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01st May 2016

‘This Is How Judgemental Other Parents Can Be’

Ger Renton

“Fug off you. That mine” he roared.

“Oh my God D!”, I smiled. I was busy counting how many words Ethan had managed. “Five, five words!” I exclaimed, barely able to contain my excitement. It was only then I noticed.

Ethan was busy grabbing a teddy from a small child, I’m guessing a four-year-old but was hoping he could have been small for his age. No such luck. The boy was three, and the teddy was most certainly his; not Ethan’s. Ah, Shit.


D placed both hands on Ethans broad shoulders. “Ethie!” he tapped his mouth, hoping to help Ethan focus on him. Another, handy, let’s-try-not-to-have-a-meltdown-in-public tactic.

I had the boy’s mother’s eyes firmly fixed on me. I could feel her justifiable anger. My guy was built like a brick house, standing at four foot and obviously older than three. “I am so sorry, is he okay?” I slowly walked towards her. Ethan was now screaming at D, who was trying to coax him out of the now deathly quiet playground.

“We. Go. Home” D signed the words. I did smile at that. Ethan hasn’t used sign language in years, but it’s our ‘go to’ when he has no aids in and we are panicking.

“Isn’t he going to be punished?” she snapped as we both watched D high five, a quiet, obviously happy Ethan. Relief flowed as I knew this meant the meltdown had been avoided. I admit, it did look bad. “ Is he okay?” I repeated, watching her beautiful little boy run around, his blonde curls bouncing with every step.

“Yes. You should really punish him, he is old enough to know better!”, she really was angry.

I nodded. She mistook my nod for a gesture of go on lady, scold me and scold me good! She had less of an audience now but just enough to fuel her, “He can’t be doing things like that, I saw you laughing, you were laughing, what kind of message do you think that sends!” she was calmer now, more confident in her stance against parents like me.

“I am glad he didn’t hurt your little lad and I am sorry for my son’s actions. And no, no he won’t be punished and I laughed with happiness nothing else” I stood closer to her, in an almost whisper, I added, “My son isn’t like yours, be glad this is the hardest part of your day”. I turned and walked away, my heart pounding.

I was proud of myself. I didn’t use one curse word or yell; I was complimenting my behaviour when Ethan ran towards me, grabbing at my arm, suddenly he roared “Fug off… woo woo lady”.

I stopped and laughed, “Good man Ethie.” I took his chubby hand.”That’s another five!” I turned and waved at the women tutting in the playground…

I am Ger, wife to D and a mom to three boys. I am their world while these four men are mine. We are trying to learn how to laugh again after our eldest son Ethan was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome. This is a blog about living, laughing and learning. 

For more of Ger’s beautiful words, follow her blog: or read her background post on Hunter Syndrome.