Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I have heard it all....
We have a disabled placard for our car. I hang it from our rear view mirror. We have had it for over a year now, we use it only when we have K.C. in the car with us. It's for his safety, has helped us tremendously when he's in extreme headbanging meltdown mode to get him to the car quicker. When we first decided to get that placard I had to really think on it for over a month. Seriously, I felt very guilty knowing that K.C. didn't have a physical disability and that we would be taking a spot away from someone who did have a physical disability.
I mentioned this to my Mom (who also has a placard for my brother) and she came by our house the next day. She had just come from the DMV with the form that needed to be completed by the Doctor for the placard. Our next visit I took the form, the Pediatrician filled it out and I took it to DMV. We got our placard.
My Mom said we need the placard. She reminded me of K.C.'s seizures. She said what if we needed to get out of the store quickly because he might have a seizure? We have learned that when K.C. is very quiet and very spacey a seizure isn't far away.
We went to the store yesterday to pick up a prescription, I had both boys with me. As I parked, I noticed a car pull into the spot next to us, in the disabled spot. Big Brother got out of the car first and I walked around to unfasten K.C. As we all walked together to enter the store I heard a mans voice say, "you folks aren't handicapped! Get out of that spot!" I turned and noticed that the person who parked next to us must have actually waited for us to exit to see if we were "handicapped." I stopped with the boys and said, "sir, my son is disabled, we have a placard hanging in our car." I pointed toward the rear view mirror. I looked at Big Brothers face and he looked furious, I knew if we didn't hurry into the store he was going to open his mouth and he wasn't going to say something nice. The whole time K.C. stood there like a good little boy just watching the parking lot. I noticed people started staring a bit at the old man confronting us. The old man said this, "where's his wheelchair!" Then "the mouth" I sometimes call him said, "you dummy, disabled doesn't always mean your legs!" I squeezed Big Brothers hand to let him know to shut it. I started to apologize to the old man for Big Brothers remark (I felt badly because this man was old, very old and there was know way I was going to disrespect him) then, I hear a roarous laugh coming from the old man complete with coughing (Big Brother said, "oh my God Mommy he's gonna die.") I started laughing, I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. We just kept walking into the store and left the old man there to laugh. I think he was laughing at either being called a "dummy" or he realized how ignorant he was and for realizing a 7 year old was right.
I had a long talk with Big Brother about respecting his elders and have told him numerous times "when the adults are talking he is being quiet." Well sometimes they don't listen, but I can honestly say I was glad he did speak up. Maybe we all learned something about the word "disabled" and what it means to different people.