over a barrel with their extreme levels of energy.

It was my own mistake, really, when I opened the door by saying “mine also has ADD, which really sends the energy level through the roof.”

After a couple of other parenting anecdotes, he said “So you said he has ADD, how did you come to know that?”

Oh brother, here we go.

“We always knew.  We knew when he was still crawling.  It’s just something you know, as a parent, when something is off.”

I told him about the lack of sleep, the intense, sustained, energy.  There was so much more I could have told him, but then he said, “I know a lot of kids with that kind of energy.”  And then, “Well a lot of kids have extra energy, but not necessarily ADD.”

Time to shut it down.

Sure, I like a good teaching opportunity as much as any other parent of a child with special needs, but I’m also acutely aware when I’m speaking to someone whose mind is closed, and who has already cemented their own firm opinion about something, despite not having first-hand experience with it themselves.

It’s tiresome, these amateur experts in all things they know nothing about.  What I really wonder is what makes a person decide not to believe legions of parents that have been in the trenches dealing with this for years, as well as medical professionals that specialize in neurological disorders??  What makes a person decide that all these parents are just “overreacting” and these doctors are just “over-prescribing”?  Especially when that person has had limited exposure to such a disorder.

I suppose we all make judgements.  But I can’t conceive of foisting my own opinions on someone else, particularly on a subject that they know much more about than I do.  Perhaps that’s the difference.  Some people have no problem telling you that you’re wrong, and they know better than you.

But I bit my tongue and ended our time at the park.

There was no way I was going to end such a nice day by arguing with some ignoramus.  I’ve got bigger challenges and better things to do with my time.

We're outta here!


About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

17 responses »

  1. Picking the battles… all the time.
    How I envy you this beautiful weather so sick of snow.

  2. I know a kid with lots of energy too.

  3. I started out wanting to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. . .like maybe he realized he made an insensitive comment and then tried to backpedal but only dug himself in deeper. Then I thought, why am I mentally defending this guy?? If Flan thinks he’s a douche, then he’s a douche! End of story.

    My philosophy in life is it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt. (That’s not mine. It’s Mark Twain, but hey, if the shoe fits. . . .)

    • I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt too, but there was something to his tone and the way he was saying it. It was so not worth it. It would be like trying to explain women’s reproductive rights to Rush Limbaugh…pointless.

  4. Oh my god. You should totally ship this post over to Jillsmo for her “all kids do that” section. Man, I was annoyed right along with you. Aren’t you so tired of ignorance and arrogance? Honestly–sometimes I wonder if empathy only comes from the other “birds of a feather.”

    • Honestly that’s usually where I find the most understanding. I guess it’s hard for parents of NT children to really understand, if they don’t live it.

  5. Flan I just want to throat punch that guy for you. I have another parent that does the same thing to me and I so much want to throat punch her (and the stupid UPS guy that just rang the doorbell right after I put the baby down for a nap).

    Like you, I decide to pick my battles and if this guy’s mind is all ready made up there is very little you can do but walk away. Save your time and energy for the people who are genuinely interested where you can make an impact.

    And Connor on the monkey bars? That’s bloody awesome!

    • Does your UPS man also ring the bell, drop the box, and head straight back to the van? I mean, they don’t even wait to see if I answer the door. What is that???

  6. I would have left too. Sometimes it’s not worth it to explain – especially if he made that comment. Best to keep it moving. You KNOW the difference

    But glad you and Connor had a good run at the park. And WOW – the freaky monky bars – he ROCKS!!

  7. you ever just stay home because you’re so sick of those comments and how EVERY trip out HAS to come with you explaining and then defending and then either arguing or leaving? ARRGHGHGHGHGH! I feel for you!

  8. There is nothing better than when the park is empty and you have free reign with your kid. Sadly, it never lasts long enough. I HATE some teaching moments but they’re part of the territory right? Theoretically, they are supposed to enlighten. Too often, I’ve found that when I hand someone a brand new lightbulb, their socket is broken, so I’ve wasted my time. Luckily, I have you to turn to – so in the end this little long distance Internet community gives me the strength of hundreds of people who get it. Welcome back, sweetie! xoxo

  9. Too bad it’s not ok to allow know-it-all strangers to have a go with our kids at the park–like for 30 minutes while we run to Starbucks–and THEN see what they have to say. My current favorite opinion (offered by childless, holistically-minded friend) of ADHD is that it’s a “Made in America” problem. I get it–contaminated food source, booming and self-interested Big Pharma and insurance machine, etc. etc.–but, uh, it’s still real. And it’s still a pretty big problem in my house.


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