Silverware example

Joanne O'N. <seagullcaller@...>

I read but rarely post. But I think it is time that I do so. Recently, my son (6) and I were in
a restaurant with a friend. He wanted multiple plates of food, since each food was to be
on a different plate. I supported and assisted him with that. He also brought back
multiple forks, spoons and knives. At this point I noticed my new friend glancing at all of
this activity and I began to hear old tapes in my head like she thinks he has too much
silverware, the restaurant will not like this, now all of this silverware needs to be washed.
At the end of the meal, not thinking, when the waitress came over I picked up my plates
and scooped up the silverware from next to me on the booth seat. Retrospectively I I had
allowed anxiety to develop due to what I was imagining others thought about what was
going on with my son and then with me that I was not forcing him to stop this behavior. I
try to explain to him what people expect in public. (He frequently likes to pour slat and
pepper together, mix water in some other things in front of him on the table, etc. IN
genreal I delight in his creative exploration. But when out ion public if I feel that someone
else is watching, I begin to squirm. But to continue, after I had picked up the silverware,
he rightly became upset and went up to where the silverware was and began taking now
large handfuls of each utensil again. I was feeling embarrassed and out of control. I know
I am working and striving not to be in control as I want to honor his decisions even if they
are not mine. But I am having trouble when the behavior begins to have others turn and
stare and my trying to speak to him quietly about my regret of taking his silverware, and
that the silverware was to be used in the restaurant for multiple people, his behavior got
more insistent and seemed to grow larger. I am still so new. I know I am making a ton of
mistakes. I am open to all feedback and I would also appreciate the support of knowing
others have either been there or are also struggling with something similar. Joanne O'N.

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