The woman, possibly not knowing that I was behind her, said, "I will say a prayer for your mother." She repeated that mantra a few times. Once she realized that I was right behind her, she scolded me about the hats, gloves and coats. I did not say much back to her.
Then she said, "And look at his hands (meaning Ben), they are all balled up because he is freezing." Still relatively calm, I managed to say that he is a special needs child, his hands are often in that position and he rips off hats and gloves immediately. The woman persisted with her comments stressing about how she has worked with those children and he needed a hat and gloves.
I lost it. I have a terrible temper and 99% of the time I keep it under control. I called her a Bitch, rolled Ben into the YMCA lobby and let her have it.
It took me a good hour to calm down. This is the second time I have had an adult say something to me. The first time, the person said something out of ignorance. We were able to turn the interaction into a learning experience for both of us without it getting out of control.
I practice all the time, in my head, about what I would say if someone were to make an inappropriate comment to me about Ben. I think of possible scenarios and determine how to handle the situation, and what I would say. Today taught me that it is hard to be prepared for everything. I felt blind-sided by this woman's comments and attitude.
The Y is a very safe place for our family - everyone knows and loves Ben. My guard is never up - it does not have to be. I do not expect anything negative or rude to be said.
I think I may ask a staff member to give this woman the address for this site. Perhaps she will read it and understand. Or perhaps not. That is her choice. At least I will feel that I have had some closure to the situation.
I did realize afterward that I have had a few positive interactions with this woman while on the treadmill beside her. Maybe she was having a bad day today.