I never know what to do in these situations.
I was rolling through the kids clothing section at Target looking for school clothes for Ruby and Sadie. A mom was with her little boy who asked her, "What's wrong with that man?" Mom, and good for her, was embarrassed but didn't hush her child. She said, "We all need help sometimes." That didn't satisfy him, "But why is he in that chair?" She was flustered.
Being very near them, I said, "I have a disability and I move around on wheels. Look," I continued pointing to the cart that he was sitting on, "you are on wheels too!"
Mom decided to add, "Yes, you ride on here when you get tired. And he rides on his wheelchair when he's tired too."
How the hell did that get into the conversation?
I said, looking to the boy, "I'm NOT tired, I just have a disability and move differently."
Now she was a bit upset. I didn't realize that I had just corrected her in front of her young son. I didn't think through before I answered. I just wanted to make sure that the kid didn't equate disability with 'tiredness' or it's cousin 'laziness.' I knew I'd upset her and didn't know how to pull back.
I said, "I'm sorry."
OK, you guys are all good at this, what should I have done ...?