I needed a passport photo - and that's not as easy as it sounds, when you have severe cerebral palsy!
Mum had to hold my head, but not get her hand in the photo. She had to hold my head, because I would have kept moving it. My dystonia does that.
I had to have my eyes open... look right at the camera (and remember, I have a vision impairment!) and I had to keep my mouth closed! (Now, that one was super tricky for me!)
Luckily, we had a very patient and talented photographer, and I got my passport photo.
Mum got all the paperwork together, and my doctor had to sign it all, and then we were able to submit it.
A few days later, I got my disabled parking permit.
So long as I am in the car, we can park in disabled parking spots... and fair enough... I am disabled! And, I beat cancer! And, I have a vision impairment!
Today, we got our first disapproving look for parking in the disabled spot.
It didn't take long.
It doesn't matter that the car park is closer to the shops... I am in my modified pram (and later, will be in a wheelchair). That's not the hardest bit. The hardest bit is lifting and turning me and getting me out of the car, with the next car very close. It's hard to do that. For most three year olds, if the next car is too close, they can wriggle out by themselves, and don't need much space. Or, they can wriggle across the seat and leave through the other side of the car.
I need to be lifted out of the car.
Being able to park in the disabled spots means I can be moved very easily, and we don't have to worry about the car next to us.
Mum has been scared about people's reactions to her parking in the disabled parking spots.
She had an older man glare and judge her today.
If you see someone with a child, parked in a disabled parking spot, understand that their life is far more challenging than you could even begin to imagine. If they have the paperwork for a child, entitling them to a parking permit, they have a child who needs far more assistance than you might ever notice.
Mums of kids with disabilities make it look easy.
Moving me... feeding me... carrying me... bathing and dressing me... it's not easy. Mum just makes it look easy!
Please, if you see a mum parked in a disabled parking spot... a spot for their child, don't judge. Don't glare or criticise.
Maybe offer to return the trolley for her, instead.