Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter, The Morning of ...

I came around the corner and found Ruby sitting on Henry's lap. He was parked right up against the cabinet behind the chesterfield. I've learned to back him in so that when I leave the apartment I can drive right out. I permit no one to use Henry other than me, but there she was smiling up at me, "I sit in Dave's seat" she said and then began pushing the control buttons. I quickly distracted her and got her off the chair. I had visions of her turning the chair on and careening into the wall.

She likes Henry a lot. She fell for him at the mall. We'd all gone out for lunch and were walking around. I asked her if she wanted a ride and she nodded and put her hands up. Once on board we zipped off and she actually said, "Weeeeeee". I didn't know that people said, "Weeeeeee" but they do. She sat on my lap, ok stomach, and saw the world pass by. She noticed my hand on the controls and asked, "What's that" pointing to the lights. So as we drove I explained how it all worked. She lost interest and I thought to myself that this wouldn't be the last time that a man talked longer than her interest could sustain.

We stopped and waited as her mother went into a shop to look for clothes. Beside us on the bench was another young father with a newborne baby. She is fascinated by babies so she went over and looked. Baby's dad gave permission so she patted the little boy on the leg and whispered something we couldn't hear to the child. She was getting bored so Joe went in and told Mom and Dad that we would met them at the bookstore's children's section.

She climbed back on my stomach and off we went. Inside the store window we saw another infant child in a bassinette so we stopped and waved. Mother smiled and took the baby's hand and waved back. We drove off Ruby saying, "Baby waved to me." Ahead was a very old woman with a walker. I saw her looking at Ruby and smiling. I slowed down and her smile broadened. We were in no rush so I stopped. The woman waved to her and I said, "Wave your hand," and she did reluctantly.

The elderly woman said, "You look like you are enjoying your ride." Ruby nodded but didn't speak. She was clearly mulling something over. "You're not a baby," she said to the old woman. Delighted, she laughed, "No, I'm not. What am I?" Ruby thought and said, "You a woman." She laughed again and then looked at me, "It's been a while since someone treated me as anything other than a baby, and maybe longer since anyone noticed I was a woman." We said our goodbyes.

I kissed the top of Ruby's head.

She looked back and smiled at me.

"That was for giving a lovely Easter present," I said to someone distracted by the display in the next window.

This Easter, May People Notice You.


Glee said...

g'day Dave, Happy day from here in Adelaide.

kids are great and they love rides in our wheelchairs. They also love 360 fast whizzies if you can stand it!

a word of advice from a long time power wheelchair user - right from the start don't let children even touch your control box, they can run you off the footpath in a split second, run themselves over in a shorter split second and of course injure other people and damage your chair and furniture and buildings. It's just not worth it.

Occasionally I will let a much older child drive my chair (with the speed turned down very low) while sitting on my lap with my hand hovering the whole time. Children are too distractable and our chairs are too fast.

A kid I knew well (who had been told many many many times not to touch the joystick), pulled on it and ran over his own foot. He looked up at me indignantly and said "you ran over me!!!" I said back equally indignantly and firmly, "I did not you did it yourself!!!!!!!" He looked abashed and just shut up his I'm gonna cry look. I did laugh. He knew!!

sounds like you are having a great easter. So am I. Just been out for dinner with a good friend and am a bit tipsy at the moment and feeling fine. Beautiful day here 27 Celsius, blue skies and moving into autumn.


FridaWrites said...

What a cutie. Small kids love wheelchairs and scooters, have had them say "zoom!" excitedly while their parents look worried. And they do make great rides. I did let my own kids ride my scooters to make it less scary and more fun for them when I had to get mine, but I agree, I wouldn't let other kids do it. Scooter driving is really very easy, except for that darn turning radius.

Happy Easter. Your blog is always a gift.

CJ in California said...

My oldest son, had a baby sitter when he was little who had MD. She used a power chair. He used to love to sit on her lap and go for rides.

Fast forward a few years with our youngest son who was born prematurely and had some developmental issues. We lived in the country and there was one school that provided special education. He was to be in a communicatively handicapped preschool class but kids were placed there will all sorts of disabilities. He would cry and cry whenever he saw a kid in a wheelchair. Since he didn't speak well it took a while for us to figure out what was bothering him. He thought the kids were "hurting."

It's all in perspective.

Roia said...

There sure is something nice about being noticed and seen in a lovely way. Hooray for Ruby!

Heike said...

Well, my daughter got her powerchair at the ripe old age of two and a half. It took her a week to learn to control it. After that, it was just learning what is safe (stairs, steep inclines etc.). It's all very natural to kids.