Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Today I am offering you a posting from a regular guest blogger who we haven't actually heard from for a while. Emma Crees has always been an amazing blogger, wise with words and wise with thoughts. I really enjoyed her blog post today, it's quite interesting to realise how children see the world. I think this blog is one for mothers with a connection to disability, as we can all understand that sometimes the dandiest things come out of the mouth of a child. (Please check out Emma's blog site which has recently been renovated, at http://writerinawheelchair.blogspot.com.)  

Emma Crees

A good friend of mine has a four year old son. I’ve known her (and him!) since he was about 16 months old so he’s grown up knowing me.

I use a manual chair a lot of the time and that’s the chair I prefer. But I also don’t drive due to my CP (spatial awareness problems meant when I tried it wasn’t a good idea and I’ve never been back) so I have a powerchair as well which I use most of the time I’m out and about. R (my friend’s little boy) has seen me in both my chairs although I think he’s probably more used to my powerchair.

If you ask him about my powerchair, he’ll tell you it’s a wheelchair. He’ll also show you where the horn on it is and he frequently climbs up for hugs. But if you ask him what my manual chair is? That’s a wheelbarrow. He’s called it that several times even though we correct him whenever he does. It’s really cute and more than a little bit funny.

Then the other day I was talking to someone I volunteer with. She’d taken her granddaughter (I think she said she is 6) camping. Said granddaughter had been desperate for the loo so they’d parked in a disabled space. She said to me that there were about six free disabled spaces and it “wouldn’t matter” (I would have said something about that but you’ve got to pick your battles). Anyway, apparently she asked her granddaughter if she knew what disabled parking spaces were for or who disabled people are or some such, I forget exactly which. And she replied “those people who go round in wheelbarrows”.

I really, really love the way kids see disability and the way they react to it. It’s so refreshing. I wish more adults would take a lesson from their kids and realise that disability is different. But that’s not a big deal, it’s OK. Some do but not many.

And the “Wheelbarrow” comments I keep hearing about (if two kids saying it can be called keep hearing about) do amuse me and make me smile. I can’t remember the last time a TAB adults random disability comment made me smile and laugh like that. I wish I could.

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