Connor and I went for a nice long walk in the park today. I had to force myself up off the couch-- it was kind of gloomy and rainy this morning so I didn't really feel like doing much of anything, but I know from prior experience that I'll feel much better if I actually get up and do something rather than staying inside, so as soon as it stopped raining out we went. We tootled around the park for a while and then stopped at the playground to swing, an activity Connor always enjoys.
There's only one swing that I can put Connor in by his lonesome at the playground-- the handicapped-accessible one-- and today it was occupied by a typically developing eight or nine-year old girl, who was being pushed by her friend. She asked me what I was doing standing there, and I told her that my little guy was waiting for his turn to swing.
"Well, we're going to be on it for a long time," she said, "because it's her turn next and then it's my turn again. So he might want to go do something else."
"Well, maybe Connor could have a turn after your friend," I said. "That's fair."
"No, because she's already had one turn, so it's my turn after her. And then she might want it again. Probably she will." Her friend behind her nodded in agreement.
"Well, this is the only swing that Connor can use by himself," I replied, gritting my teeth. "Why don't you switch to one of the other swings when you are finished with this turn and then everyone can swing?"
"Because this is the best swing, that's why!" she answered triumphantly. "And it's my brother's birthday!"
I wasn't quite sure what to say to that one, or rather, all of the things that I could think of to say involved words that were wildly inappropriate, but luckily I didn't have to answer because just then an announcement was made that they were cutting her brother's cake, so she and her friend dashed off, the "best swing" forgotten. Muttering under my breath, I strapped Connor in and away he went. He was giggling and squealing with glee and signing for more, and soon I was laughing and signing back to him, the rude girls forgotten. A little boy, also about eight or nine and probably from the same party, sat down in the swing next to us.
"Does he understand that?" he said, watching my hands.
"Oh, yes," I replied happily. "He has trouble hearing and speaking, so he talks and listens with his hands."
"I know that, stupid!" he said, and then rolled his eyes at me before jumping off the swing and running off towards the slides, leaving me standing with my mouth open.
Wow. Was it something in the water?