I've decided that that's Stan's mission statement. And a show on TV at the moment seems to sum up that sentiment.
Michel Roux gives a bunch of disabled people a bollocking for getting their orders to the table late. He's supporting them to learn something of the catering trade and then apply for real jobs. And he won't take no for an answer. I love it.
Contrast this, from Channel Four's Kitchen Impossible, with an incident on Friday: Stan tried to break into a van. He got as far as opening the door when the guy up on the scaffolding, doing the loft extension, started shouting down. I asked Stan to apologise, which he did. The guy in the hard hat then clocked Stan and the fact he has Down's and said: "I'm sorry. I didn't realise." I found myself blurting out: "Realise what?"
I felt bad about it later. The guy was only trying to help. But he's no Michel Roux. Yes see, he was immediately putting restraints on what Stan can do. At his age, he should indeed be in trouble for breaking into a van.
And Michel, in the TV show, is clear that he's throwing down a challenging gauntlet. One guy starts off the show cooking his signature dish of a microwave curry. He ends up saying how proud he is to have moved onto real cooking. A young woman with Down's is given the scary task of taking orders out to customers. She struggles, but she makes it.
|Stan. In charge of his own breakfast...|
We know one of the families who were filmed and they've confirmed to me that Channel 4 have been great with the stars of the show. But it's also the sentiment that I love. Just like Stan's speech therapist; she won't accept him producing eight-word-sentences. She's got him on 13-word-sentences. And then more. And then more.
Yes. Of course it can a challenge being a Dad to Stan at times. He'll break into the odd van. But when you know that your expectations are soaringly higher than that, that one day he could apply for a job in catering - or anywhere - then it helps you to centre you thoughts and get on with it.
I'll say it again:
Stan can achieve big things. He needs support; but the sky's the limit.