Special Needs

Apparently people lack tact nowadays

DH, DS and I ran to the grocery store.  DH was returning stufff and i ran to the bathroom and DS was asleep in the carseat on the cart.  The cashier as I got back was saying to DH....OMG look at his cute little feet and toes. I love that his toes are all curled up like that!  Uhmmm...there is a reason babies don't just sleep with their toes curled up, it's called hypertonia.  DH was very nice and said he has tight muscle tone, they're not supposed to be like that and she goes "Well it's super cute!"

Ugh.  I swear next time we go out I'm putting shoes and mittens on the kid.  Those are the most obvious sites of his hypertonia, noone will really pay attention that his legs are straight out instead of bent up.

Re: Apparently people lack tact nowadays

  • Aw, I'm sorry it was a hard trip out for you.  I don't think that most people recognize signs like that in babies, that we know as parents from our hours and hours spent talking to doctors & doing reserach.  To outsiders, it's just a really cute trait that is unique to your baby, like they'd comment on a head full of hair or big blue eyes.  She most likely didn't understand what "tight muscles" meant, ya know?  It'll get better, hang in there!
  • I think sometimes people do this innocently. I have had people say hi to my son and when he doesn't respond say things like "I guess he doesn't feel like talking". My son is 14 and nonverbal. At the same time, I have stared at other kids with disabilities who are not as severe as my son's and wished my son had the level of abilities they do. My son is 14 and  mentally and physically has the capacity of a 6 month old. I don't do it purposely and have had to catch myself, but I'm sure there has been times they think I am rudely staring at their disabled child. But I understand how you feel, there are times with everything going on we are just more sensitive.

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  • My daughter is similar - she has hypertonia and very tiny feet and her big toes stick up.  She also has very tiny hands and eyes so people make comments -usually about her being cute but then they say "Her eyes are so small!"  I know they mean well so I just smile and say thanks.  It's been 15 months and I'm finally pretty used to it (not to say it doesn't bother me but I'm better at letting it go!)

  • I am sorry that you had a bad encounter.  I don't think the clerk would have had any clue what she was saying was hurtful to you.   Toes have a high cute value when it comes to kids and I don't think that it is a common "symptom" that people would associate with anything bad.
  • Yeah, I don't think most people would know that (I didn't).  And I think sometimes people stumble in a situation by commenting on something that is cute and simply don't know what to say when it turns out to be symptom of a disability, genetic mutation, or illness.  I think the majority of people are trying to be nice, but don't know what the right thing to say is. 

    What I can say is that I totally sympathize because the comments, even if well-intended, get annoying. My DD has skin and hair issues as a result of a genetic mutation.  There isn't a day that passes that someone doesn't comment on her hair (and sometimes her skin).  For the most part, I think people sincerely think her hair is cute or cool (we do occasionally get a rude or out of line comment, though), but sometimes I just want to tell them to STFU - my child doesn't need the constant reminders of how different she looks.  Obviously, I've got my own issues to work out.  =)

    Regardless, I'm sorry that the comment bothered you, even if well-intentioned.  There are days when people's comments are just going to get to you no matter what. 

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  • I can honestly see myself saying something like that, and having no idea that it might be hurtful.  But I'll log it away.  Maybe the only safe thing to say to someone with a child is nothing?  Or just, what a beautiful baby.

  • Ditto KMom. I'm able to realize it a little more now that we're a little farther removed from it. Dean has very low muscle tone and when he was a newborn, slept literally 23 hours a day. People would always comment on how he was sleeping, how we would be trying to feed a sleeping baby, etc. It was so annoying and most times I wanted to yell at them or cry. But unless someone really pushed the issue and kept saying something (which sometimes they did), I had to learn to shrug it off or else I thought I was going to go nuts. It's still hard, though. :/
  • the cashier wasn't lacking tact, she said your baby's toes were cute.  even if she did know what hypertonia was, which i'm guessing most people do not, she wasn't staring or making a rude comment.  baby feet are always cute, no matter their situation...it's just a fact of life.

    there is such a wide range of SN on this board and even those of us who are more aware of various SN are "guilty" of making such "tactless" comments to other parents - especially when the diagnoses aren't obviously physical.

    In the grand scheme of things, i'd rather live in a world where a cashier can tell someone their baby has cute feet than a world where we have to be so guarded and never say anything so as to not potentially offend someone.

    Don't get me wrong, we all have bad days and deal with our share of idiots; but I don't think the cashier belongs in the idiot group.

  • Hi, Im just a lurker but I wanted to say I would of had ZERO idea that toes curled wasn't normal and prob. would have said the same thing if I thought it was cute too.  Im sorry it upset you but I can HONESTLY say Im sure she had NO idea at all. 

    "I have four children. Two are adopted. I forget which two. -Bob Constantine

    "All for Love,' a Saviour prayed 'Abba Father have Your way. Though they know not what they do...Let the Cross draw men to You...."

  • image*speedracer*:

    the cashier wasn't lacking tact, she said your baby's toes were cute.  even if she did know what hypertonia was, which i'm guessing most people do not, she wasn't staring or making a rude comment.  baby feet are always cute, no matter their situation...it's just a fact of life.

    this exactly. i am just a lurker but i have to say your reaction was a very dramatic one.  she complimented your kid....be happy!


  • Hi! I too, checked out your blog. Your DS is very cute!

    I want to tell you that things should get somewhat better after the 3 month mark. Your DS will start sleeping longer stretches at night, and his colic will ease. We had no idea how much that would help us, until it happened (thank God!).

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