This evening I took the kid to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries.
He was bouncing off the walls, unable to reign-in and control himself - when he’s on sensory overload of any kind, it can be like he’s a pinball just bouncing off the edges of the board.
But if there’s anything I’ve learned, real life has to happen. Groceries aren’t going to buy themselves. And the kid needs practice to cope - so on nights like these - when it isn’t a total melt down situation, I’ve learned to just shove through the experience, because it’ll pass.
If I had told him once to “pay attention to his surrounding and say excuse me,” I had told him a billion times. He almost ran into an Employee - again. The employee rolled with it, pivoting easily to change his direction.
I spoke with the kid, “Please pay attention. You almost ran into that guy.”
"That guy" told me not to worry about it: "it’s part of the job. We’re always dodging around customers."
"So, it’s like a constant dance party?" I asked.
And that was it - DANCE PARTY, indeed.
That guy called out another employee who was stocking the frozen food and next thing I knew…they were literally jammin’ out, bringin’ down the house in the middle of the frozen food isle. And then, invited my kid to dance along.
At first, he was too shy.
But after about 30 seconds of watching these two grown, awesome people rock-it-out, he started bustin’ a move. And they cheered him on.
And my heart was glad:
Glad to be at Trader Joe’s;
Glad that these employees were awesome people;
Glad that my kid was getting his antsy-ness out in a fun way with positive reinforcement from these adults who will never know how thankful I am for their ability to turn a stressful moment into a fun memory.
My kid will always remember Trader Joe’s as the place he danced.