A couple of weeks ago while at the allergist with Gabriel I experienced first hand our first uncomfortable stare. Sophie is now 2 and very petite so it’s quite obvious she is not a typical child and I am ok with that. We usually get looks but I can tell it’s usually curiosity and sometimes I am approached with questions which I welcome. Most of the time though the looks or stares end in a smile. Not this time.
When I walked into the doctors office with the double stroller and my little princess in the front seat of course I had that feeling that someone was watching us. I walked past an older woman reading. I sat across from her in a pretty large waiting room but I could see her staring at us, it made me uncomfortable. I proceeded to turn the stroller facing away from her while we waiting the 20min for Gabriel to get his allergy shots and be cleared to leave.
So I go about my own business and was reading the babies a book and playing but I could not shake that feeling that someone was watching us. Mind you she was the only other person in the waiting room the whole time we were there.
After Gabriel is cleared we get up to leave and Sophie became excited; it’s not easy for her to sit still too long. It’s hard for any 2 yr old to have to sit in a stroller for more than a few minutes let alone a child who needs movement to keep her calm. Sophie was laughing and screaming and she still has a very high pitch with any sound she makes (typical in children with CDC) also, when she laughs it sounds like she hyper ventilates plus she is always junky (congested) so it sounds weird. All of this with the consistent leg extension can be eye catching to someone else. I understand that but the woman did a whole neck turn staring at my little girl.
Her look was so mean I felt really uncomfortable, awkward it was not a nice feeling. As I walked past her I said quite loudly to Gabriel “It’s so rude to stare, I just don’t understand why people do it” she was the only one in the waiting room so I imagine she knew it was directed at her.
I have been prepped by many about the stares or comments that I would one day be faced with but I was not ready for it. Not at all!
It hurts, I understand that most people do not understand unless they are touched in someway by a special needs child or a family with a special needs child. But people, it’s rude to stare, period. I used to think about it and I thought “oh, I can handle that, no problem” but I found out it not only hurt me it made me very angry. I hope with time I can learn to let go of the negative and not allow it to bother me.
To me Sophie is my child, not my developmentally delayed child or my CDC child. She is just my child and she happens to have a genetic disorder called Cri du Chat Syndrome which causes developmental delays.
As of now I think I handled that pretty good but I cannot imagine how I would react to a more negative situation. Here’s hoping I won’t have to deal with any at least for a few more years!