If you can't say something nice...
Updated: Mar 3
Dear friends and family,
Before I start writing my blog this week, I want you to know that this is the sequel to “The Ridiculous Things People Say” that I wrote back in February. It has been inspired by complete strangers.
None of you have ever said (and I doubt, ever say) anything that will offend me as far as Oscar is concerned… so please don’t start panicking and wondering if you’ve said something that might feature here. After the first “Ridiculous things people say” a couple of you worried.
If you have ever worried, please rest assured that I am stronger now and would pull you up on it straight away (in the nicest most possible way of course). So here goes… an account made up of quotes from random people off the streets, who feel the urge to give me their opinion or say tactless things. There are also quotes from friends who’ve asked me to include snippets of THEIR experiences with their child who happens to have DS.
Enjoy, folks… There are some corkers
Probably one of my favourites recently, was when I took Oscar to a very well known children’s shoe shop to get him fitted for some new shoes (did I mention he’s walking now? Wooohooooo!!!! ;0) Now obviously, up until now, Oscar has only ever worn his “special” boots so it was kind of a big day in our little world.
The lady seemed nice enough. She did the general pleasantries, hello, how were we doing, etc. She asked me to sit him on my lap while she measured his feet. Without even engaging Oscar in conversation, she looked past him to me and bombarded me with “So do you know how severe it is?”, “Poor thing”, “such a shame” with her bottom lip sticking out as if to say, “how awful for you”.
Now, aside from the fact that this was downright rude, or one, she hadn’t even asked me his name, but two, and this is where I struggle, she was crouched down there on the floor, with fingers missing!!!!! I appreciate I may lose a few readers here for being un PC but Yes, she had stumps instead of fingers and if I’m brutally honest, she was having a right nightmare trying to take Oscar’s shoes off.
I am aware I sound like a bit of a bitch here. But she was “disabled” herself!!!!!!!! Had she not experienced peoples lack of tact or understanding in the past? Had she thought that perhaps sometimes it’s best to ignore the said issue and get on with mindless chit chat? Needless to say, she got a bit of an earful from me (in the nicest possible way of course) about how it’s not like the old days and a person either has or hasn’t got DS. That they’re not labelled severe or mild. That his name’s Oscar, he’s almost 21 months and that he’s doing brilliantly.
And honestly, it took everything in my power not to take Oscar’s shoe out of her hand and undo the laces myself. It would have been a hell of a lot quicker and less painful to watch… But of course I didn’t. I have tact… And I wouldn’t have wanted to hurt her feelings. Enough said.