This, really splits me.
There is one bit of me which is really excited and so very proud of my little girl for how quickly she took to her new Kaye walker. I am buzzing about the promise of Independence it will give her and how grown up it suddenly feels. Neither the physio or I could not believe how pretty much within minutes she had the walker figured out. After the physio left and Wriggles had an early bath, the first thing she wanted when out and dry was "wheeees" ("wheels" to you and me, not to be confused with urinary activity!) before I had even put her pyjamas on.
And then the other, lesser, but there nonetheless, bit of me can't quite believe that my daughter needs a walker. It is a very obvious looking accessory that both opens up questions, stares, curiosity and I fear ignorance, and is a bit like a flashing sign saying LOOK, SHE HAS A DISABILITY!
Until now, she has gotten about by crawling, holding my hands or pushing a wooden truck at home which was custom made by a very clever dear friend of mine with a penchant for woodwork. This walker though, this is grown up looking. It is also, very medical looking. You could not mistake it for a toy, put it that way. I have known, in the privacy of my home and what I have chosen to share with people, how things lie for us. This is now like an open declaration and one I must call the shots on, as Wriggles cannot direct me. Does she need it? Yes. I believe it will be integral for her social development, confidence and independent skills. I wish I could keep her little and wrapped in cotton well forever, but I can't. It isn't good for her. She needs this.
I think I fear the ignorance and the stares the most. I know I am guilty of looking twice at any child, particularly small children using such devices. Of wondering why, what needs they have that merit it. I know from my own former naivety, that it is all too easy to elicit a sense of pity by jumping to conclusions. Now, as a mother of a child with extra challenges, I know those challenges are a very small part of that child. But strangers don't. And I shouldn't care, but I do. This world is not perfect and I feel that very keenly. I want everyone to see my child is perfect in every way but I worry they will only see the physical imperfection. Of course those close to us and those that matter will accept it because they think my daughter is the bees knees, and for that I am grateful to be blessed with good friends and family. I just wish everyone else was the same!