Ezzy’s ability to be so very mobile in her gait trainer has brought with it a whole new set of issues: Visibility.
You see, we have been able to “fly under the radar” in many ways with Ez. She is tiny–about the size of a pretty average 12 month-old. So, it isn’t exactly clear that she is so significantly delayed. I think people look at her in her stroller and think “Oh that is a sleepy (read: low tone), somewhat large 9 month old with REALLY long hair.”
In fact, that is what everyone says: “She’s so sleepy. Her hair is so long!”
But it is only in the instances that her tube is visible or she is looking particularly limp or sick that the average person would walk by us and think: “Oh, that is a medically complex child.”
Really people only get it once they stop and talk and ask her age (“She’s how old? Two? Oh…”).
Even with the Trojan Pony out in public I think people thought it was a bizarre commercial baby toy of some sort…based on the number of people who were rather casual in their movements around her–including one lady who almost ran her over with her cart in Target.
La Gauloise (the Pacer) is pretty clearly medical equipment. It has been interesting to watch people react to her in it. We got a lot of smiles. We got a lot of confused/concerned looks…many of which came from the parents of younger children that Ezzy was interested in approaching to say “hi” (and tell them she feels sorry they have to hold their moms’ hands: liberté toujours tots!).
We also got several full-on blank stares–like of the head turning as they walked by us variety. And as I started to get my hackles up, I realized that while some of these people might be giant asses who clearly never learned from their mothers not to stare, others of them might be checking out Ezzy’s wheels…they might be a therapist, a special ed teacher, or a parent of a child with special needs.
Who am I to judge?
So, I guess this new visibility may come with some growing pains…