You can not take a child like Ziim to public places without attracting attention particularly in our shores where children with Cp are hardly if ever seen in such places. Well, they are seen in hospitals, or do hospitals not count as public places. Hm..I am sure you know what I mean, you know, markets, churches, shopping malls, airports and such places. I usually find it interesting albeit amusing when we go out. You will be amazed at what I have discovered. Ha! did you think that discovery is only left to scientists or such persons who discovered the sea route to India? Not really? Good, for this your lazy blogger aka mummy Ziim Ziim has discovered something interesting though she is yet to apply to NAFDAC for registeration number, but the application is on its way.
I discovered that there are “lookers” and there are “starers”!! What’s that you ask? Lookers are those who L.O.O.K and starers are those who S.T.A.R.E. Did I just hear a hiss from you? No? Good. Everybody looks for that is what eyes are for; to look and see. Now how do you look? Some people just look at you and off they take their eyes. Now that is what it should be.
Ok. Yesterday, Ziim and I went to the Muson center. Yes we did.There is this film that have been making waves and it was being premiered yesterday at the Muson center. A friend is somehow involved, when it was first shown in the mainland, I indicated to her that I would like to go, but she said she could only get tickets for herself and her husband. When she came back, she told me that she was sure Ziim would have enjoyed it but was not sure how we would have managed with the steps. I did not answer for if she had invited us, it would have been our problem not hers. This time around I did not ask her for if she wanted she would give us a ticket, but I wanted to go, so I bought a ticket for us. I like taking Ziim out to such places to know how she reacts to different environment. Also, I do not
want like people to make excuses for me and Ziim; you know I did not invite you because I was not sure how you would mange with the steps. Leave that to me. Sometimes I read it as; I did not invite you because I would be a bit embarassed standing with you and your almost six year old on a push chair with bib around her neck. Anyway, let’s not digress too much, we can make this a subject of another post. But note that I should be made to make my excuses.
Public buildings could be of some challenge with a child like Ziim, but I have sworn that they will not stop us from doing things I would like for us to do (well, at least for as long as I can). There was no problem with parking, I spoke to the security guards and they let me park as close to the hall as I could. I put Ziim in her chair and wheeled her to the hall, the shell hall, Hm.. the steps, no ramp as in, no access to wheelchair users! I stood there thinking of what to do. ThenI decided to carry Ziim on one hand (thank God I can still carry her) and use the other hand and carry her chair (the chair is quite light). I was just about to lift her when one man offered to help me lift her on her chair up the steps. Ok, thank you Sir. My thought, if any of the owners or builders of this beautiful structure has an accident that makes h/her to be wheelchair assisted, and h/she is healthy otherwise, does that mean that h/she will never come and enjoy an event in this place that hosts good events? Hm.. Nigerians, please repent. Oh, we are talking of the L word.
So we were in front of the shell hall , the show was to start at 3.30pm, but trust us, at 4.30pm, we were still standing outside waiting for the door to the hall to be opened and one of the star actresses coming out every 10 minutes to ask for five more minnutes. I got there about 3.15p.m hoping to go into the hall and secure a good seating position for us. Now here we were and all eyes were on us or was it me? And I see the lookers and the starers and I was being amused.
Now, there were those Lookers who L.O.O.K and quickly look away when you turn towards them. Amongs them you will see those that have this look of surprise on their faces, some have pity on their faces and quite a few you who you cannot easily place the expression on their faces. I stood there, Ziim on her chair and I continuosly turn my fingers at her to be sure her head is kept up. Ziim likes the movement, for as long as I do that, she has her head up watching my fingers move. Now the Lookers were l.O.O.King, those with surprise on their faces you can actually call the surprise lookers. I t may be that they are surprised to see such a child in a place like this..she should be on the street
begging being used to beg. It could be that they are surprised at your boldness in coming out with a child like this, such children are kept out of sight, at home, at the back room or institutions where they belong. There could be those who are surprised that such a child is not just brought here, but that she is well looked after and is happy. Now, one of those group of surprise lookers walked up to us, I watched her touch Ziim twice on the cheecks and declared to her companion “she is happy”. Hm.. yes, she did that and I did not know whether to strike her face or spite at her, but I just looked her straight in the eyes and said “yes, she is happy”. I considered that very rude and offensive, but being that we are still in the spirit of Easter, I forgive her for she knows not what she did.
Those with pity or sympathy on their faces you may call the sympathy lookers. They have their heads tilt to one side, with one hand on the jaw and the face drawn with this type of look you see when you go to funerals, that is only when the dead person is lying in state. A sympathy looker would walk up to you and say something like, “it is well my sister, God is in control” I could just clown and say, with a smile on my face “what is well? And what is God not in control of? That of course usually throws her off balance and she takes her sympathy to another bus stop.
Those whose expression you cannot easily place could be an admiration or familiar look. The later, that is ‘familiar lookers are those who Ziim reminds of someone they know, it could be a neighbour’s child, a friend’s or even her own child. This was how I met Mrs Al at the airport the day we were coming back from this journey. She was looooking at Ziim in her push chair and after a while I turned to her with this look of why are you loooking at my baby like that. She smiled , appologised and told me that she has a son with cp. Actually she was with the child, the child was safely tied to her back right there so he was not very obvious. She asked me how old Ziim is, I told her, a few months away from six. She was surprised, her son is eight and much smaller. You can imagine that we talked for long on issues only parents with a children with Cp talk about..hm.
Those other lookers are those who look with admiration; mein, this woman has liver oo, she came out with this child in a place like this? Hm.. and see how well the child is turned out, ha, see her kissing the child all over,I really admire her. That was how we met B yesterday. When we were leaving, it was about 8p.m, I do not need to say that Ziim was tired and hungry by this time, did I add sleepy? That means that I had to carry her and the pushchair. As I carried her on my shoulder and made to push the chair, this lady, B come to us. She offered to help me take the chair, I agreed. I was surprised that she walked ahead of us and went straight to my car. At my surprise; I saw you when you came with the child, I watched you, I really admire you, you are a true mother. I was speechless. What are you doing with her, as in, does she go to school or something. Of course you know my answer to that question, then I gave her the CpCenter brochure. Introductions made, we parted with a promise to keep in touch.
Now the Starers. Hm.. they just S.T.A.R.E… mouth and eyes wide open, nose flaring, they forget themselves. They just S.T.A.R.E. and you know what I do to bring them back to life? I stand right in front of them and S…T…A…R…E at them if I can and then fast blink. That usually always bring them bacck to life!
Now thatI have let you into this discovery, which one do you do when you see ”us”? Do you L.O.O.K or S.T.A.R.E? And to what group of loookers do you belong?