I haven’t been very well for the last few days so yesterday morning I went to the doctor, supported by Poppy. We’d only been in the waiting room for a minute or so when a boy, aged about two and a half, made a beeline for us.
He confidently presented me with a plastic gold medal and a newspaper cutting, and then stood back and surveyed my wheelchair.
I’m not an expert on buying used cars but I think anyone who’s considering making a motor-vehicle-related purchase could learn a lot from the approach of this toddler. He inspected every bit of my chair, walked all the way round it several times and identified and checked every moving part. He paid particular attention to the brakes.
He did all this with no words but lots of smiles. He was completely captivated by the wheelchair and fascinated by how it worked. He didn’t seem at all worried by my unusual noises and movements, and his curiosity and friendliness were delightful.
At one point he needed both hands to inspect a particular part so he stuffed the gold medal that I’d handed back to him into my kneepads for safekeeping. His mum could see that I wasn’t bothered by his activities and left him to explore, while keeping a watchful eye on what he was up to.
He particularly liked the fact that the footplate could be lifted up and down. After testing this thoroughly he put it down, secured it in place, and jumped on board. He looked at me and beamed. If I’d been selling the chair I imagine this would’ve been the moment I clinched the deal.
Then my name was called and I had to head off to see the doctor. When I came out the boy, who’d been waiting for me, ran over to say a proper goodbye.
While I mightn’t have left the surgery feeling any better physically, this chance meeting made me much more cheerful.