This story has really given us a lump in our throats… Not just because of US mum Taylor Myers’ absolutely raw, heart-wrenching honesty but also because of how an act of kindness from another mum made things better after some pretty poor behaviour from an adult who should have known better.
Basically, Taylor was at her local supermarket with her baby son and her 4-year-old daughter Sophie, who has ADHD.
Sophie was finding it a struggle to wait in the queue. And Taylor says in her Facebook post about what happened next that, although she was doing her best to ignore Sophie’s whining, her daughter is ‘relentless’.
Another woman in the queue very rudely suggested Taylor give the little girl a cookie to ‘shut her up’.
This reduced poor Taylor to tears, and made her abandon her place in the queue and head for the self-service tills, where her daughter once again became fidgety – until a kind stranger saved the day…
Here’s Taylor’s post in full:
“It finally happened. As I stood in the customer service line of Walmart to cash my paycheck with a cart of groceries (and some wine), Sophie sat/stood/did heads stands in the cart, whining over a bag of chips I took away because she called me a ‘butthole’ in line.
“She’s relentless. I know this. I live with it. Her ADHD and obsessive little heart gets on these subjects of things she finds unjust and wrong and it doesn’t stop until she eventually falls asleep or something very dramatic happens to snatch the attention off the obsessed-about subject.
“We stood in line for several minutes, me ignoring her whining and refusing to give in. What’s giving in to bad behaviour going to do but reinforce the bad behaviour? I’ve walked out of stores hundreds of times because of her. Almost every time, actually, I end up leaving with nothing I came for and a tantrum-having 4-yearold attached to my hand and a baby on my hip, but this time I had to stick it out to get the groceries.
“I tell her for the 10th time to sit down so she doesn’t fall and the next thing I hear is a woman behind me in line saying, “Oh, for Christ’s sake give her a cookie so she’ll shut up!” I could’ve responded in a nicer way. I could’ve explained to her that my 4-year-old has pretty severe ADHD, I raise both my children alone, I’m doing my best, and had no choice but to wait it out for the groceries. Instead, I heard, “She’s 4 years old and you need to mind your own f***ing business” come out of my mouth.
“I kept my composure… and walked to the self-checkout so I could avoid facing anyone else as ‘that person’. The person with the misbehaving child. The person who seems lazy because they’re ignoring the behaviour. The person who knows doing anything but ignoring it is only going to make it worse.
“By the time I made it to the self-check out, tears are pouring down my face. I’ve lost it. I’m angry, my feelings are hurt, I’m offended, and I’m just freakin sad that I can’t have one good experience in a store with my children.
“As I scan my things, a woman walks up and begins to talk to Sophie. She asks her questions to distract her, but backs me up when Sophie begins to go on about wanting the chips. ‘No, you can’t have those today. You have to be good for your mummy. She needs you to be good for her. I have a little girl just like you. How old are you? How old is brother?’.
“Honestly, this woman could’ve been the antichrist and I would’ve had more appreciation for her kindness and compassion than I have for anyone else I’ve ever encountered.
“It only takes 1 comment to break someone down. You never know what someone’s going through. You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave and unless you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge me.
“But It also takes 1 small act of kindness to make a mama feel comfort and validation. Thank you to the woman in Walmart today, for showing that kindness to my children and me. Thank you for walking us out. Thank you for backing me up. Mamas have to stick together. #lovewhatmatters #MamasUnite”
Powerful stuff, right? And stuff that has obviously struck a chord with the 151,400 people who have shared it, too.
We know how super-hard it can be for parents who have children with special needs that mean they have their own ways and routines and quirks that don’t always fit into the neat little boxes other people expect them to.
So hurrah for Taylor for sharing, boo to the woman who made her cry with her thoughtless remarks, double yay to the stranger mum for stepping in and making a horrible situation so much better.