We took Baguette to the doctor yesterday, to check on a minor concern. While we were there, we decided to get her flu shot–none of us has gotten it so far, because we’ve all been sick through the fall and into the winter, but she’s pretty healthy at the moment.
As always, Baguette screamed a lot about the shot. And this year’s shot is a doozy, so it had an even more extreme effect than usual. She and I waited outside the pharmacy while Mr. Sandwich went in to pick up her prescription. It took about 20 minutes. She was still in pain, and screaming.
People moved in and out of the courtyard where we were waiting. I tried to calm her, offering her distractions, singing to her (that definitely didn’t help), and walking around while holding her. After a while, I noticed a young boy looking at us and smiling.
He said, “Hi. Is it okay if I come over and talk to her?”
I said, “Yes, but she may not talk in return. She doesn’t talk much sometimes.”
He said, “That’s okay,” and came over.
He never lost the smile. He talked to her, and suggested games they could play, and put “pixie dust” on her arm, and let her play with his tablet.
After a couple of minutes, I said, “Do you have a brother or sister with autism? Because you really seem to know what you’re doing.” He answered, “Oh, I just really like little kids.”
Eventually his mother came up, and I introduced myself and told her how helpful her son was being. She said he was in a peer support program at his school, where he helps kids with ADHD and autism. I told her that it showed, because he was really good at it. She said, “I heard your husband mention it in the pharmacy, and my son asked me if he could go talk to your daughter. I said I didn’t know, but apparently he did anyhow.” I smiled and said, “He did ask first!”
Apparently Mr. Sandwich had to endure a long stretch of snarky, irritated, and exaggerated comments from the other adults in the pharmacy, several of whom seemed to feel that 15 minutes is the same as an hour, and that no one was doing anything about the upset child in the courtyard.
But let me tell you, that 12-year-old was a real grown-up.