We returned to Cowes yesterday afternoon to enjoy some more musical performances, which we all enjoyed. As we were watching one band, a lady was watching and smiling at Joshua as he enjoyed the show. then she stood behind his wheelchair so that she was not blocking his view. As the drizzle eased, I went to remove his coat and while i wriggled one arm out of his sleeve, she grabbed the other , to be helpful I am sure. I told that it was easier if I did one arm at a time and she stood back. She then held his hand as he enjoyed the music and she leaned across and asked:
‘ You don’t mind do you? Only I cannot help myself, this is my job!’
I smiled and nodded at her, but wished that she would back off really. I could feel my bristles stiffening as she would not let leave him be. I thought that I would escape by encouraging him to stand up out of his wheelchair to dance. With that she grabbed his hand again and started to lead him in front of the stage. I stood back, trying not to interfere too much , but she was leading him around ,rather like a trophy or show dog, instead of letting him take the lead. So I cold not stand back any longer…
My mother bear instincts kicked in and I needed to rescue my vulnerable cub. So I joined them at the front and asked Joshua if he had had enough and wanted to sit down? with that I took his other hand and lead him back to our bench where I sat him down firmly between his Dad and me to watch the performance. She finally took the hint and eventually she wandered off.
Now I love it when strangers show Joshua some attention, please do not get me wrong that is the quickest way for someone to endear themselves to me. But this lady crossed a line in my view and I am not really sure what she thought she as doing. I was polite I hope, but I was firm too. I have been described as a hedgehog in nature, soft inside but prickly exterior when it comes to Joshua, well this lady well and truly, however well-intentioned, raised my prickles! By saying it was her ‘job’ she made it much worse. I am sure that Joshua’s teacher, on her school holidays, does not go around accosting every special needs child that she sees? It does not give you any special privileges to behave in any way that you would not do with any other child. The reality is that a ‘normal’ child might run back to his mum or pull away from such a pushy stranger, but Joshua is a trusting, sociable soul and it is those traits that make him vulnerable.