A young woman, age 21, found herself in a challenging situation involving her 11-year-old disabled niece, Kara, during a bus ride. Here is what she had to say:
Setting Out for the Convention
The woman and her niece embarked on the bus journey to attend a convention. Since the woman couldn’t drive, she relied on public transportation, which was well-suited to her needs.
Using the Disabled Space
Due to her disability, Kara used a wheelchair for accessibility. She occupied the designated space for prams and wheelchairs, which left no additional room in that area.
Arrival of Mother and Baby
Another passenger, a mother with a baby in a pram, boarded the bus. This presented a slight problem, as Kara was taking up the wheelchair space, and therefore there was no room for the baby’s pram.
The Bus Driver’s Suggestion
The bus driver informed the mother that she needed to fold up her pram and have the baby sit on her lap. She initially complied with this request.
An Unwanted Request
However, the situation took an uncomfortable turn when the mother approached Kara. She asked if Kara could hold her baby.
Forced to Hold the Baby
To the woman and Kara’s shock, the mother did not wait for her to accept the request. The woman placed her baby straight in Kara’s lap, who was left speechless, clearly uncomfortable with the unexpected request.
Addressing the Uncomfortable Situation
The woman, sensing her niece’s discomfort, stepped in. “I told her she’s being weird”, she explained. “I took the baby off Kara’s lap and held it out to the woman and told her to hold her own baby.
The Mother’s Defence
The mother did not listen to the woman’s complaints. She refused to take her own baby back into her arms, claiming that she was tired and couldn’t hold the baby whilst standing up.
A Heated Exchange
As tensions rose, the woman lost her composure. The woman recounted: “I lost my cool and started yelling at her and told her there were seats on the back of the bus and that my niece isn’t a baby shelf, and said she’s a weirdo. She took the baby off me, gave me the middle finger, and sat on the floor.”
Amid this altercation, the woman received disapproving looks from other passengers. These reactions left her questioning whether she was in the wrong or if her reaction was justified.
Asking the Web
The woman headed online for second opinions, questioning whether she handled the situation badly. “You’re right, your niece ISN’T a baby shelf, and she isn’t there to fulfill selfish needs in exchange for daring to take up space”, one reader sympathized. “Thank you for setting an example that your niece’s “no” is enough.”
The Verdict Was Clear
The woman was relieved to find unanimous support in response to her story. “As a disabled person, let me tell you that a ridiculous number of people decide to treat wheelchair users as things rather than people”, a furious commenter wrote. “They act like we’re carts, leaning posts, tables, you name it.”
Strange Behavior From Other Passengers
Other commenters were bemused at the nasty looks that other passengers gave the woman. One such person wrote: “That woman was beyond disrespectful and clearly a terrible parent. I don’t know what was wrong with those other bus passengers if they were staring at you critically, but I guess they didn’t really understand what was happening and were just curious.”
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