To think its rude to just come up and ask whats happened to him??(25 Posts)
Normally i'm very zen about this stuff but it's happened twice in the last hr.
First man standing at bus stop asked what had happened to DS's eye. I come roubd front of pushchair worried and DS is sat there happy as pie with perfect eyes, so figure he was commenting on his o2 pipes. Tell him there's nothing wrong with his wye. Then he asks oh is it for his breathing. Yep. Oh (sad voice)
Then at another stop waoting to get on, random guy walking past asks Oh what's happened to him? Me - nothing. Persists in questions aboit oh but his tapes, will he be ok eventuallu etc. Gets one word answers from me and leaves.
DS is 15 months so too young to understand the questions but he'll still be on 02 when he's old enough to get that people think there's something wrong with him.
I don't mind Oh what's that for or kids asking ANYTHING pretty much anything but is it unreasonable for people to not just look and think he's a poor poor baby who isn't perfectly fine thanks
And literally just had a third person comment Oh is he having difficulties?
It must be annoying but it sounds as though they're coming from a good place/making friendly conversation.
I'm not sure there's anything you can do about it really
I sympathise, DS2 had an NG til he was 14 months and the stares and rude questions used to irritate!!
But it becomes so normal when you're dealing with it everyday that you forget most babies don't have them! And I tried to think most people who stared or asked only did it as they cared about seeing a baby who was unwell or had some issues.
People are nosey but people are also generally sympathetic.
It may be irritating but I think I would just explain in brief and wiht a smile - no, it isn't any of their business but you will just feel annoyed and all negative if you are stroppy at them.
People ask me why I use a wheelchair, I know its because they don't want to assume or say 'is it because you are too fat to walk' - I could get arsey with them all, after all it IS none of their business but thats actually not good for ME so I say with a smile that I hae Ehlers Danlos Syndrom whcih is a connective tissue disorder that means walking is hard and my heart is knackered and THATS why i am a lard arse in a wheelchair.
I would far rather they were nosey and asked than rudely assumed - they go away understanding a little more, it takes a minute out of my day and I am not left feeling negative and miserable.
People often ask these questions in awkward ways and tend to put foot in mouth and come out with quite rude sounding or unpleasant sounding comments and most of the time, they don't mean to do that or just aren't aware of how it sounds.
I think people are often scared of people with disabilities, people who look or sound or move differently - being snappy and short with them really won't help that.
DD2 was on home oxygen and you do get some odd responses. I had people recoil after they had looked in her pram! I had a man rush out of his house as he had seen us from the kitchen window and assumed I must be in need of assistance as I was carrying the cylinder on my back. Lots of people asked what it was and would she be ok eventually. Most were fairly kind hearted or just curious. Worst was a guy who told me that the shop we were in wasn't a hospice. Still makes angry now as DD2 was actually in the best shape of her kid by that point!
It does get wearing and I felt like I wanted a business card to hand out at times, explaining it all. But it would have been awful if she had been in hospital even longer if we hadn't been able to have the portable O2 I suppose.
Sympathy to you OP.
Kid should be life! Perils of posting from my phone!
I know being snappy is mean and normally i'm nice and explain either long or short version but we just did 4 months in childrens hospital in something of a bubble so perhaps just lost my thick skin?
It's the sympathy ii struggle with i think. He does not warrant sympathy. And i hate it.
Just dread him asking me whats wrong with him. Or why people look at him sadly.
although sympathy for hating symapthy is fine lol
glad I escaped the general hatred for sympathy.
Yes a long stay in hospital does put you in a bit of a bubble I think, my world had shrunk down over the course of months in ICU and I was in quite a sensitive and grouchy place by the time we got out.
I think the sympathetic looks from passers by sometimes irritated me because DD2 was actually in pretty good health at that point and it had taken a lot of time and effort from all concerned (including her) to get there.
I do think most people are trying to be kind but I get where you are coming from!
People are strange. They will ask questions about a baby but given an adult in the same condition will avoid eye contact and won't ask to share a table in a crowded cafe. Maybe this is an extension of the frame of mind that thinks it's ok to question pregnant women and to try to touch their stomachs?
Maybe you can say "We don't talk about that in front of him thank you" or we don't want him to become self conscious, if you don't mind" That will surely make them back off.
YANBU...it absolutely befuddles me! There's just NO NEED to ask. My friend's son uses a wheelchair and people often ask "Aw...what's wrong with him?"
And my friend doesn't want her DS to think ANYTHING'S 'wrong" with him! He's perfect as he is. So she says "Nothing....why?" just to enjoy their confused expressions.
Can you answer the question in one short sentence? To just fend these people off? I would never dream of asking a stranger about such a thing.
Sorry you have to deal with this, Haze
I think previous posters have the right idea: come up with a 'stock phrase' that you can use to shut them up. It doesn't necessarily have to be an explanation, it could easily be a (polite) reminder that you don't want to discuss it with strangers.
I think it is very rude.
If you'd met someone, got talking to them, then they asked, maybe that's OK, but it is rude to go up to someone and ask personal questions out of the blue.
Maybe some of those people lack social skills or social understanding,
Loving the "nothing.... Why?" response. I might start using that one.
People are coming from a nice place and a lack of societal disapproval for this brand of inquisitiveness.
But but but.... they have no idea how irritating, boring and intrusive it is to be questioned daily about something you have to live with. You begin to feel that all people see is the visible difference, and that the person with he difference has become invisible.
Huge sympathies from me too DGS1 had a NG too.
When life is tough anyway the last thing you want is a lot of nosey questions.......
I sometimes say "Really? That's your opening conversation gambit?"
Or,me hen asked why I have crutches or use a wheelchair, wishing look of pity with "er, it's to help with getting around" and looking at them like they're being extraordinarily stupid.
It doesn't make it okay that people are sympathetic or being 'nice' about it - it's very rude and intrusive - it's none of their business and adults should know better. I'd expect that kind of intrusion from (young) children, and that is my limit.
I get why you don't like it, regardless of how well meaning the people in question may intend to be. Also really understandable why you're not at your most thick skinned at the moment.
for you and your little boy.
This must be something that varies a lot - maybe a regional thing?? My son has a visible difference/minor disability (thankfully not affecting his general health or involving inpatient stays) and I have had very very few comments or questions from random adult strangers, even though we go out and about all the time, on buses etc. I've almost had the opposite where people I've got to know quite well have never even mentioned it (presumably because they think this is polite), and I would sometimes like the opportunity to talk about it but don't know how to start the conversation.
But on the AIBU I think it's very natural to feel irritated by this when you're trying to go about your business, and when people see it in a negative light rather than seeing all the wonderful things about your son.
I have an air cast boot on after bunion surgery and whenever I go out I get asked questions or comments like, 'no football for you on Saturday' from random strangers! I also get given seats, doors opened....I think people just want to show they care. I did spend some time at the Toby Cavery explaining and showing a 3 year old that my leg was still there inside the boot!
Haha Viilet i do that too. Look at him cinfused and say oh i think he's just tired. Sometimes it works but sometimes they go no, i mean all the tubes and i'm like aagghhh!!
It is cos actually he's ok atm. Another op in Sept but my kid is the dude lol. He learnt to roll and prop four times cos they keep opening his abdomen. He learnt to pull up in a hospital bed and to cruise in a hospital cot. He's too awesome for pity looks!!
Behinner i wonder if it's because with my son it's equiptment they ask about - o2 and ng pipes rather than something physical on him so they feel its ok?
It's the fact that the secind guy actually stopped walking down the road to ask what had happened to him ffs. Ggrrr.
I know it's coming from a good place in some cases but its also why people stop at RTA's and stare. People like the drama. Oh Mavis, you'll never guess what i saw today!! I really should give them a brief history of him - that'd give them something to gas about!
Jennie - love it. Bless him
Hmm that's an interesting point about the equipment. Maybe to do with him looking 'sick' rather than 'disabled'. Who knows... The few comments I've had from adults have been along the lines of 'he's really good at doing x isn't he'.
I've had quite a few comments from older children in playparks etc, usually genuine curiosity/surprise. I don't mind that as I want to set an example to my son that I'm happy to discuss it and it shouldn't be something that is hidden away/brushed under the carpet. Although as he gets older and more able to understand what I'm saying I worry more about saying the right things - acknowledging that yes part of his body is different to the majority of the population, but being clear that this doesn't have a big impact on his life in general. I always think of better things to say afterwards!
Your son sounds like a real character
That's it - totally happy to answer questions and i'll talk about his wonky chromosomes all day lol cos i think its good to raise awareness and hopefully he'll pick up that its all ok. It's just that frigging w word. And the "aww poor baby". I guess cos we're in the pushchair if we're out so he possibly looks less active and able too. The third lady redeemed herself by telling me how handsome he was
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