My name is Tamara and I have thick skin.
This has truely been bought home to me in recent months. With my son Hayden being disabled as one of the major reasons I need to have this approach to life. You know the sort that says I don't care what you say about my child.
In my experience adults can be very cutting with their comments. They easily judge without knowing anything especially when it comes to Hayden. I know at first glance he does not look disabled and he certainly does not look his age. In fact he looks much younger. I too know that Haydens behaviour in the evenings, is very antisocial. When I have to take Hayden to the extra curricular activities of my others, I mostly can not get out of the car with him. He has worked out how to get out of the buggy, he curses, spits, bites etc and runs away thinking he is funny. Actually he is totally uncompliant. Parents of other children who do not know us are rude enough to pass comment about Hayden and his behaviour within ears reach of me. Somedays I feel really offended by their comments but ignore it. Other days I just appoligise for Haydens behaviour, tell them he is disabled and move him away. Most of the time we both just sit in the car, Hayden watching his favourite Barney DVD that I must have seen a couple of hundred times, while I try and chill out.
Children on the other hand just stare. I can deal with that. Sometimes they come and ask questions. I am happy to answer them too. I answer them because I hope that just maybe I might be able to make a difference in an able bodied/ mind child so they won't judge so quickly others and empathise a little more with those who different.
These kind of moments have prompted me to come up with a couple of little must haves when it comes to having thick skin.
- my ipod..this is for a little escapisim if required.
- a large smile on call at all times. That is a smile from the eyes as well as the whole face. Esential if you are in my shoes.
- A Joke book or two to help provide a little light relief. I love this site as another source of jokes. It even has a how to tell jokes part for children. Also give this a try.
- Minties because in the words of the ad....It is moment like these you need Minties.