I wrote her a letter. I wasn't going to because I couldn't decide if I was doing it to educate her or to make myself feel better. I spoke with Bennie, but I still wasn't sure what to do. Then I started thinking about so many of our friends; Ben and Bennie, DDM and Bugga, Christy and Elias, Natalie and M, Em and Willow, Summer and Anika and Kari and the Cat, and I thought about all the "helpful" comments they have and will have to endure, the looks, the judgments...and I decided if I could help it, I wanted one less person out there giving those comments. And I thought about KayTar and me, and decided I have to get used to standing up for us, because nobody else can. People will not know if I stay silent. And so I sent the letter.
Here it is:
I don’t usually do this, but I felt I needed to explain something. When I was dropping BubTar off, you mentioned casually that I need to take KayTar off the bottle and it struck a nerve, for reasons you could not have known. KayTar has developmental delays, she is deaf in her left ear, and she has brain lesions, a migraine syndrome, communicates largely in sign language, and has a feeding disorder, which prevents her from drinking from a cup or straw. She is still on purees, so most of her nutrition comes from her bottle. Without it she would have a feeding tube. I know that no harm was meant by your remark, but I just wanted you to know a 2 year old with a bottle is not always a simple situation, even if it looks that way from the outside.
I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to have to get used to explaining our situation to other people, we have a long road ahead of us. I hope I didn’t upset or offend you, I know you didn’t mean anything by what you said and that you didn’t have any idea what was going on. I just needed to take the opportunity to explain our situation.
And I was so nervous sending it to school with BubTar yesterday, but when I drove away, I felt like this weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I knew I had done a good thing. I was still nervous about how it would be received, because I am about as non-confrontational as they come, but I knew it was right.
Yesterday afternoon, she called and apologized. She said she felt like she put her foot in her mouth before she even got the letter. She said her son was very tall at a young age and people used to give her "helpful" comments about her babying him, so even though it wasn't the same, she could understand why it was bothersome. It was a bit of an awkward conversation, but a good one.
It was a growing experience for me. I'm not one to handle things like this, but in the future I hope I will be more prepared to do so. That every time I practice it, it will get a little easier to speak up the next time. Speaking up is the only way to help people understand.
Thanks again for all the support. And Bennie, thanks for being my behind the scenes cheering squad.
Also, BubTar bit the Room Mom's son at school yesterday...do you think he secretly reads my blog? ;)
PS: We are going in for a sedated CT scan in just a few, and if you would think positive-getting-some-answers thoughts, we would be much obliged.