On Monday I took the Noodle to get his plasters on both feet and lower legs. He chose blue. I took the wheelchair with us because we were catching public transport home and I wasn't sure how the Noodle would balance with plasters on both legs. He was fine; I had forgotten how much weaker he was last time he had a series of plasters on. He managed all day at school without any trouble yesterday.
But there we were in the city, with a kid and a wheelchair and a day off school. Noodle decided he wanted a haircut, and why not get some lunch and make a day of it. The wheelchair certainly makes days out with the Noodle more fun (in that it reduces whining to almost zero).
I felt a bit like I was on Candid Camera. There was a kid with both feet in plaster, being wheeled around, when we come to a set of steps. Out jumps the kid, clambers up the steps with a bit of help, waits while I lift the wheelchair up the steps, and in he hops. It didn't occur to Noodle that this was in any way unusual, but it caused me to snicker a little bit.
The oddest thing, though, was the way people suddenly started trying to touch the Noodle, to grab on to his arms and to pat him. This was a prelude to shouted questions of such startling originality as 'Are you having a nice day?' and 'Aren't you a dear little boy?'. He didn't look particularly dear to my eyes, since he spent most of the day laughing like a drain at pretending to run while I wheeled him as fast as I could, and then trying to grab the wheels of the chair to stop me propelling him into handbag shops. Amusing, yes. Dear, no.
And to the man who chased us down the street in order to continue patronising the Noodle and who creepily continued trying to grab hold of him even after he drew back, you can go to a nasty burning place. We had to cross the road and pretend to go into a shop to get away from him.
But to the other man on the train, thanks for the genuine interest, lovely chat and introduction to your friend. I hope she enjoyed her tea. I hope that my son meets plenty of people like the train man, and also learns to differentiate between weird attention and friendliness from strangers. Fingers crossed.