Lady and Thomas start summer scheme today. It lasts all day from 9 to 5. Thomas has never done anything like this before and was a little nervous but excited. I arrived a bit early to sign them in. There were quite a few families gathered, and since it was raining hard, everyone was milling around indoors instead of lining up outside. Duncan was, I think, overwhelmed by the crowd and started running around and shouted a bit. I scooped him up in my arms since I had to talk to a staff member. I asked if I could sign my children in quickly as their brother is autistic and finds the wait difficult. Duncan was kindly providing evidence of my statement. The staff member agreed and went to fetch a pen. When the staff sat to tick off names I sidled up to sort out Thomas and Lady. That done, I heard a woman behind me complain loudly that "some people are so rude" and something about "pushing children." I turned, with Duncan still in my arms and asked if she was talking about me. She said yes, and that I'd pushed past people. I explained that my child is autistic and I'd been given permission to sign my other children in quickly. She said, "well, but you pushed my daughter and didn't even say sorry." I really don't think I pushed anyone, but perhaps Duncan in my arms had brushed the child without my noticing. Anyway I apologised to the girl who was about Lady's age, and said I hadn't meant to push her. The mum moaned a bit more but I didn't hear what she said. I looked at her, exasperated and said, "Do you know what it's like?!" She said no, and I left to say bye to Thomas and Lady. They had been standing apart from me in silence the whole time. I am not sure if they were just letting me get on with sorting things out, or if they were a bit concerned by my or Duncan's stress, or if they were embarrassed at all. But they smiled and took their swim bags and packed lunches to the hall to join the fun.
Walking out to the car I though about the encounter and what I'd said. I know I needed to get that accommodation for Duncan and that others could see it as unfair. I suppose it's the same at theme parks etc. when I get a pass to allow him to go on attractions more quickly and some mutter about queue jumping. I was concerned that my response was less than optimal. My last statement could be read as rather "poor me" when what I meant was, do you know what it's like to have to deal with people like you, not, do you know what it's like to have such a tragic life!
Ach well. It's done with now. Duncan and I have plans. It's going to be quite nice for just the two of us to have time together.