While we were away and staying at a caravan park something yukky happened. I am usually a bit of a helicopter parent when it comes to Buddy but I try very hard to allow him the independence that I give to my other children when I think that it is safe to do so.
Buddy learns by experience (like the rest of us) but it often takes him a little longer to learn. I find if the others learn something first go, Buddy will learn it by repetition on say the fourth (or fortieth) go. It all depends how complicated the skill or situation is for him.
On this particular night, I was at the camp kitchen washing our dinner dishes when Belle and Buddy wanted to go to the toilet block. It was directly opposite the camp kitchen. I was unconcerned and let them head off together.
The second she came out of the shower stall Buddy apologised. She had not yet looked at him. I also apologised and explained to her that we don't go to caravan parks and he would just have been curious as to what was happening in the little stall. Buddy said sorry again in an audible voice while looking directly at the young woman just as I had advised. She then told me how distressing it was to have Buddy look under the stall when she was completely naked.
I coldly said, "NO! He was in here with his older sister! She was in the toilet. Come on Buddy! Let's go. She's obviously not interested in your apology." Then I stormed out with Buddy in tow. I'm not proud of how I handled the situation. I should have kept my emotions out of it.
I went to bed feeling very disturbed. My boy is eight. Did this woman really think there was some deviant sexual reason for him looking under the shower stall? He intellect is low and I liken the incident to a three year old peeking under out of curiosity.
I guess I was also very disturbed because I wonder if this is a sign of things to come. Will Buddy be judged for his differences in an unfair way as he ages? Will people distrust him through a lack of understanding of Down syndrome? Or am I now making the same mistake as the young lady and making a mountain out of a mole hill?
Oh Buddy, how I wish I could make sure life goes well for you!