Potty training is never particularly easy, but for Adrian Wood, teaching her little boy to use the bathroom has been more than tricky. Her toddler, Amos, has autism and other special needs, so they’ve been attending a “potty training camp” to try to help them through this process.
“I had no illusions it would be simple. He has been dry each night and he goes on the potty and is excited, but the click hasn’t happened,” she wrote on her Facebook page, Tales of an Educated Debutante. “The one where he knows to pee pee when he is on the potty. It’s more lucky right now than intentional and that’s a bit disappointing.”
Before heading to practice their afternoon potty training session, she and 3-year-old Amos stopped at a local Which Wich to pick up lunch. She placed Amos in a chair with his “blankie,” but before she could complete their order, he scampered off. She then heard the young woman at the counter ask if she had spilled a drink.
“It took me a few seconds and as my eyes darted to Amos’s drenched bottom, I had no way out other than to disclose the truth,” she wrote. “‘We’re potty training,’ I said, ‘he has autism and hasn’t really caught on yet,’ my voice on the verge of tears.”
Instead of passing any judgment or appearing bothered by the mess, this stranger offered Adrian complete support. “She paused, smiled, and said she understood, that she had a 2-year-old, and that he would get it, it may just take a little extra time,” Adrian wrote. “She gathered up paper towels and when I went to take them from her, she refused.”
The woman told Adrian that she was happy to take care of it as she wiped down the chair and floor and found a plastic bag for his drenched blanket that was “caught in the crossfire.” After she finished cleaning, she walked over to the pair. “[She] spoke to Amos, engaging him in conversation though it was largely one sided,” she wrote. “You see, it was such a gift, that gesture. It was more than the simple acceptance of a puddle of urine in a sandwich shop. There was no judgment behind the observation, no raised eyebrow, no silent stare, only kindness.”
Adrian is more than grateful for the compassion that she witnessed in this stranger’s hands, words, and eyes. “[It was] kindness that traveled as acceptance, and reminded a mother to remember that Amos is enough, regardless of his learning curve,” she wrote. “Thank you, Which Wich. We’ll be back.”