I don’t know your name so I can’t start with ‘dear’ – so I’ll just say ‘hi.’
I have waited a few days to send this: pondered whether or not to blog about what you did. After much deliberation I have decided that this needs to be said, heard, written and read.
You walked past TP and me on Wednesday when we were walking home from nursery. LA and I were wearing hats, scarves and winter coats. TP was wearing only his school uniform: no hat, scarf, gloves – not even a coat.
You were with another lady – both of you as well wrapped up as LA and I were. You tutted and rather loudly commented to each other: you couldn’t believe how stupid I was to let my son walk home like that. Obviously I was an uncaring and unfit mother.
I heard every word you said. I bit my tongue and I fought back the tears. Was that what everyone thought about me?
What you didn’t know was that my son was hot. My son, you see, has a sensory disorder. In the winter he’s hot and in the summer he’s cold. In the winter I have a constant battle to make him keep his coat on: in the summer it’s the opposite battle.
So I’m sorry. You’ll probably see us in the summer and you’ll tut loudly again. There’s that unfit mother making her son wear a coat…
TP is four. He knows when he feels hot and he knows when he feels cold. So I ask you this: if you were hot, what would you do? Would you stay uncomfortable, or would you remove layers until you were cool and comfortable? My guess is that you’d remove some layers. That’s what TP was doing: cooling himself down.
It’s OK. I’m not angry with you. You didn’t know any of this. Why would you? We’re strangers. So all I ask is that next time you’re a bit more considerate: you don’t instantly judge: you don’t tut loudly and talk about another mom. You don’t know that person’s situation: you haven’t got the whole picture.
Next time, stop and think – because everything may not be as it first seems.
Next time the parent or carer you tut at, and make comments about, may not bite their tongue.