School drop off in the morning is stressful enough. Just trying to get the kids into the actual car is a victory, let alone getting them to school sometimes. But then come the judgments about what my child is wearing from teachers — it about sends me through the roof.
As parents, we all know it’s incredibly tough getting all of the kids set up and ready for school in the morning. I put together some wonderful tips on how to streamline your morning routine and they have certainly helped to make things easier. But for those of us with sensory kids, sometimes the best laid plans don’t always help.
Despite having clothes available the night before, it’s often a negotiation about what my son will wear. Living in Chicagoland, the change from summer clothes to winter ones is never a simple transition. My 8 year old Vman is tactile defensive, which means that clothing often feels not only scratchy but downright painful. He’s never happier than when summer comes and he can ditch the cool-weather clothing.
We have negotiated a grading scale to help decide what kind of clothing (and jackets) he will have to wear that day. If if is going to be a high in the 50s or 60s, Vman can wear shorts but must wear a long sleeve shirt. He immediately pushes the sleeves up past his elbows, which somewhat defeats the purpose but at least it’s a small victory. When we’re in the 50s, he also must wear a light fleece or sweatshirt. The winds in Chicago can really make the air feel much colder.
If the weather is going to be in the 40s, he has to wear sweatpants (the only kind I can get on him) and a long-sleeve shirt. He also must wear a fleece or sweatshirt zipped up. And if it is going to be in the 30s, he has to switch to an actual jacket.
Most mornings, Vman grabs my iPhone and asks Siri what the weather is going to be like for the day. You know, just in case we’re going to have an unforeseen heat wave. Thankfully, now that he understands the weather and temperature, he begrudgingly accepts his fate and puts on clothes. And yet, he still balks at the idea of wearing a jacket… or a light fleece… or a sweatshirt. But we generally get out the door without me pulling out my hair.
Now we arrive at the drop-off line at school, a teacher reaches for the door to let my kids out, and what is the first thing we hear — “What? No jacket today? You really need to have a jacket. It’s cold outside and you’re going to freeze.” Honestly, I’m thinking… the only thing that is going to freeze around here is you because of all of the icy glares I’m sending your way.
I wonder if these teachers make these judgmental off-handed comments to everyone in the car line. As a parent, it drives me insane. As a sensory parent, it really bugs me that much more. I’m a good mom and know what’s best for my child. These teachers don’t know what my child is managing, and it really shouldn’t make a heap of difference.I'm a good mom and know what's best for my child. Click To Tweet
That’s the way the world works though, isn’t it? For some bizarre reason, people seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to give unsolicited advice and judge those around them. It’s even worse when those judgments come from family and friends. But I’m telling you… keep your judgments to yourself. I’m not interested in what you think. We all have our own personal battles. And while you may think you’re “helping” by pointing out the obvious, all you’re doing is taking away my energy.
As much as I try to ignore these kinds of comments, some days they defeat me. Some days I just want to tell people to &^%*# off. Some days I want to go home and cry. And some days, like today, I get to go home and write about it to my friends. I remember that I’m not alone, and that fills my bucket right back up.