A Little Space…

Yesterday we had to go to Kaleb’s neurologist.  It was really just a follow up to his EEG, as well as an opportunity for me to discuss some new behaviors that had me concerned.  So, I pick him up from school and off we go.  First of all, Kaleb managed to smuggle a peanut butter and jelly graham cracker sandwich out of school, and placed it directly into Mason’s hands.  I actually had to pull over on the highway to clean this mess before it got out of control.

So, PB&J disaster averted, we get back on the road.  We get to the doctor’s office about 40 minutes early – which was planned.  The last two times we went I had to park in a parking garage down the street because the lot was completely full.  Thankfully, yesterday we got a spot right by the front door of the office.  Grab the kids’ bag of tricks, grab the kids, and head for the elevator.  Which has Mason throwing an arm over his head, a hand over his ear, and screaming bloody murder for the one floor trip.

Mason is terrified of elevators.  I don’t know what it is about them, if it’s the motion or the space, or both.  But he’s been afraid of them since infancy.  Kaleb, on the other hand, is afraid to go down flights of stairs.  So, we usually end up taking the stairs up and the elevator down.  But yesterday I had Mase in the umbrella stroller, two bags loaded down with ‘keep them distracted so they don’t start screaming’ devices, and I was just plain tired.  We took the elevator, Mason screamed.  We got off the elevator, Mason was fine.

We get settled in the waiting room – Kaleb playing with his ipod, Mason playing with my mom’s old phone, me staying awake… And there’s this kid.  This random, strange child walks up and starts climbing all over Mason.  I’m sitting there with stalled brain syndrome.  I don’t even know how to react.  If this was fifty years ago I’d have yelled at the strange kid – but it’s not, and people are freaking crazy.

Mason’s trying to play a racing game on the phone, and this kid starts touching things.  OH crap.  I can see Mason start to tense.  And all I can think is Where the hell is your parent??  Out of the corner of my eye I see someone heading over – his mother.  But instead of taking her child away from my child, who is clearly not thrilled with this turn of events, she stands there and tells him not to touch – while telling me he has been known to cross boundaries.  As the kid rips the phone out of Mason’s hands I’m sitting there like “You think?”  Lady, reign in your kid.  She’s just talking to him, and he’s screaming at her every time she touches him.

Okay.  Look.  We’re in a pediatric neurologist’s office.  We’re both here for a reason.  And while I have no idea what your reason is – my reason has taught me nothing if not patience.  However, I’m running short of it as of late.  I do not know what – if anything – is wrong with your child.  But I do know you need to get him off Mase before Kaleb explodes.

Because now Kaleb has picked up on what’s going on.  And while Mason is still doing (surprisingly) well with this kid being too close to his personal space, he’s getting more tense by the second – and Kaleb recognizes this.  This is the thing that amazes me about him.  As much as he doesn’t understand other people – as much as he wants to, but doesn’t – he picks up on what’s going on with Mason in a heartbeat.  And he is not happy about it.

Now I’ve got to hold Kaleb back because he’s starting to get worked up over this kid messing with Mason.

“You’re not supposed to touch that!  That’s not yours!  You go away!  Leave Mason alone!”

I’m sitting here thinking Oooooh snap, here we go.

Thankfully, this woman realizes that her kid is about to cause a massive issue – one which, in all likelihood, would have sent her kid to the ER across the street.  And she finally picked him up and carried him off.  To the hallway.  Where he proceeded to scream for fifteen minutes.  I get this.  I feel your pain lady.  But, if you hadn’t let your kid constantly try to change the game my son was playing from cars to trains, it might not be this bad right now.  personal-space1

My kids are wild.  They’re in-your-face crazy little dudes.  But there is absolutely no way under the sun I would let either one of them climb on another child and try to take his toy.  Kaleb really doesn’t understand social convention to begin with – so I understand the personal space battle.  But that doesn’t make doing nothing okay.  I was baffled.  Now, in the meantime, I can see this woman has her hands full.  She has two other kids with her, and her mother (who is clearly less than helpful at this point).  If I saw her struggling somewhere, I’d most likely stop to help.  But I’ve got my hands full as well – and this little event has got both my kids sitting on the edge and it’s taking all that I have just to keep them from falling over.

They come back in from the hallway, where the child then proceeds to walk right back to Mason, and starts grabbing for the phone again.  Only, now the other two kids are all over Kaleb’s ipod.  Now they’re both getting overwhelmed.  And just as I finally lose patience and tell this woman to get her kids away from mine before something bad happens, we’re called back.  Thank goodness for small favors.

The end result of the day – I’m super proud of both my kids for holding it together the way they did.  Kaleb’s last EEG came out clean, but they want to run an overnight EEG as soon as possible.  They’ll schedule us for two nights in case they don’t get anything on the first night.  Oh boy.  But hopefully we’ll get answers this time.  This is a new one.  We’ve done the sleep study, but never the overnight EEG.  Have you?  I’d certainly like to know what it entails.


4 thoughts on “A Little Space…

  1. In a world of insane political correctness the other woman was probably just as scared to say or do anything. Knowing that her child was going to explode anyway she probably hoped he would dropped the device and walk away. A scenario that she also new was not going to happen. So like a bandaid she should have just taken the device away, handed it to you, apologize, and then walk out of the waiting room to let her child calm down. Instead she prolonged the situation, getting everyone upset and uncomfortable.
    I am 42 and I’m starting to loose patience with adults and teens. No one seems to understand personal space or think of others anymore. I’m not sure I would have let this situation go as far as you did. As I read your blog I was already picturing myself announcing to the room, “who’s child is this?” Although being where you were I’m sure that would have been just as bad.

    Chris Hall
    The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy


    • I’m with you on that –
      The problem is, my kids feed off of me. Had I reacted in anything but a calm manner, they both would have exploded. It isn’t the first time something along this line had happened – and I knew from experience that the best thing I could to to maintain the situation was to keep a close watch on them and hope she would reign in her child.
      It absolutely makes me crazy though, when perfect strangers see no problem with invading the space of others. If I don’t have one of the kids with me, I’m generally the first person to back up and tell a “personal-space invader” to get out of my circle. With them though, it’s a much different line to walk.


  2. I have totally been that other mom. Not that I didn’t do anything but that knowing that a full and immediate intervention would have caused a massive scene. At times, I think we think that we are the only mom with a quirky kid (though at a Neurologist’s office that kind of takes that off of the table) and since Mason “seemed” calm to her (not knowing your child whatsoever) she may have thought that it was okay until it became glaring obvious that it wasn’t. I have totally been her. Jp went through a phase where in social interactions he would get too close, he didn’t understand that every toy on the planet wasn’t his and would want to practically touch everything on the planet. And trying to intervene always got me stuck smack in the middle of crazy pants tantrum land. When his receptive was severely behind we encountered that type of situation often and I can almost her thoughts as though they were my own. It’s a little like double dutch, “Is this okay? Is the other child mad? Should I intervene yet? Now? Looks okay….wait, no, it’s not. Now.”

    Big ups to Mace for keeping his cool. That’s such a big thing for him and I bet you are so proud! (And is it wrong that I think it is super cute that Kaleb is so protective?)


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