And Christine at I’m Sick and So Are You, in her infinite wisdom, has come up with 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Read Gin & Lemonade.
Do you think sarcasm is the highest form of flattery? Please say yes. Because then we can be friends.
In real life, the fam and I took a week-long road trip to our old home city.
I imagined journaling every day, and blogging our travelogue every night. If we were having coffee, I’d say that kinda didn’t happen.
However. I did manage to drink copious amounts of coffee. With actual friends. In Edinburgh. Some of those friends are reading this now. Hello. Thanks for the coffee. It’s nice to be known.
We set off on Sunday, with a new playlist to mark the occasion. One song for Neil, one song for me, one song for Isla. My daughter now sings Red Solo Cup. I’m not mad.
We rolled up to our flat for the week, after having lunch at an upmarket tourist trap somewhere in the middle. While in line for the accessible toilet, someone asked me if Isla was my sister.
This is not because I look young for my age. I used to, not so much any more. And this is not because Isla looks about 17, though she does.
People think Isla is my sister because disabled people don’t get married. Or have sex. Or have children. Or go on road trips. Disabled people are never seen in public. And we never need to pee.
Disabled people are not normal human beings like everyone else. That’s why people think Isla is my sister.
I took her into the toilet with me. Because I’m her mother and I can’t pee alone. Someone knocked while we were in there. ‘Use your own toilet,’ yells my kid. Thank you, my favorite advocate.
We got to our home for the week, unpacked and Isla explored the kids toys while I explored the holiday reads. Lots of Maeve Binchy in there. I read them all though. When I was 13.
We ordered Chinese food. And guess what? They delivered it. I was almost giddy with excitement.
We ate on the balcony. Because it’s August. And there was a balcony.
And I swear to you, my kid’s out there and she goes, ‘Hey look, Ma. It’s a whole different world up here.’ Indeed it is.
The next day, Neil walks down the block and brings back coffee. I was actually giddy with excitement.
Then we met some friends and drank more coffee. It’s nice to be known.
Now. We were in Edinburgh during Festival season. As locals, in the past we avoided crowds and watched boxed sets in our living room. If we did venture out we implemented a point system every time I ‘accidentally’ nipped a tourist’s ankles.
This time, we still avoided Festival stuff. There was only one show I wanted to see, but it was sold out while we were there. Even though I didn’t see it I was happy it was sold out, too.
However, we braved the warm rain (I hate warm rain) and went to my Mecca, The Book Festival. Isla contributed to a community art project and we bought her a book about a kid who is a vampire, but also a fairy. Or something. Because that’s the book she asked for. We took our various book hauls to the till, but not before I took this shot. This shot that means everything.
On Tuesday, we wanted to take Isla to some museums. But we couldn’t find parking that wasn’t 14 bucks and miles away, so we went to the movies instead.
Something else strange and ableist happened in the snack line. Isla was haggling with us over some popcorn and gummy worms. She was crouched on the floor with all the added sugar, and I asked her to get up. She didn’t get up. We moved along.
A stranger touches my child, pulls on her dress.
Are we bothering you? Do I look like I don’t know what I’m doing? Did I ask you to touch my child?
‘Did I ask you to touch my child?’
‘Um.’ And then she slinks away.
‘DON’T TOUCH MY SEQUINS,’ says Isla. She was wearing a green sequinned dress, because my child, whom strangers should not be touching, thinks she’s a unicorn this month. Don’t touch her sequins.
But seriously, would you touch a stranger’s child in the movie line? A child who is obviously not unattended? A child whose mother is right there, handling things fine without you? A child whose mother can actually see behind her head?
Getting back to the movies. The seats were leather recliners. I love the city. I reclined. Isla held my hand through the whole show. Even though I didn’t ask her to. Even when I fell asleep in the middle. Because I was in a recliner. We stayed til the end of the credits and Isla danced in the aisle, like she did at Mama Mia.
The next day we met a table full of friends for dinner. Which we were an hour late for, but that’s why they love us, really. Maybe.
If my happy place is among books, Neil’s happy place is the zoo, with the penguins. We spent the whole next day at the zoo. Got up early, plastered our penguin parking permit in the window, and lined up.
So, we’re getting tickets.
There’s this thing, sometimes, where a disabled person’s plus one gets in to places for free. There’s a card, and I have one.
Sometimes, the question to me is, ‘Do you have a Plus One Card?’
Last week the question to Neil was, ‘Are you the carer?’
Well. I answered.
‘No, he’s the husband,’ I said. ‘And he usually doesn’t give a shit.’
‘I’ll make a note.’
If you asked Isla what her favorite part of the zoo was, she’d tell you the two play parks she played in, and the four strangers she made into friends. Neil communed with the penguins, as he does.
I thought the lion looked a bit depressed, but I enjoyed the meerkats, and seeing my family happy.
We had yet more (but very welcome) takeout at my in-laws house, where Isla was able to test out her new ‘farting putty’ to a captive audience.
Our last Edinburgh day was spent with one of my best old baby group friends. Her daughter started ‘big school’ last week, and wears a uniform now. How did that happen?
That will be Isla next summer. Please shut up.
We had so much fun in Edinburgh, we extended the trip. To Dundee. That’s Wednesday’s post. Our Dundee detour is now up over here.
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