On Saturday, Daddy was working (oh glorious 6 days a week here we come) so I took all the kids to the grocery store with me. We only had a few things to get so i felt fairly confident we could make it in and out without causing too much of a scene.
As we were heading down the coffee aisle we passed a man who was very petite. He was about the size of a seven year old but he looked like a man. I didn't think much of it but Boogie came running down the aisle after me and said "Mommy did you see that man! He was so tiny!" Her eyes were huge and she kept looking back to try to get another glimpse of him. (Thank God Baby didn't notice because I love my child to death but she is anything but discreet and tends to speak her mind unfiltered)
I got down on Boogie's level and quietly said to her. "Boogie. People come in all shapes and sizes. You know what makes mommy the saddest? When people stare at Bunny just because he looks different." And because my sweet Boogie is wise beyond her years and loves her Bunny with a crazy fierceness she instantly understood and nodded her head with an "okay mom".
We walked by the man again later and he caught her eye but I saw her look away and I caught her eye and winked at her. Message received.
It really is hard on me when people just openly stare at Bunny. I'm sure they are just curious but some of them are just so darn rude. They crane their necks to keep staring. Makes me want to scream "HE HAS DOWN SYNDROME. GET OVER IT! I AM" But that would get me nowhere now would it?
I would be teaching my kids it is rude to stare or point out people who look different anyway but now it hits home even more. As my kids get older I hope they will be the ones to talk to everyone as equals and never treat anyone as less of a person just because of their disability or differences. I want them to be comfortable around people of all shapes and sizes.
Incidentally, when I was talking to Boogie, Baby was desperately trying to figure out what was going on and was asking in her very loud voice "Mom! What don't you like? When people scare you?" I winked at Boogie and said "Yes Baby. I don't like when people scare me" Had I tried to explain the situation to Baby she would have started pointing to every man in the store and asking "Is that the man we are not supposed to stare at?!!" I am going to have to be quite creative with Baby's sensitivity training.