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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say....

Why are some people so insensitive?

There is a new boy in therapy. His name is Matthew. His mom’s name is Jen. It took me by surprise when he WALKED into class. Upon further observation, it became evident that he has a very mild physical disability, and I understood why Jen wanted to join our therapy session. I will admit that I was a tad jealous, as Matthew is MUCH more physically advanced than Ellie, but those are MY issues (and material for a separate blog entry!).

You’d *think* that a mother of a special needs kid would be super sensitive, and think before speaking, but apparently, that’s just my silly assumption….

At the end of class, I decided to feed Ellie a quick yogurt snack, as I needed to run some errands before driving home, and didn’t want a hunger-induced tantrum to happen at Wal-Mart. It’s faster, easier and neater for me to feed Ellie myself, so I propped her on my knee and started shoving the yogurt in her open-like-a-baby-bird mouth.

And then I heard THIS, from across the room:

“Aww, look at how sweet she is. I wish that Matthew would sit still like that, and wouldn’t always try to take the spoon away from me so that he can do it by himself. I miss those days. You’re so lucky.”

Um.

I’m LUCKY because my daughter can’t jump out of my lap? I’m LUCKY because my daughter doesn’t have the hand dexterity to feed herself with utensils? ARE YOU FOR TRUE?!

It got me riled up (what a surprise!). This is one of MANY comments I’ve heard that start with, “You’re so lucky….”

“You’re so lucky that you don’t have to babyproof the house.”

“You’re so lucky that you don’t have to listen to constant blabbering all day.”

“You’re so lucky that you don’t have to discipline your kid for taking someone else’s toy.”

I would give my right (and left) arm to chase Ellie down, or to hear her sweet voice jabber in English sentences (French or Spanish would work too).

I just wish people would think before they speak. Think about the BLESSINGS of their healthy, mobile, talkative kids.

And by the way, it has nothing to do with luck.

2 comments:

Sunny said...

I am so sorry that you had to deal with that. People are so STUPID! I wish they would so learn to think before speaking.

HUGS!

Peitricia Mae said...

Wow. That's just...wow.

Still, I can't say I haven't done something similar. A coworker's son is the same age as H (two weeks apart) and has severe hydrocephaly (sp?). He was just put into the St. Amant Centre b/c they couldn't care for him at home. She is quite sweet and asked me the other day about my kids. As I started to tell her about my discipline problem the night before, I realized that she'd probably *love* to wonder what to do with a son who was wilfully peeing in garbage cans. Shut me up pretty quickly.

Question: how does someone recognize differing abilities without a) ignoring the difference b) pretending it isn't there?