Friday, December 22, 2006


It's been a good long while since I've posted an actual AmpuTeeHee here now, hasn't it.
I wonder why that is.

Perhaps the way I present in public somehow cuts down on the amount of idiotic shit people say to me. It's also possible that at this point I've heard it all and it takes a whole-host-of-stupid to catch my attention.

But here's a good one.

If you are new here, it would do you well to understand that my idea of funny usually involves a whole lot of sarcasm and irony, and stupid people are as funny to me as a good night at the comedy club.

This is for real. Happened Monday.
Names not changed to protect the innocent.

Picture your resident AmpuT here, at an outdoor strip mall, cruising wheelchair style, sans prosthesis.

I'm on on the sidewalk, rolling up pretty quickly on the heels of a mom and her two kids, a girl of about 5 years old, and a boy who's probably 3 or so. They are holding hands, mom in the middle, so they are sucking up pavement triple wide. There is oncoming foot traffic, so there is no way for me to pass them, but I'm in no rush, so I slow down and casually hang a few feet behind them.

The little girl hears my wheels, turns to look me over, then pulls on her mom's hand and whispers very loudly, "Mom! That lady only has one leg!"

The mom, in a bit of a pissy tone, says, "Scarlet. I can't hear you. Speak up."

So Scarlet, in a regular voice, but lips pursed and mumbling says, " Mrmmm, that ladeeee ernly has one lggg!!"

To which mom sternly and loudly replies, "Scarlet! You need to speak clearly if you want to be understood. Now, say it again so I can hear you."

Poor Scarlet. "MOM. THAT....LADY.....ONLY...HAS...ONE...LEG!"

StupidMommy stops dead in her tracks, yanks poor Scarlet's arm, bends down to get in her face and says, "Scarlet! That is rude!"

Jeez, mom. DUH.

There was more, but I didn't bother to stick around to hear the rest of it.
I felt super sorry for the kid, but mom had me cracking up.
I know. I'm a little strange.

For the record, there are awkward moments like this (almost shit) when I am able to say hi, or chat a little bit, and maybe only just give the kid an understanding smile. I do believe that taking that time to do any of those makes a whoooole lotta difference in that child's view the disabled world. I have no proof in most cases, but I know for a fact that time spent at MyFK's school has made an impression for sure. MyFK's classmates don't even look at me sideways anymore, and always rush up with big hugs when they see me.

When I can spend a moment or two with kids, they typically get to see that I'm pretty much the same as anyone else, and they even get to ask the questions the grown ups are dying to ask, but don't ("well, what did they do with your leg after it came off??!"...gotta love it).

Most parents are glad that I make the time to connect. I've even had a few thank me and tell me they were glad I said something, because they hadn't prepared themselves for this particular lesson, and my saying something saved their arse.

But then there's times like last Monday on the sidewalk, where I am very clear that the StupidParent is going to feel even stupider if I intervene, and probably bitch at me for getting all up in their parenting business.

Too bad.


Anonymous said...

Nice, well written.

Screw finished on the Clemes,still looking (not very hard) for flat wicking.



Gray said...

I enjoyed reading that.

I'm off soon to hit the road for the end of Chanukah with one family and Christmas with another. I wanted to wish you and all your readers a good week.

This is often the first blog I read, and it is one of the most interesting. I have been reading or more than a year and wanted to thank you for all the care you take to knitting together your life, your thoughts, your knitting, and of course you son into an unpredictable jewel of a blog. Thank you too for being willing to share your thoughts when little bits of your life unravel a bit. (Frogging? No, too dramatic. I learned that word from you.)

I hope that your blog is not too much of a one-way gift, and that you have benefited as much as your readers. Anyway, your work is greatly appreciated. I think that we forget to tell you that sometimes.

Best wishes from across the continent to you and to all who comment.


Carol said...


But two questions remain:
1. What was the little boy's name? (Rhett? Ashley?)

2. Erm, what DID they do with your leg after it came off?

much love and hugs,

jodi said...

Damn. Carol beat me to question #2.

I was also going to be totally snarky and ask what kind of person names their kid Scarlett, but considering some of the names that have topped my imaginary baby list over the years, I'm not one to talk.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite topics as an amputee.

I spent a couple of summers working in a elementary school daycare, and I teach violin students so this is something I'm always dealing with. When I was doing the day care I often subbed for people, meaning I was meeting new kids every day, and they always were bound to ask what they did with my leg once it was gone.

I feel the same way you do. Let them look, let them ask questions. It bothers me most when parents try to hide people with disabilities, training them to ignore us and not to stare. Then they learn to fear it, they learn that it's something bad. I would much rather they learn that about it and hopefully through that learn acceptance.

I do the same thing. I just try to smile, show them I'm not some sort of monster, and if they ask questions answer them in an honest and gentle way.

I actually prefer working with kids over adults most of the time because of their honesty. Everything is out on the table, and once it is you both move on. It's great.

Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for knowing that it's very hard to keep the line between the past and present. ..Or what we've learned and what we think we know. I totally appreciate hearing your views, happy solstice , a bit late.

Carrie said...

I was laughing so gleefully that my husband just made me tell it to him. Then my daughter told me about the author with three fingers who visited her school. I love that kids can get past what adults get hung up over. Good for you for always taking a moment to connect with the child. You are definitely helping with their comfort in general, and understanding.

Oh, and my daughter wants to know about what they did with your leg, too. I admit to being curious. =)

Happy continuing Holidays!

Anonymous said...

I was going to come up with a comment but everything I could think of to say was vile because apparently I'm in the sort of mood that inspires the worst possible humour. You'd have appreciated it but I doubt the rest of your readers deserve me in this mood *g*

(Thank my mother for it. I shall apply wine and yarn later and be just fine.)

Rabbitch said...

I'm looking at that last comment by "anonymous" and I think it was written by me ... but I don't recall leaving it. Perhaps I had already had more wine than necessary.