I answered ‘no’, simply because first of all, I don’t notice what strangers think. Usually I’m so centered on monitoring my children’s behavior, keeping everyone from fighting, lagging behind, hurting themselves and keeping them quiet that I don’t really notice people staring or whispering. Secondly, no one has ever said anything rude to me. Third, and maybe most importantly, I don’t really care what people think – they don’t know me, or my children, and if they did they’d give me a smidge of grace or compassion.
Yesterday we were in the car stopped at a red light and I heard Koko say “J, quit staring at that lady!” I had never noticed her staring at people before, so I turned to see what she was talking about. The lady in the car next to us was staring at me as if I had 3 heads! I started telling JuneBug how it is rude to stare at people – all while the lady kept staring at me (I assume because she was annoyed that JuneBug was staring at her?). It was so bizarre.
I think JuneBug was just daydreaming and started staring at the lady on accident – but then again how would I know? JuneBug was embarrassed that she was being yelled at by little big mouth sister, and being fussed at by mom. So of course she couldn’t tell me why she was staring at the lady. She may have even had a small seizure again. But what am I supposed to do – roll down the window and yell “Hey, sorry she was staring, she had a seizure and has some autistic tendencies”? I don’t think so.
So normally, I would say that I don’t feel that people judge me because of my child’s tendencies. But on that occasion I would answer with a resounding YES!