To-THAI-ly Inappropriate

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The other night Joey, Ace, Archie and I went to eat at one of our very favorite Thai restaurants. We had just come from Academy where Archie got a brand new helmet for T-Ball. His newest prized possession. He wore the helmet in the car on the way to eat, and there was no prying that thing off of his he wore it to dinner. He could not have been any happier.

We had a nice, loud as usual dinner, secluded in a corner so as to not run anyone off. Our helmet headed boy continuously smiled while inhaling his noodles, reminding us between bites that he was indeed wearing a giant blue helmet. (By tapping his head and shouting, "helmet mommy, Archie helmet!!")

As we were walking out of the restaurant, a lady who works there shouted at us,
"Ohhh hahaha, he ride da short bus?!?!?"

Um. Exsqueeze me?

That lady just asked me if Archie rode the short bus. Yes, that just happened.

And just to paint a picture-- the chick wasn't even near us. We were close to the front of the restaurant, and she was towards the back. There were at least 6 tables, filled with people, between where she was and where we were. She had to shout.

I was so caught off guard and shocked. I couldn't even believe those words just came out of someone's mouth. I was confused and weirded out. I don't remember the exact look I gave her, but it was awesomely nasty. I didn't say anything cause I was too busy trying to process what just happened.

Of course, as soon as my foot stepped out that door, I had a million ideas of what to say.

Like-- "No, actually his bus is mid-sized. Thanks for asking."
(Well, that's the only example I will share here. Most would probably consider the other things I wanted to say to be highly inappropriate.)

You go on and rock that helmet, sweet boy.

Lots of Love!


Kara said...

Hi Lisa, I train volunteers who come to work at our Family Retreats for families touched by disability. May I use this story in training? I do my very best to raise awareness among our volunteers about what many of our families have to deal with on a day to day basis. One year after our 16 year old daughter had been at a retreat with me, we went to a grocery store on the way home where one of the cashiers was incredibly rude to the courtesy clerk who happened to have Down Syndrome. As she walked away with the customer, I said to him, "I have a feeling that Courtney is doing the very best job that she can. Why don't you do the same." I had been so focused on the cashier that I hadn't noticed the tears streaking down my daughter's face. She didn't want me to make a scene so after we left the store, I called the manager on my phone and told him that he may think that he is doing a good thing by hiring people with disabilities but if he doesn't follow that up by providing the appropriate sensitivity training for his other employees, his efforts are worthless, then I told him what we had witnessed and he apologized profusely, taking down the cashier's name.

I'm telling you this just so that you know, there are many of us out here who do not even have children with Down Syndrome but we are doing our best to educate and change the hearts and minds of those who are so very ignorant. I'm so sorry you had to experience something like this with your precious, precious son. Archie is very blessed to have you as his mother and I'm pretty sure that you realize just how very blessed you are! :)

Eleven and Heaven said...

And even if Archie did ride the short bus I can't help but guess that it would be the happiest short bus ever!! When people make comments like that within my earshot I always smile at them and say that we drive a short bus and it is full of God's greatest gifts!! Archie you can ride our bus any time you want little man!!

Samantha said...

I've followed your blog for awhile but don't believe I have ever commented but tonight I had to! My Jaw is hanging so far down it's hitting my knees! I cannot BELIEVE what happened to you and your perfect baby boy...well not a baby but I still call my 4 year old my baby so...And what he did was what ANY boy would do! My son wears his Halloween costume still once in awhile. But, no matter what he was wearing, how DARE she say something like, let alone shout it?! If you need help thinking of colorful things to say, I'd be happy to assist you! I am a Catholic but I also grew up in a Sicilian family so I have learned some more, phrases! Again I am so sorry for the ignorance in the world! My coworkers baby has down syndrome and she has already dealt with comments like this. I'd definitely go back and report her to her manager. She should not be allowed to spew her venom any longer! I know I am a stranger but just know that I am horrified on your behalf and I happen to think your family is beautiful! BTW-your WDS day video was the most precious thing I have seen in a very long time! God Bless!

Samantha Collins mommy of 2 in Arizona!

Morgan Bender said...

Since when is it only okay to wear a helmet in a restaurant if you have a special need? We might all wear helmets tomorrow in honor of Archie! Personally I like a short bus, long ones are too impersonal. Don't you wish you could block the end of her driveway with one. From here on out just remember that for every ignorant comment spoken are a 100 silent admirers. So many people will look at your family and be encouraged, you just wont know it. We miss you guys.

Gesci said...

I *love* this post (well, Archie's enthusiasm for life and happiness in sharing it and your mama-bear reaction to ignorance- I DO NOT love the woman's remark!) I fully support kids running around in clothes/costumes/outfits that make them happy, no matter how ridiculous it looks to us unimaginative and boring adults. Also, for the record, I went to a magnet school for high achievers, and my school had several short buses, because we came from all over the county. You are an amazing mom, and Ace and Archie are amazing kids!

Suzanne said...

I can't stand it I want to squeeze that face!!! You need to add your blog to IDSC For Life, I am a board member (the International Down Syndrome Coalition For Life) this group is doing amazing things and everyone needs a little Ace and Archie, if you ask me.

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for your message, Kara! And for all that you do. Yes, you may absolutely use this story in your training! Thanks again!

Kara said...

Lisa- we just got our "iamviable campaign" up and running, check it out, you can make an e-poster for Archie and also share more information about you blog and it will be posted on our website and we'll share it with our facebook followers!
Here's the link:

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