Did you know that someone actually started a blog about kids that are too big for strollers? I remember finding that one and thinking it was a little mean-spirited -- especially since most of the pictures are taken at theme parks where everyone gets tired. (I confess that on our latest trip to Disney World®, while pregnant, I was seriously wishing that there was a stroller big enough for me.) My guess is that these kids had walked all day long, had a moment when they hopped into a smaller sibling's "ride," and were caught by the blogger and exposed for all to see. But there could be even more to the story. The point is nobody can really tell the whole story from a quick glance and an even quicker judgment!
This past summer we vacationed in a nice beach motel with my extended family. Each evening after dinner, we'd walk down to the boardwalk and just enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. James is plenty big enough to walk on his own. In fact, he LOVES walking and is a pretty active little guy. This particular trip, however, he was REALLY surly and upset and kept saying he didn't want to walk. Although we had just finished eating dinner and it wasn't a usual time for a blood sugar check, I knew something must be really wrong so I tested him.
His blood sugar was high. Yes, we'd just had dinner, but still, he shouldn't have been anywhere near that high. Now his grouchy demeanor was absolutely understandable. Of course he was uncomfortable on our walk. I knew I needed to get him home quickly where I could take care of his high blood sugar and allow him to rest and drink water until he got into a more desirable range!
Luckily, I had a stroller with me for his 4-year-old brother (also perhaps a little too old for a stroller, but that's a different story altogether), and immediately I evicted Luke and set down my nearly 8-year-old boy. I'll admit, he looked RIDICULOUS. But it was a lot more comfortable for him to sit, and frankly, he didn't care at all at that point. We turned around and were on our way back to the motel when we got the comment.
Yes, one of the "nice" people walking in the opposite direction on the boardwalk pointed and said, "Isn't he a little big for that?" I just let it roll, and although the comment stung, I was grateful that James didn't pick up on it. My sister wasn't about to let it go, however. She immediately piped up, "Hey, he has type 1 diabetes. You don't know what you're talking about!"
She was absolutely right, of course. This guy didn't have a clue what he was talking about. He was also unlikely to have had more understanding after her comment, but at least he knows something else is going on. After that, I've been even more careful not to judge the conduct of others from a quick glance.
This story ends happily as we were able to get James' blood sugar into a good range, and he was none the wiser that he got a nasty comment. And the person who made the snap judgment will think twice before making disparaging comments again. At least, one can hope…
About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I'm thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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