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Old 11-04-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
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handling awkward toddler comments in public?

At a farmers market today we passed a woman with a birthmark on her face. Two year old DD pointed and said "Uh-oh".

DH was with DD and I was up ahead. They caught up to me and DH told me what she had said. He was in the process of picking her up to put her on his shoulders and continued with it saying something like "up we go". So he didn't apologize, not sure if he made eye contact with the woman.

What is the appropriate way to handle this type of situation?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:39 PM   #2
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

We usually play it off like your DH did. I pretend my child is talking about something else, play dumb or distract them. Dropping something usually works to distract everyone. DD1 was about to repeat an embarrassing observation about a lady walking toward us in a store. I dropped my wallet, ask DD to grab it and then quickly asked her to get something off of a shelf. DD lost her train of thought, The lady passed, I never had to even make eye contact with her and once we reached the car I explained to DD why we don't talk about the parts of people's body not covered by clothing, even if they should be.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

Distraction is good. But if it is really obvious, I just explain out loud to said toddler. My oldest was the worst! She talked A LOT about a guy who sat behind us at an event who was covered in tattoos. I explained what tattoos were as nonchalantly as possible. The guy wasn't offended, he offered for her to take a look at his arm. Lol. Same with wheelchairs, I smile and explain it without embarrassment. Now, the "is that lady having a baby!?" comments (when no, the lady is not), are the hardest to deal with...
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:08 AM   #4
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

DD did this at Disney to a man that had severe burns scars. She just wouldn't shut up and he was sitting right beside me. I told her they were scars like she has from her stitches on her forehead, only bigger. He thanked us as we were leaving, he said most people try to pretend they (the scars) aren't there and that makes him feel more awkward because the kids star even more.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by s@hmommy
DD did this at Disney to a man that had severe burns scars. She just wouldn't shut up and he was sitting right beside me. I told her they were scars like she has from her stitches on her forehead, only bigger. He thanked us as we were leaving, he said most people try to pretend they (the scars) aren't there and that makes him feel more awkward because the kids star even more.
Ds2 isn't there yet but I took this approach with ds1. I would just try to explain it to him as simply as possible. I think it may have helped that I had a surgery when he was 10m old that left me wheel chair bound among other things. So he watched my life and appearance change. He has never asked many questions of this nature.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:46 AM   #6
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My 2 year old love to say "that lady has a baby in her belly" very loudly on a regular basis. She hasnt been right once and it embarasses the crud out of me!
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Originally Posted by juliasmom View Post
My 2 year old love to say "that lady has a baby in her belly" very loudly on a regular basis. She hasnt been right once and it embarasses the crud out of me!
Oh man!! That's not funny at all, but hilarious at the same time!!
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Later, we were in a clothing store, and he saw a woman with an eye patch. Hollered "PIRATE!" As loudly as he could. Not so pleasant (the lady was not thrilled).
LOL! When DS was little he met one of my distant cousins. My cousin had a tooth missing in front; DS turned to me with this overjoyed smile and said "He looks like a pirate!" Luckily my cousin laughed.

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The absolute WORST situations EVER are when my kids see mentally challenged people. I have a really difficult time knowing how to explain that to them, and, of course they aren't polite or tactful with their questions, so it only makes me feel ten times worse.
I've talked with my kids about this, because there were children with various disabilities at the daycare they went to. They had a lot of questions about one little boy in particular. The thing that helped them "get it" was to talk about how sometimes part of someone's body doesn't work quite right, like how their cousin gets severe asthma attacks because sometimes his body has a hard time breathing. I told them that the brain is part of the body, and if part of the brain doesn't work quite right it can make it hard for that person to do some things that other people can do. Not a perfect explanation by any means, but it satisfied them.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Originally Posted by momtojande View Post


I've talked with my kids about this, because there were children with various disabilities at the daycare they went to. They had a lot of questions about one little boy in particular. The thing that helped them "get it" was to talk about how sometimes part of someone's body doesn't work quite right, like how their cousin gets severe asthma attacks because sometimes his body has a hard time breathing. I told them that the brain is part of the body, and if part of the brain doesn't work quite right it can make it hard for that person to do some things that other people can do. Not a perfect explanation by any means, but it satisfied them.
This is how I explained it after we got home. And I stressed that if you talk about someone you can really hurt their feelings b/c it could be something they are embarrassed about.

Problem is, now they say, "aw, that person's brain doesn't work right mommy. " Somehow that is just so much worse sounding than "what happened?" ZOMG

FAIL.

I'm biding my time until they are like 6 or 7. LOL

DD is almost 6 and she is starting to pick up really well on social queues, but now DS is becoming more aware of differences and he is totally NOT aware of social queues. By the time he is 6, my YDD will be turning 3 or 4, and we will start over again. And then when YDD is 6, YDS will be 4.

I foresee many years yet of awkward moments
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

I try and be as honest as I can with them. It's tough as a toddler because they don't really get it. DD was born with a hemangioma on her forehead. Now at 7 it isn't noticeable but I still say to her "Would you like it if someone was pointing and staring at your birthmark"? She's pretty good about keeping her mouth shut.
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