Friday, April 27, 2012

Why It's Rude to Stare

I sat in the foyer with my children waiting for Jon to talk the young girl at the counter into letting us in for free even though we left our membership card at home.  The kids prattled excitedly about the exhibits we were going to see in the science museum and the snacks I had packed in our bag. 

A little girl, about six maybe, ran up to the pram and peered in to see the baby.

Her jaw dropped and her eyes almost bulged as she stared at the tube coming out of Kaylee's nose.

I could see this yellow tube and the white tape fixing it in place had all but eclipsed the pink cheeks, long lashes, dark hair and pink bow in her mind - she didn't notice the baby, just the tube.

Her eyes oogled at the small bundle wrapped in the pink blanket against the cold of the blustery, wet autumn day.  She followed the tube to it's source, the purple pump and the bottle hanging upside down.

There was no question asked, no comment .... just staring.

After many minutes she was called away by her family who were leaving the museum and turned, without a word.  Not even acknowledging the existence of the family and the baby behind the tube.

Later that afternoon a little boy, perhaps four, looked in the pram.  He looked at me and asked what the matter was with her nose.  I knelt down and explained that Kaylee was born a bit sick and can't eat with her mouth so she has a very special way to get her food through this tube right down into her tummy.

"Uhhuh" he said

then ran away to play on the interactive exhibit with the other kids.

And that is why I teach my children not to stare.


DaughterofEve said...

I don't know what to say. There are so many different thoughts in my head. But all I can do is see your pain. I'm sorry Jess.

Jess said...

I had a thousand big feelings about the little girl staring - however only one real thought "Poor thing mustn't be social skills" ;)

DaughterofEve said...

Mmhmm...I hear you.