Sometimes I Just Wish We Could Blend In

Rebecca Toal by Rebecca Toal Additional Needs

Rebecca Toal

Rebecca Toal

Blessed, busy mum to four beautiful girls, the youngest with complex special needs due to extreme prematurity. We are always looking for ways to ma...

The problem was at the exact time she decided to do this, I was also pushing a syringe of Fortini smoothie into it... Disaster!

Orangey brown liquid went flying forcibly into the air.

The poor boy beside me didn’t know what had hit him. He was sitting with his back to us, so his shaved head and T-shirt took most of it.

I was so mortified I wished I could just disappear.

The 10 year old boy just sat still, frozen in shock and his brother and parents were quiet and solemn.

I don’t blame them really, they had no clue how to react.

I profusely apologised to the boy and his family whilst wiping smoothie off the back of his head with my serviette.

I told them she had pulled her tube out but not to worry, it’s just baby food.

Meanwhile, Brielle explodes in fits of laughter as she realises that she’d succeeded in pulling out her tube.

Sometimes, actually quite often, I just wish B could eat and I didn’t have to discreetly tube-feed her in public or clean up her many messes.

Sometimes I wish we could just blend in with everyone else in the restaurant.

The previous evening we were taking a walk and Brielle was in her yellow walker.

We came inside to the foyer and heard the music and saw the lights. I walked over with the younger two as I told my husband “Brielle will love dancing and the lights.”

Sure enough, there were lots of little tots dancing up on a little stage and disco lights overhead. Mostly under five.

We made our way up to the stage to stand under the lights and observe the dancing.

So many stares!

Thankfully my little princess is oblivious to kids staring or other parents pitying the little girl in the yellow walker. She can’t get up on stage and dance.

I had planned to take her out of the walker and hold her hand to let her dance alongside the other children.

But an overwhelming feeling of standing out and Brielle having a disability just hit me.

In that moment, I just wanted to blend in with everyone else, but we didn’t.

Brielle stood there in her walker and quietly looked up at the flashing lights with her big glasses, while lots of little eyes stared at her and her apparatus.

Thankfully, in her innocence, Brielle for one is blissfully unaware. 


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