I have many things to think/write but tonight I am hot and tired and the one thing that comes to mind is the shoemaker who referred to my son as “not very bright” today.
She was measuring his feet. She needed to draw around them whilst he stood on paper, measure the length with a ruler and slide thing and measure the width with a tape measure. This requires lots of moving your foot this way and that for someone else for no apparent reason. He doesn’t follow instructions blindly. He likes to choose his own path. He likes to find a different way of doing what’s required, one that’s not expected, so yes, he’ll go upstairs if you make him but if it wasn’t his choice to go he’ll show that he’s doing it under duress by crawling rather than walking, or hopping, or going up backwards – following the letter of what you say but twisting it.
So when you said “put all your weight on that foot”, he stood on one leg. Maybe that was because that is the only way to actually put all your weight on foot, maybe he was bored, maybe he wanted to balance, maybe he just felt like being awkward, I wouldn’t blame him if it was the latter, you were being a bit impatient. And yes, it makes him wobble and hard to measure. But no, it does not make him “not very bright”. And no, it is not ok to say that to me in front of both him and his sister. They both understand English.
Just ask the breadmaker we were talking to at the farmers market 10 minutes later. The patient, friendly, bright one, who gets him. Who waits while he adds up the cost of my purchases 2 x (4x £60) + £3.80 + £2.05 in his head and doesn’t tell him that he’s already worked it out himself. Who waits to be told what change is needed rather than just giving it to me. Who notices that he’s pulled a clip out of the industrial gazebo because it was loose, and replaces it explaining why it needs to be there, and explaining without being asked how the gazebo folds up (because he knows my son will want to know) and also, firmly but kindly, that he cannot see a demonstration of how it works. He knows my son is bright, but then, he listens.