Last Sunday I took Panayioti to the movies. Just as we got to the mall he ran inside this little bakery that’s situated just outside. He ran inside and I couldn’t stop him from taking a cookie from the pile of cookies that they have piled up on the counters. He does this everywhere we go. I always buy a small bag just so they don’t get upset and so that he can have more if he wants. We’ve never had any problems. Until now. As soon as my little guy did that the sales girl came over, bent down to his level and said in a very, very stern voice: “Why did you do that? Do you want me to SCOLD you”? Excuse me? SCOLD my son?? We were in very high spirits and I didn’t say anything because I knew if I opened my mouth I would be the one scolding her. Panayioti didn’t seem to care anyway. At least he didn’t show that he was bothered by her tone. He just stood there and very calmly took bites out of his cookie and crumbled a whole bunch on the floor :-)Oh well!!
Yesterday we had a shopping date with my sister downtown. Panayioti loves taking the Metro but what he loves the most is the big open space right by the ticket booths. It’s shiny and sort of slippery, the perfect combination for my little sensory seeker. I let him run and I also spun him around and who cares if people think we’re weird. My boy is the happiest when I let him be himself in public. He was laughing his perfect little kid laugh when a woman approached us and said how nice it is to hear kids laughing. She then continued to say that she is tired of seeing kids in public looking all serious and no play, that parents aren’t letting their kids be kids anymore. That Panayioti looks like a really good kid and very happy. She went on and on and I truly appreciated her kindness and how open she was with me, a stranger. Two totally different approaches to my son’s behavior. Later on inside the Metro a few people did look at Panayioti because he was just a tiny bit stimmy and whisper something to each other but it’s something that I am getting used to to. You have to pick your battles and right now confronting people who are totally autism ignorant is just not one of them for me.