I Don’t Understand

Those were the words coming out of the anxious mother heading my way in the play area at the mall…

I assumed I knew what she was talking about…after all, I’d been watching, and repeatedly attempting to stop, Brooke bully and beat up all of the other kids…

Yes, this sweet girl was the playground bully today…

Oh well, you know, she’s two…I tried to explain away her naughtiness…

No, it’s just that…the other mother trailed off….

What? I tried to cajole her words out…

We all thought (gesturing to her mommy brigade) I mean, she looks like, um, doesn’t your daughter have Down Syndrome?

Um, she does, yeah…why?

Uh, I guess, uh, we, I mean, we don’t understand why she’s hitting our children.

Like I said, she’s two, so she’s just learning how to play nicely with others..

And let me interrupt my own story to assure you that I was being nothing short of pleasant right now…

Finally her words tumble out quickly..

We just thought she should be happy and not hit our kids!

Oh, um, wow…not what I was really expecting out of her mouth…not that I had any idea what she was going to say, but that wasn’t it.

So I tried very quickly to explain that Brooke is more typical than most people think and yes, she’s actually very naughty…

But this mom wasn’t buying it…

So her Down Syndrome isn’t that bad?

Um, it’s not that, she’s just acting like any other kid…

Okay, drop it lady…

Maybe she’s just not that Down Syndrome! 

What? I didn’t know there were levels of DS now…

Now she was started to irritate me…and I was tired of her…so I decided to have some fun…

But look! She is happy! She was smiling when she pushed those kids off the slide! And she laughed when she pushed her way to the front of the tree and stepped on that boy!

The mother wasn’t amused…

But really? What a dumbass….

So I picked up Brooke and we walked around the mall instead…and as I left I heard the three of those moms…

Maybe she doesn’t have it, maybe she’s just a brat, she’s so rude, her kid’s rotten…

Finally! Those moms were right about something…

I am rude and my kid is a brat…

But she does have Down Syndrome…even though she is rotten…

Breaking stereotypes everyday…that’s my Brooke.



  1. Mandy Smith says:

    I can so picture the whole scene! Brooke stepping on the boy, etc. LMAO!! What ignorant BITCHES! You should have pushed them off the bench & stepped on them! I know you were tempted!

  2. Jillian says:

    Wow… just wow. Lily goes around and smacks kids right off of playground toys. She even screams at them sometimes. Today a nice little Romanian boy wanted to play trucks with her and she screamed in his face. I couldn’t even properly apologize to his grandmother because she doesn’t speak english… but you know what? The grandmother gave me a look that said she completely understood and that kids are just kids.

    In French there’s a word for it – a “betise” which is an act of naughtiness. (From “Bringing Up Bebe”) and it’s just known that kids can be real brats. It’s not who they are, they’re just learning to deal with others.

    I wouldn’t know how to handle others’ ignorance — don’t know how you keep it together. I don’t even really understand what she was getting at.

    • holly says:

      she just didn’t get it. I almost got the idea that she felt it was okay for her kid to be bad, but since Brooke is awesomely blessed with the extra chromosome, she should be an angel…and maybe I was wrong, like she didn’t really have DS “that bad” or something…the whole thing was weird…

  3. jennifer dansberger jones says:

    i have worked with preschool aged DS kids and some have an attitude, wouldn’t you? let’s face it all 3 year olds have comunication issues, (speech that is slurred or jumbled) then add DS and you get a happy but very frustrated child sometimes. and if that woman thinks her child didn’t push or hit at that age she doesn’t spend any time with them at all. some people need a clue before opening their mouth.

  4. Boobies says:

    She’s TWO. What the fawk is wrong with people?!

  5. Becca says:

    Omg, seriously? I think you showed REMARKABLE restraint in dealing with those uber-clueless, super-rude women. That’s just the most bizarre interaction…they should be embarassed by their ignorance, and the fact that they still wouldn’t believe you even though you TOLD them. Ugh.

    • holly says:

      The restraint was due to the toddlers running around..I have a horrible potty mouth, but I do try to reign it in around the kids…

  6. Lisa Hollis says:

    Maybe all those days of being nice and sweet and oh so typically DS had just built up until she finally had to act like her mom? LOL….We all love her and you! GO BROOKE!!!

  7. Yeah and I’m sure that woman’s kid never act up and act like a little kid. These are the types of things kids do. Wth was wrong with that other mother. I think you handled yourself quite well.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted..A New DishMy Profile

  8. angi says:

    Kick their asses Brooke! People wonder why kids are mean….damn parents. grr!

  9. melanie says:

    …im confused y DS has anything to do with anything for those other moms…they were just making fun of DS in general. pretty sure i wouldve been VERY rude back to them, finding ANYTHING to insult them about.

    • holly says:

      you really think they were making fun of DS? I didn’t think that, but maybe you’re right…those bitches….

  10. Mark says:

    What a doll!
    As the father of a former baby-bully, I totally get this.
    Mark recently posted..OSL on PBSMy Profile

    • holly says:

      former? excellent…she may outgrow it..
      although maybe she should stay a bully, that way people can’t take advantage of her…ha!

  11. Cindy Bryl says:

    At a routine GYN appt. I had a new nurse practitioner to the practice (not new to the med field thoug) so I had to explain my story and how when Bridgie was born we had to convince our pediatricians office to test her for Ds. The nurse practitioner said “oh well then she must be really mild”. What does that mean really mild, like american cheese or something? And no she did not look mildly Ds to me she looked like she was born with Ds and had 4 inches of extra skin at her nuchal fold.

    Point? Even the medical field does not understand Ds, why would/should we expect anything less from simple citizens?


    • holly says:

      ugh, the mild thing kills me. And so many people ask me that, drives me crazy. And even if we could classify DS like that, my crystal ball is in the shop…

    • Molly says:

      Right? It’s like “yes, like buffalo wings that just aren’t too spicy.. my kid is mild…”

      dude. our kids are NOT condiments. They are not salsa or hot wings…

      or “she doesn’t look that down syndrome”
      really lady? cuz you don’t look like an ignorant bitch, but then you open your mouth and say something like that…

      I read this to my brother and sister and they just rolled their eyes and bemoaned the fact that these stupid stereotypes are still perpetuated.
      Molly recently posted..Jack’s MamaMy Profile

  12. Kelli says:

    Omgoodness, not sure what I would have done, but I think you handled it the best way you could have. It’s amazing to me how people just don’t get it, that first a child is a child and especially a 2 year old who wants what she wants when she wants it. Emily has developed a little bit of a stubborn side and I reign it in a little, but not too much because it might serve her well one day :-) Loving that Brooke showed those lady that Down Syndrome won’t stop her!
    Kelli recently posted..Happy 3rd Birthday EmilyMy Profile

    • holly says:

      what gets me the most is that she just wouldn’t take my word for it that kids with DS aren’t always happy…nope, not going to listen. I know people have ideas and stereotype, but come on, accept what I’m saying…

  13. ditto what @Angi said!

    … some people are so ignorant it makes me want to go in the business of bitch slapping sense INTO their tiny small minded brains.
    Amy @mommetime recently posted..A Day SharedMy Profile

  14. Cathy says:

    wow….how totally ignorant.

  15. Jester Queen says:

    Oh my God. DO you allow swearing on your blog? Cos I’d like to drop an F-bomb. Do they seriously think that kids won’t be kids no matter what else is going on? All other factors aside, SHE’S TWO FIRST. That would have made me froth.
    Jester Queen recently posted..Flutterby ButterflyMy Profile

  16. JDT says:

    Really? I dont think I would respond nicely to that comment. My kid doesnt have DS and it irks me for you that some people are such idiots. Why in the world would they think that just because she has DS that she would act any differently than a typical two year old? I agree with Jester Queen–WTF??!!

    • holly says:

      if it wasn’t for all the toddlers around I probably would have been more direct in letting her know what an idiot she is, but I do try to watch my mouth around kiddos… :)

  17. Leila says:

    I have no words. My jaw is hanging open and Im just shaking my head. No words. None. Oh wait – I would not be as nice as you were about it!
    Leila recently posted..What You *Really* Need to Know About Mommy-hoodMy Profile

    • holly says:

      I really had to contain myself with all of the kids around…

      • Hillary says:

        Containing yourself and your mouth is hard…good for you Holly.

        Now go tell Brooke to go punch that lady in the face and push her down the slide. Show her whose boss. I’m so fucking annoyed with this lady and I don’t even have children!

  18. Ms. Morgan says:

    Can I first just say “wow” at the idiocy that is some people in our society….and second, I love the dress Brooke is wearing today. Sorry I know she was being a bully but at least she was a bully with style!
    Ms. Morgan recently posted..Fashion Friday: Beachwear through the AgesMy Profile

    • holly says:

      I love that dress too! It was one of Hope’s, and when I pulled it out of the box I was so excited to see it! A bully with style…

  19. Wow I’d have throat punched that woman. At least, in my head, I would have.

    And gosh, how adorable is Brooke!!
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Random ThoughtsMy Profile

    • holly says:

      adorably naughty! and believe me, if there wasn’t an audience of toddlers, it may have been on like Donkey Kong…

  20. Laura DeLuca says:

    My aunt has DS, and we were raised like sisters because my mom is her guardian. I love her to pieces, but she is the moodiest person I know- LOL She is definitely NOT always happy. I can’t imagine where what myth about DS came from.
    Laura DeLuca recently posted..Smoky Mountain Candles Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  21. Anna Theurer says:

    You know, Holly, my daughter has “just a touch” of Down syndrome and she is happy all the time. All. The. Time. In fact, she is just brimming with happiness that it was why we had to leave dinner at a restaurant tonight. My ever-so-happy toddler pitches an epic temper tantrum with screaming, throwing food, and climbing out of her high chair. Hmmm, maybe she didn’t get enough Down syndrome to make her happy all the time. Sarcasm aside, you handled it much more gallantly that I would have. I do get the happy all the time nonsense and then they argue with me as though I have no idea what I am talking about. Brooke and Ellie can bully the kids on the playgroup with the best of them.
    Anna Theurer recently posted..Many Faces of Ellie: Fun Foto FridayMy Profile

    • holly says:

      Brooke and Ellie would rule the playground! I can see it now….
      how awesome would that be? Two little sassy princesses…ha!

  22. She’s two and uhhh two year olds hit each other and don’t know how to behave. DS or not, two year olds are assholes sometimes.
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  23. Deanna says:

    Soo umm, because she has Downs she’s not allowed to act like a normal 2 year old? Ugh, people are idiots and you were much nicer than I would have been, lol.
    Deanna recently posted..Kids’ Version of the Birds and the BeesMy Profile

    • holly says:

      if there weren’t a whole lot of kids there, I probably would have used much more colorful language…ha!

  24. Kristin says:

    Just like any child DS kids have to learn right from wrong. I work in learning support and whilst I have to look at kids diagnosis in order to an for them, they amaze me every day. We can’t put kids in boxes just because they ave “got” something.

    I tell my kids all the time that just because they have asperges, intellectual impairment, ADHD, speech language impairments etc etc, it doesn’t have to define them. It isn’t who they are as a person. We need to stop these things from holding our kids back and break the stereotypes.

    Yes the common consensis is that DS people are always happy and gentle, but they were kids once too. Those women need their heads checked and stop putting people in boxes because it is how they think it should be.

    I think it is great she acts like any other 2 year old. You are teaching her the most important lesson in life, that nothing can hold you back unless you let it. Go Brooke!
    Kristin recently posted..Drama, Drama, DramaMy Profile

    • holly says:

      we do treat Brooke just like any other child…maybe that’s why she’s naughty like any other child…but I certainly wouldn’t change it!

  25. Stacy says:

    why does the ignorance of people never cease to amaze me? you should have socked her.

    • holly says:

      if there weren’t a whole bunch of kids there I may have…and the potty mouth would have been flying too

  26. Erin says:

    Wow . . . I’m not even sure how to respond to this. I am so freekin’ shocked that those ladies had the nerve to say what they said. I’m picturing the whole scene as if it were like straight out of some sitcom. It’s almost too outrageous to be true! Good for you for going right back at them. It sounds as if they were too into their own thoughts. Even if you had tried to ‘educate’ them they wouldn’t have heard you.
    Erin recently posted..I was simply HIS MommyMy Profile

  27. Jenny says:

    Oh good Lord, people are so incredibly stupid…I have to say I was disappointed that the F bomb was not dropped at all, it just would have added a nice touch to the story…But I suppose I understand because there were other children around…Lets all keep in mind that not only is Brooke only two, but she is the youngest of four…She has no choice but to be a bully or she would not survive! haha…And when people ask me about Russell’s atrocious behavior I tell them he only has a touch of Ds and that’s why he is such a little shit. Him and Brooke would make quite the pair :)
    Jenny recently posted..Mothers DayMy Profile

  28. Kristin says:

    This cracks me up. I know it shouldn’t. But really. She’s two and not suppose to express herself? because she has Ds. Ha. She wanted those kids out of her way and pushing was probably the most logical way to move them!!! Seriously though, when my sister (who lives several states away) interacted with Max for the first time since he was an infant, she was amazed at how “typical” he was. I kept thinking, what, did you expect this one yr old to just lay on the bed and gaze into space? Yes, he sits, and eats, and throws up, and throws toys at you, and babbles, and well, is a one yr old! I still to this day really don’t know what she expected, a vegetable?
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  29. Molly says:

    YAY Brookie Cookie! You bust those stereotypes!
    Molly recently posted..Jack’s MamaMy Profile

  30. Sometimes ignorance is not bliss… sometimes it is sheer stupidity!
    Sorta Southern Single Mom recently posted..Writer’s Workshop Repost: My Life in MusicMy Profile

  31. Ok, I was really confused at what that mom was getting at. I have NO idea why she’d awesome that Brooke would always be “happy?” That sounds very naive & ignorant to me. Kids are kids and they’re going to display kid behavior now and then. I’m just baffled by what she said to you.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..Life’s Lessons: Good Things Come…My Profile

  32. Kristen Mae says:

    I am SO glad I just stumbled onto your blog! I love that you started messing around with that lady’s head once she revealed her ignorance. Brooke is adorable. Looking forward to reading more posts from you! :)
    Kristen Mae recently posted..Why You Want to Have Another Baby, I mean, Get a DogMy Profile

  33. Good grief! I’ve said some stupid shit in my time, but this takes the cake. I’m happy my kids are out of the play area stage ’cause other mommies (especially the groups) were just annoying as shit! And your little lady is so damn cute!!
    The Accidental Somebody recently posted..Chop itMy Profile

  34. So the new stereotype is that DS kids never misbehave and are never sad? Gee, how could THAT one ever backfire? *sigh*

    Maybe you should’ve just cold-clocked the lady and said “she learned it from me!”
    Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: CleaningMy Profile

  35. I have so many potential responses swirling around my brain right now. Like, “yes, she has DS. You, however, are just ignorant. Oh yeah and rude.” That’s the nicest one, the rest have lots of F words in them.
    Girl, you’ve got your work cut out for you because you know this is just the beginning. Sadly, dumbasses are everywhere and they all have mouths.
    dysfunctional mom recently posted..Late Fraggin’My Profile

  36. Tiffany says:

    You should have made Brooke go back and play so she could hit harder!!! Stupid people make me so angry.
    Tiffany recently posted..Happy This WeekMy Profile

  37. Oh I love Brooke. And you. But mainly Brooke cuz she is cuter. ;)
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  38. Jessica says:

    She’s so gorgeous and they are so ignorant. Oh to live in a bubble where life is perfect. How insanely boring it must be to be them.
    Jessica recently posted..Unexpected GiftsMy Profile

  39. Brett says:

    ignorance never, ever fails to amaze me. people can be so stupid.

    i would like to give holly a high five. and i’d secretly want her to go shove those ladies’ kids just once more. just once.

  40. Ashley S says:

    I so don’t miss those “mommy brigade days”. I don’t understand why moms feel like it’s their jobs to tear each other down. Loved the fact that you not only stood up for your daughter, but had a little fun with this idiot too :) . Some people are so naive, it would be better for them to educate themselves rather than ruin our hearing with thought vomit. Grrr. Go Brooke!
    Ashley S recently posted..Small Business Associations: What all the hype is about!My Profile

  41. Ashley T says:

    It sounds to me like some “moms” need to go to school before they become moms. Wow. I’m totally out of words right now. You weren’t rude, they were!
    Ashley T recently posted..He’s so happy! #wordlesswednesdayMy Profile

    • holly says:

      what makes me crazy is how they didn’t quite believe me…like she’s either supposed to be a DS happy child or “normal” aka bratty

  42. CJ says:

    Way to educate the masses!!! When Em does that, I just look at her and say, “Way to break down those stereotypes, girl!”
    CJ recently posted..Giving Myself Permission to Not Be Perfectly HappyMy Profile

  43. Raphaelle says:

    My my… yeah, right, you just go around pretending your kid has DS (because, that’s just so much fun and all)… Good thing I wasn’t with you when that happened. I think I would have been very unpleasant. In a cool, haughty french way (we French people are very good at that, giving haughty looks that make people feel like they are completely stupid ;) ).

  44. Ds 2008 says:

    I love the happy while bullying comment, maybe there is a bit of truth – happy to get their way!

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