Childrearing

Panera Does The Right Thing After Jerk Employee Asks Mom To Remove Toddler’s SQUEAKY SHOES

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451866299Whew this was a close one because I have zero interest in breaking up with my favorite soup emporium, Panera bread. When I have snot running down my chin and my head feels like it is filled with used tissues all I want is Panera, because I am too sick to cook. But this all could have changed if they hadn’t done right by this mom who was asked to remove her daughter’s SQUEAKY orthopedic shoes because they were “bothering” one of the diners.

The mom of the little girl, Catherine Duke , says her toddler daughter Emma wears orthopedic shoes to help her walk and that they were prescribed by a doctor. When she was dining with her little girl at one of the restaurants in Georgia she was approached by a staff member who told her that her daughter’s squeaky shoes were “bothering” another customer and asked that they be removed. According to WTOC.com:

“It was very hurtful, and I left the store crying, not a very good thing for a mom to feel like her child is being discriminated against,” she said.

 

This story does have a happy ending though. Not only do I not have to give up my beloved broccoli soup, Panera is reaching out to family in question. According to the Daily Mail

After filing a complaint about the incident, the corporate headquarters of Panera Bread got in touch with Duke and formally apologized. She said the franchisee met with her personally and said ‘that she and her family are always welcome at Panera and her concerns have been addressed’.

They held a meeting with the employee who erred and the manager of the restaurant. The franchise also said they want to hold a fundraiser to help the Dukes pay Emma’s medical bills. They are going to donate 50 per cent of the restaurant’s proceeds on a specific night.

‘They’re very for children,’ Duke said. 

‘This is just one of those things that happened in one of their cafes that they’re not proud of it.’

Panera Bread said in a statement that ‘the last thing we would want to do is make anyone feel unwelcome’.

I always view Panera as being super family friendly. They have high chairs! They have a kid’s menu with super overpriced grilled cheese! It isn’t like this mom was hauling her kid into Alinea! But I also know a lot of people use Panera as a sort of second office to work on their stupid fan fiction novels based on characters from The Vampire Diaries and to surf porno. No one likes their private porno muffin eating time interrupted by noisy orthopedic shoes. I think most adults with a lick of sense can sort of assume that a toddler wearing VERY squeaky shoes (And they make that noise for a reason, because they help kids with realizing they are placing one foot in front of the other) can sort of assume that the child needs them for a reason. I guess I can sort of understand if Duke had hauled her baby into an afternoon matinee of The Wolf Of Wall Street and Emma was running up and down the aisles in her squeaky shoes, but at Panera? Come on.

I’m glad the company has apologized and is making things right by this mom and her daughter, because I want to continue eating my damn soup.

(Image: Getty images)

54 Comments

  1. Ddaisy

    January 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’ll be the first to admit I had no idea there was such thing as squeaky shoes for disabled children. I’ve been driven crazy by 8000 squeaky-shoed toddlers in the mall, and wanted to throttle them all (or at least their parents). I figured the squeaky shoes were things their parents thought were “cute,” when in fact they sound like a doggy toy that projects to every distant corner of the mall, no matter how much else noise there is. The worst was when I was at university, trying to study, and the daycare groups would come running through with the squeaky-shoed children.

    I feel a little bit guilty about my fiery hatred of the shoes if it’s true they’re actually medical. I had no idea. But SURELY there must be a better solution, because those things really are obnoxious as heck. Now, instead of hating the parents who buy those things, I feel really really really really sorry for them, because they have to listen to them all day everyday. At least for the rest of us, some days there are squeaky-shoed kids running around and some days there aren’t.

    • LadyClodia

      January 14, 2014 at 9:47 am

      They’re not all medical. They sell regular toddler shoes that squeak as well. I guess it’s based on the same principle of helping them know if they’re walking correctly, but most toddlers don’t need that, so parents must just buy them because they’re cute. Or maybe so you know where they are, like a bell?

    • evilstepmom

      January 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Those wonderful little jingly bracelets make great toddler anklets, and a much prettier sound, perfect for keeping track of the sneaky little speed demons. 😉

    • LadyClodia

      January 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

      One little girl in my toddlers gym class had hair ties with bells on them, which I thought was cute, but I don’t think my boys would let me get away with it those or bracelets, hehe. (Even though my preschooler does like his nails painted.)

    • Ddaisy

      January 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

      I see. Then I shall continue to loathe the ones that are purchased with no medical purpose.

      However, it does mean there’s no way to tell just by the sound whether the shoes are medical or not, so I do sympathize with the employee and other diners a little more.

    • Sara

      January 14, 2014 at 10:45 am

      My mom used them as a preventative measure for me and my younger sister after my brother had to have a monstrous brace when he was a baby. (I’m just trying to give more information.)

    • SisRose

      January 17, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      They aren’t medical at all. My daughter has these exact shoes. No ankle support, no arch support, bubble of air under the heel, you can buy them on Amazon for under thirty bucks.. Purely novelty. In a video of the child on a popular news site, the girl is seen running up and down the sidewalk. If the girl had been wearing actual medically-prescribed shoes, I could see a fuss being made. But for being asked to remove novelty shoes? I smell someone seeking attention…

  2. pixie

    January 14, 2014 at 9:45 am

    The super cheap shoes I used to wear in elementary school ALWAYS squeaked when they got even a little wet. It was super frustrating and made me super self-conscious, but I don’t think a toddler’s squeaky shoes are something to complain about in a restaurant like Panera.

  3. LadyClodia

    January 14, 2014 at 9:53 am

    It makes sense, but I didn’t realize that they also used squeaky shoes for orthopedic reasons. I wouldn’t have thought about the child having a disability, and I probably would have been annoyed by the shoes too, but I never would have complained out loud about it. Good on Panera for making things right.

  4. Tinyfaeri

    January 14, 2014 at 9:55 am

    There is no silence at fast food places. If someone insists on working in one, much like working in a bar, headphones are in order. That would be one of those “suck it up” kind of situations.

    That said, I will always twitch at someone jumping to discrimination for things like this. Did she explain the shoes to the staff at the time, or just run out crying and saying how mean they were being to her disabled toddler (to everyone but the staff member, news included)? Because until 5 minutes ago, I had no idea there were squeaky orthopedic shoes for toddlers, so it’s pretty reasonable to think that the staff didn’t either. A simple explanation at the time of “I’m sorry the noise bothers others, but she needs to wear those shoes per her doctor so they’re staying on” might have done the trick, though perhaps not gotten her a fundraiser for her daughter’s medical bills.

    • Alexandra

      January 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Does it really matter? What if someone had asked an adult to take off his shoes? This is clearly a person walking (not a baby being carried) what was the mom supposed to do once she took the shoes off, let her toddler walk around in socks or barefoot? I don’t see what the solution here was supposed to be. I’ve gotten shoes wet and not realized that they would squeak, and it’s embarrassing, but I’m not going to take my freaking shoes off!

    • Tinyfaeri

      January 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Right, I did say that no one should expect silence in a fast food place. I also think that jumping to “it’s discrimination” is a bit ridiculous.

    • Marci

      January 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

      That was my thought too. So say she stayed and took the kid’s shoes off. Now you’ve either got toddler slipping around in socks, or, if she’s like my kid, she assumes if her shoes are off, she can take her socks off too, bare feet. Now you have customers screaming about bare feet running around in a restaurant and aren’t there HEALTH CODES about this? Server really didn’t think through the implications of the request. Should have replied along the lines of, “If someone else’s shoes bother you, feel free to beat feet.”

  5. Ddaisy

    January 14, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Wait, I think we all need some clarification–was it just the regular squeak of, say, wet shoes? Or the godawful, ear-splitting squeak of the chew-toy style shoes?

    • JLH1986

      January 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

      The ones I’ve heard were a little louder than “wet shoe squeak”. Of course I can’t speak for these shoes as I wasn’t there.

    • Ddaisy

      January 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Yeah, I was definitely thinking of the obnoxious chew-toy ones, but after reading a few other comments, I realized I might have misunderstood.

    • JLH1986

      January 14, 2014 at 10:17 am

      I could see how that would work someone’s nerves (we have 3 dogs, squeaky chew toy sounds are the bane of my existence). Though I don’t know that I’d actually ask staff to make the girl leave/take off her shoes.

    • Muggle

      January 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      I’ve heard some incredibly loud shoe squeaks, usually in school from people who thought it was funny to make their shoes squeak loudly on purpose.

      A little girl who can’t walk well might not be doing it on purpose, but maybe her shoes went from “squeaky toy shoes” to “OW MY EARS” loud and that’s what the customer was complaining about?

    • Theresa Edwards

      January 14, 2014 at 10:51 am

      My first thought. But it doesn’t sound like it. Seems like its a thick-soled shoe. Those squeaky toy shoes though? What monster thought that up?

    • keelhaulrose

      January 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      My mom wears orthopedic shoes. They have no tread to speak of, but the bumps they put on the bottom to keep them not slippy hold moisture like no one’s business and make them crazy squeaky. And because of the way she walks it’s louder than normal shoes but not by much.
      Probably not the same shoes, but I thought I’d give a bit of reference.

    • SisRose

      January 17, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      My daughter has these shoes. Not medical by any means. They make a very loud SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK as the child runs around, this is what they are designed to do, make noise. For me, they are cute when my child wears them. To other people, I could see how it would want to make them abolish the child from their presence forever!

  6. Jessica

    January 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I don’t ever want to have a reason to part with my bread with a side of bread.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

      and a muffin

    • Jessica

      January 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

      My Panera is pretty heavy handed with the pastry pushing. IT’s ONLY A DOLLAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Snarktopus

    January 14, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I was kind of on the fence when I read the headline, because there are toddler shoes out there that are designed to make dog squeaky-toy sounds just because for some reason parents think it’s cute, and they annoy the shit out of me, but if they were orthopedic, that’s a whole different ballgame. I

    • SisRose

      January 17, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      As I said in another post, these shoes aren’t medically prescribed, they are non-medical, non-orthopedic (no ankle support, no arch support, and a bubble of air is under each heel), novelty noisemaking shoes. The mother and father are misleading people about this, I guess just to get the attention/pity. My daughter has these shoes, Amazon, thirty bucks… They are loud. If the child was running around the restaurant (as the news video showed her running up and down the sidewalk) then I could see how it would drive other diners bonkers in the restaurant.
      BUT!!!!! The squeaker is REMOVABLE!!!!! So the mother would have only had to remove the little plastic circle and everyone would have been happy!!!!!!
      Forgive me for posting the same thing again, but I’m tired of seeing Panera’s name smeared over this! And now they are even going to give fundraising money to the family over their “you can’t tell us what to do” attitude! I’ve never eaten there, I may in the future, but seriously people, this is ridiculous!

  8. Mila

    January 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I was so worried that I was going to hate Panera after I saw the title of this article. So glad they dealt with it directly and were understanding and apologetic. I need to go get some broccoli cheddar soup.

  9. Beth

    January 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I’d have to hear a little more of the story before jumping to judgement either of the parent or the chain …. For one thing, as a former poster pointed out, I’ve never even heard of extra-squeaky shoes for the purpose of kids learning to walk, so there’s a good chance the employee in question hadn’t either. For another thing, what was the kid doing? I mean, it’s not likely a customer would have complained about squeaky shoes walking into the restaurant, and maybe a trip to the bathroom, and then out again. Is it possible the kid was running around, which kids should never do in restaurants …. Yeah, I know, Panera Bread’s not an upscale joint – but kids shouldn’t even run around in McDonalds unless they’re in the play area, because of people walking around with trays of drinks and hot food. And crying about it? Really? I could see it pissing me off, maybe me venting to somebody later over a glass of wine, but crying because someone complained about your daughters shoes? As I said, I’d like to know more.

    • C.J.

      January 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

      That’s what I was thinking too. If the kid was sitting down eating the shoes wouldn’t be squeaking. If the kid was running around that’s a whole different thing. Kids shouldn’t be running around in any restaurant.

    • Magrat

      January 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Also look at the source. The Daily Mail isn’t exactly the New York Times, you know what I mean?

    • helloshannon

      January 14, 2014 at 11:55 am

      completely disagree. so maybe she shouldn’t have been “running around” but it is freaking panera and if someone was so bothered by it then they should leave. seriously, why do people feel so entitled that they have to complain about children in a fast food, kid friendly place. i would have been very very upset and complained to the chain as well. why is that other customer more important that this mother and her family? i had also read in a different reporting and they were frequent customers and the employees there were well aquainted with this child’s shoes. http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/toddler-asked-leave-panera-over-noisy-shoes-180939865–abc-news-parenting.html

    • Beth

      January 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Who cares if it’s “freaking Panera” – no matter what, kids have no business running around areas where food is served. I don’t even let my kids run around our own kitchen, let alone a restaurant. It’s called manners. Just because they were frequent customers doesn’t mean the kid’s allowed to run wild. NOT saying that’s what was happening, but you seem to be defending a scenario thatI think is unnacceptable in any establishment.

    • helloshannon

      January 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      ok so every toddler who doesn’t want to sit still somewhere should get kicked out. sounds tolerant. as an adult, when i see other children running around, maybe i am annoyed but i am not crying to the staff about being disturbed.

    • C.J.

      January 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Every toddler who doesn’t want to sit still should have parents who deal with the behaviour for the child’s safety and that of everyone else. I don’t go to the staff when a child is unsafely running around but I do address the parents. I have a disability that causes me to have balance issues. If a child runs in to me I can very easily fall and not only injure myself but the child in the process.

    • helloshannon

      January 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      and the poor child is wearing special shoes because she is having trouble walking… highly doubt she was sprinting up and down the aisles

    • Beth

      January 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      And have you considered safety? What happens if this child gets a bowl of hot soup dumped on her head because she was toddling around the restaurant and a waiter didn’t see her, either because of her height or a sudden movement into the waiter’s path? Whose fault is that? Or is the hot food less dangerous for children if it’s “freaking Panera”, so the kid will be fine? Think before you knee-jerk post about the “poor child” – sometimes devices like high chairs and strollers, and the efforts of parents to keep a child in check, are for their safety.

    • SisRose

      January 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Helloshannon, the video on the news source shows the child running up and down the sidewalk. So she very well may have been running around the restaurant…

    • meteor_echo

      January 15, 2014 at 3:19 am

      Because a running kid can trip up a waiter with hot drinks or food, and then mommy dearest will throw and epic fucking shitfit and of course blame the waiter?

  10. Magrat

    January 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

    “After filing a complaint about the incident, the corporate headquarters of Panera Bread got in touch with Duke and formally apologized.”
    Syntax headache. Damn you Daily Fail.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Misplaced modifiers are one of the worst.

  11. Kate

    January 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I hope they are kidding- have you heard the ear-splitting “bread is ready” oven siren in these restaurants? Not exactly a great sensory experience.

  12. Rachel Sea

    January 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I think whoever invented those squeaky shoes secretly hates kids. I have really well behaved dogs, thankfully, otherwise they would mug kids at the park for their shoes. Someday we’re going to read in the news about some random dog mauling a kid’s feet, because TOY.

  13. Kay_Sue

    January 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    On the one hand, I would hope that the staff would take the time to understand the situation if it was explained to them.

    On the other hand, I would want to know more about the situation before weighing in on one side or the other, so to speak. For instance, if the kid just walked to the counter to order, and walked to their table before sitting quietly, and the customer complained–that’s a jackass thing to do, period. It’s open to the public. But, if the kid was wandering around, I could see that being irritating regardless. No way should the staff have asked her to take the shoes off, but it would be irritating, and I can understand that.

    I can also understand the toddler wanting to move around–walking a freeing experience at that age, an expression of independence, and if you had just learned how? I’m sure I’d want to exercise that newfound expression of my bodily autonomy too.

    So it’s complicated, in my mind, to even form an opinion of it.

  14. Sandy

    January 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Hmmm. I’m actually skeptical. To start with, I have seen kids with the strictly for fun squeaky shoes. They squeak like a dog toy with every. single. step. On a good day, hearing one is annoying. On a bad day that instantly upgrades to something that makes me rage from clear across the store. When I first saw the headlines, I thought these were recreational squeaky shoes and I thought, “Well… they are super annoying and the pitch of that squeak is cutting.” Then I saw this and read that they are “orthopedic shoes” that are being pitched as “supporting the ankle” and ‘encouraging her to walk heel to toe because she has to walk that way to get the reward of the squeak.’ At that point I thought that if the Panera employee had a way of knowing that, she was out of line and the family should have been left alone (but really, if it isn’t obvious, can you expect the people who work at a store you frequent to just know these things? They do have their own lives and see hundreds of people each week.) or apologized to for the inconvenience after politely explaining that the shoes are an orthopedic necessity.

    But now, I’ve read some of the other articles and watched the video and looked at the pictures. Orthopedic shoes aren’t known for being attractive. Especially not ones for little kids who will be growing through them quickly. Her shoes are not only pretty cute but I don’t see the ankle support they mentioned. Those shoes look strikingly similar to these: http://weesqueak.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WS&Product_Code=AM2530BK&Category_Code=girls Chances are, the orthopedist may have recommended squeaky shoes but these aren’t distinctly orthopedic shoes that an employee would recognize as a medical device. My guess is that the kid was up and around instead of sitting down enough that someone said, “For the love, I’m trying to enjoy my soup in relative peace.” The employee talked to the dad who, dealing with two kids, the youngest of which has a developmental disorder that is still being figured out, was already on edge. Instead of being calm and saying, “Sorry, her doctor recommended them because X. But I can see how it would be annoying so I’ll get her to come over and sit down.” He had that stress/embarrassed/frustrated/sad that they have to deal with this reaction, packed up, left in a huff and fired off an angry missive. Now it’s national news and it’s hard to say, “I probably didn’t react in the best way. I should have been more chill about it, too.” Unfortunately, they’re going to have to get better at it. If the issue isn’t obvious, people don’t just know. They’ll have to get good at saying, “Sorry. I know it’s annoying but it’s the only thing that has helped and we really appreciate your patience.”

    Of course, I could be wrong. But this just seems like a relatively minor, not that offensive incident that has kind of taken on a life of its own.

    • Psych Student

      March 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      I’m with you. I’ve never heard of “squeaky shoes” and wouldn’t have had a clue that they had a purpose.

  15. helloshannon

    January 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    if you watch the video you can hear the shoes and they are not that offensive. i am surprised anyone could hear them over the normal din of a place like panera. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/14/panera-toddler-shoes-emma-duke_n_4595122.html

    • SisRose

      January 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Not that offensive because you’re seeing it in a video and not in person. My daughter has these non-prescription, non-medical, non-orthopedic, novelty noisemaking shoes. The same exact pair as the girl here. They are very annoying and loud!

  16. jendra_berri

    January 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I recall being in the Imaging waiting room for an ultrasound and a toddler had squeaky shoes on, the type that make an intentional SQUEE noise every step. I wanted to burn those things. After quite a bit of running around, the dad eventually took her on a walk right by people who were trying to rest in the corridors after their procedures.
    The running around during the awful 90-minute wait I can understand. Kids under two have a hard time sitting for such a length of time in such a boring place. I didn’t begrudge the family that behaviour. No one was in a good place. But the squeaking for 90 minutes… I can’t even. No one said a word, though. Eyes rolled, but that’s about it.

  17. Vicki Lewis

    January 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    This is why I could never work in a restaurant. The situation of having one diner ask me to go tell another diner to be quiet would make me so uncomfortable, especially if I didn’t agree. What are you supposed to do? Either way you are going to piss off a customer and probably get a complaint filed against you. So I feel for this staff member and hope they didn’t get in too much trouble, unless they themselves were being rude about it.

  18. S West

    January 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    This sounds like someone who wants her 15 minutes of fame and then some. NO kids should be running around in ANY restaurant or establishment that is NOT a playground. Too many parents allow their children to do exactly what – wouldn’t want to upset the little darlings.

    • footnotegirl

      January 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Boy, you’re reading a lot into the article that isn’t there. Nothing says that the child was ‘running around’ in fact the only mode of locomotion described was walking. If a child is BEHAVING in a manner that is inappropriate for the business, then the parent should be talked to about that and if it doesn’t improve, rightfully asked to leave. The mom wasn’t approached about BEHAVIOR she was approached about the sound her child’s medically prescribed shoes were making. Children are, believe it or not, allowed to be in public.

    • SisRose

      January 17, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      The only problem with that, footnotegirl, is that these shoes aren’t medically prescribed, they are non-medical, non-orthopedic (no ankle support, no arch support, and a bubble of air is under each heel), novelty noisemaking shoes. The mother and father are misleading people about this, I guess just to get the attention/pity. My daughter has these shoes, Amazon, thirty bucks… They are loud. If the child was running around the restaurant (as the news video showed her running up and down the sidewalk) then I could see how it would drive other diners bonkers in the restaurant.
      BUT!!!!! The squeaker is REMOVABLE!!!!! So the mother would have only had to remove the little plastic circle and everyone would have been happy!!!!!!

  19. AutoIronic

    January 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I’m a grad student, a writer, and a mom. I often work at Panera or a local cafe because our tiny apartment gets confining. I work there fully expecting the noise, and if I can’t tune it out that day, that’s my problem and not the fault of the other people using the place to socialize or to feed their kids. However: Just because I work in a coffee shop, please don’t demean what I’m writing or assume it’s trivial. Even if it were fan fiction–and it’s not, in fact I’m probably grading papers or trying to make a deadline–no one deserves all that scorn because they choose to work where you choose to eat. Let’s coexist.

  20. Katie

    May 5, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Panera isn’t just for grown ups. Every time I go in (which is often. I’m addicted. 🙂 ), there’s families and people on laptops and tweens looking so grown up cause Mom is at another table. Last time I went, a little boy who was obviously new to potty training, announced loudly to his dad across the restaurant “I POOPED!” as soon as his mom opened the bathroom door.
    Did someone complain? Were the parents talked to? Did he have to be put in a pull up to avoid any more out bursts?
    Nope. A little old lady clapped which started a round of applause across the restaurant. Made me so damn happy to see that little boy beam and swagger back to his table.
    People need to realize that kids walking around (in squeaky shoes or not) are celebrating a mile stone that brings them closer to being slightly less annoying adults. If kids aren’t allowed to walk around in restaurants (like I wasn’t cause my older sister was a runner) they might develop crazy weird anxieties like needing to walk beside some one just to get a drink or an irrational fear that every one is staring at her waiting for her to fall or mocking the weird way her butt moves when she walks or just general social anxiety. Holy run on.

    Anyways. Kids are only super annoying if you let them be. Unless they’re genuinely being holy terrors. So unless it’s something you wouldn’t ask an adult to do (“Ma’am, please refrain from throwing steak knives” vs “Ma’am, please remove your squeaky shoes”), keep it to yourself.

    AND people saying she shouldn’t have left crying. Having a child with disabilities is so stressful. Every single outing can be a nightmare. My son, with Autism caused by Celiac (yes, it’s a real medical diagnosis, not the crunchy holy trinity), would start rolling his head on the backs of chairs and crying out like an animal as soon as Gluten hit his system. The looks we got at dinner before we knew what was wrong were devastating. Just dealing with those with out sobbing like a child was almost impossible some days. As soon as an episode started, we got food to go and tried to be out of there as soon as possible. On days where some one would say something, even something as simple as “Give the boy a cookie” after the diagnosis and he obviously couldn’t due to his life saving diet, would send me into a fit.
    I probably would have cried too, if I were this woman. I’m sure figuring out that those shoes would teach her daughter to walk was a long and stressful journey. It was probably filled with late nights wondering if she’d grow up obviously different in her gait, painful doctor visits with more bad news, and finally a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of annoying shoes. Some one reminding her, “Hey, your daughter is different and that difference bothers other people to the point of complaining,” is enough to warrant tears and no judgment.

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