Yesterday was an interesting day. Miss Daisy and I had to wake early to go to her 12 hour EEG. I started out at a nearby gas station getting some Diet Cokes and a taco for me for breakfast.
I really have to work on my answers about Daisy. I know the cashier meant well. He was just trying to make conversation. But now that Daisy is one-year old, questions and answers get stickier.
Very Nice Cashier Man Who Meant Well: "Is that your baby?" (Looking at a very big baby in an infant "bucket" car seat.)
VNCMWMW: "How old is she?"
Me: "She's one year old."
VNCMWMW: "Can she walk?"
And this is where I simply screwed up. It was early in the morning. I was tired. And I guess I wanted to explain why my very big baby was in the bucket car seat. The cashier man probably didn't care. I should have kept my mouth shut. But, because it was awkward and I felt like filling in the silence I followed that "no" with, "She has severe special needs."
VNCMWMW: "Oh." (pause) "What is wrong with her?"
Again, I should have kept my mouth shut. I put him in the same place. He felt like he needed to say something. If I had kept my mouth shut he never would have known. It never would have mattered. And yes, he crossed the line. But he didn't know better. It was a young guy and he was just trying to make conversation. He didn't mean to offend or say something wrong. But now we were in that really weird place. I paused. I silently kicked myself for saying anything. And then I answered, "She got hurt pretty bad a few months ago."
He was polite. Just said he was sorry. Our transaction was done and I headed out the door. He told me to have a nice day.
I have got to learn how to keep my mouth shut.
There's something magical about turning one year old or something. I've had quite a few people ask me if Daisy can walk yet. Or make comments about her crawling and walking. One lady at Herman's high school (side note: he's back to a brick and mortar school now) couldn't stop talking about Daisy's chubby legs. Then she went on and on (and on and on) about how Daisy will thin out when she starts walking.
It's rough for me. I want a world where people aren't afraid of special needs. I want it to be OK to care for a child that needs something different or extra without it being a big, huge deal. So part of me wants to tell people that she has special needs. Not because I'm trying to make a spectacle out of her, but because it is who she is and she doesn't need to be ashamed and neither do I.
But I know it's probably best if I keep my mouth shut. It's really nobody else's business.
I know I'll figure out how to handle the awkward silence in conversations eventually.
Every time it happens though I wonder how Bio Mom will handle this. If Daisy goes back to her she's going to be up to her neck in a world she never dreamed of. Emotionally it's going to be way harder for her than it is for me. I grieve for Daisy. But a developmentally challenged Daisy is all I've ever known. Bio Mom won't get to live in a bubble where she holds her baby in a room for two hours a week and can pretend that everything is normal. If Daisy goes home, Bio Mom will have to navigate the inquisitive nature of the general public regularly.
How do you handle it when people ask questions they shouldn't?