Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So over it...

I am struggling with the weight of other people's judgements and comments when I take Luke out in public. Often people are great, and there is not an issue. I get lots of compliments and smiles, and Luke is so smiley and friendly that people interact with him a lot.

But I also get the not-so-nice comments. Like the other day at the optometrist, when a man and his wife came in to the waiting room. Luke LOVES men, so went straight over and put his arms up to be picked up. The man scooped him up and bounced him on his knee. Then he got on the floor when Luke brought him a toy car, and played with him for ages. It was lovely...until another lady in the waiting room commented on how friendly Luke was to the man who was playing with him. At this point, the guy's wife piped up and said "Yes, most of them are like that."

All I could do was blink back the tears. Luke is not a 'them' who is friendly because he has Downs. My other kids are social too. He is a person, not a syndrome.

I get people saying something offensive or insensitive every week. This has only started since he is bigger and the facial features of DS that he has are more noticeable. How do I cope with this without taking it to heart or saying something that makes me sound like a b***h?

It's getting to me.

On the good side, Luke has passed his eye test, and won't need testing for a couple of years. Yay! One less appointment to be getting to :)

9 comments:

Ruby's Mom said...

I hate that comment,"Yes, most of them are like that."
I hate it with a passion!It is hard to know what to say back because usually the person who is saying it doesn't realize they are being offensive.
If you figure out a good comeback let me know :)

Lisa said...

Ugh. I hate those moments.

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

that was such a sweet story about how the guy picked up luke and was down on the floor playing with him, i am sorry the nice moment was ruined for you by his wife's comment and the sad part is she doesn't even know that it is offensive or hurtful! if only there were a non-confrontational way to let people know that it is hurtful to identify a PERSON by their syndrome rather than just the fact that Luke is a nice/social/happy boy (and it is not because of his extra chromosome... it is just the type of person he is)! I'm with ruby's mom, cheryl, if you think of a good comeback, i would love to know it!

Cathal's Mammy said...

when Cathal was very small, I got a lot of those comments, usually from little old ladies. The best one was when this lady put her hand on my shoulder, and told me I would know true love. *sigh*
If some one does tell me that "they are very good natured", I usually say, not at 4.30 in the morning when he is teething and screaming at me he's not!!!
Cathal's features are also becoming more pronounced as he gets older, and we get more looks, and not all of them are smiley any more....I say, give them all the evil eye, that will sort those busy bodies out :-)

Brandie said...

I hate the "them" comments. I usually point out to people that Goldie has her own personality or my other kids, without DS, share some of the same qualities. But, it does get old.

Nan P. said...

I have a work colleague who, when we are all sitting for coffee break or lunch and comparing our "baby stories", has often said things like that.

Every time she does I immediately say that I don't know about other children, but that I know about Cathal, and that this is what HE DOES, or the way HE IS... I am not sure she truly understands what I mean, but every other person around has got the message as they have never generalised like this!

And yes, it is hurtful. But think of what these judgemental people are missing!

Kimberly said...

If there is one thing I have learned since being a mom to William and Mary is that I have to have a little bit of thick skin. The lady I'm quite sure had no idea she was being a little hurtful. In her own way she was showing that she has "knowledge" on the subject of Down syndrome. Which by doing so she showed that she really doesn't. Because a lot of kids are friendly and play with everyone. Ignorance is bliss. And unfortantely we have to take the good with the bad. We just have to learn to filter.

Nick McGivney said...

I'd be with Kimberly, Mel. The people who aren't being cruel just don't understand and would most likely change their attitude instantly if they had our shoes for a day. I do filter them out and can't really hold a grudge. But about taking to heart the cruel things that people say in a spirit of meanness? It's perfectly okay to feel hurt and angry, and don't store it up either. Tell idiots where to get off and don't say b***h when you mean bitch. It's most likely the only tone that they understand anyway. You'll still be better than them, and so will the mighty Luke and your wonderful family. It's in the bible near the back, 'And God said Yea though verily you walk with goodness in your heart towards all, a certain percentage of arseholes will pop up to piss off your day. And you can tell them I called them that.'

Anonymous said...

Mel, I can feel and understand your hurt but, maybe, we all need to learn that whatever colour, race,fat or thin, size, dress, tattooed or not etc etc people do categorize us and generalise. Most often with no malicious intent whatsoever. I know I have to consciously disguise how I feel about certain "groups". Remember too that some people just don't know how to react appropriately but perhaps think that by offering a generalised comment they are some how being friendly - in their minds attempting to bridge their embarrassment at their own "prejudice". I am rambling but I hope you might get some idea of what I am trying to say ?!!!!!