7 Things My Kid With Down Syndrome Does That I Never Could -

My second post for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) and, yeah, you have to click another link to get there. Aren’t you happy for me that I am getting out of “the house”?

The most awesome Ellen Seidman of Love That Max asked me to guest post for WDSD on her Parents.com page: http://bit.ly/1hOkdzP 

Creative Parenting –

I wrote this a year ago but it still cracks me up so I put it here for awhile:)

On the occasions I have lied to our son.

I like to think the times I have lied to T. have been in his best interest.

For example:

We call ‘soy chicken nuggets’ – Bear Food! (Insert GROWL here.) I called it what is the first time. He would not eat it. I made the mistake of trying to explain “soy” which made it sound like a vegetable. Complete rookie mistake.  So, it became Bear Food which is fierce and awesome and he eats it.

Signs on doors going into stores (Cripes, I should write children’s books!) used to say something to the effect “Don’t Throw Your Shoes!” I haven’t used this one in a long time because our kid is maturing!

I do have more elaborate lies that involve props. This is where it should become apparent why I do not promote myself as a “mommy blogger” or a site that provides parenting tips.

There is a recent example I employed because it served me so well in the past. Cue dreamy music and soft lighting:

Three years ago he had a one-on-one (a person who is designated to assist a kid throughout the day at school). Her name was Mindy. I have written about her before. She was a lovely woman who truly adored T. But, she went a little over-board sometimes. I’m the kind of mom who drops their kid off at school and that’s that. When I would pick Thor up at the end of the day she would fawn over him and say, “I love you, T. I love you so much.” And hug him and kiss him and “Sweet Jesus, Mindy, stop!”

I took her aside, “Listen, Mindy, my job is to drop T. off and act like it’s no biggie. Your job is the same at the end of the day. No biggie. Do you understand?”

“I just really love him”, she said.

“Mindy, I get that. That is unmistakably clear but you are acting like you are sending him off to war. The thing is, Mindy, you are sending him home with me – his mother. So, that’s a good thing. You do agree that’s a good thing?”

Well, Mindy up and left her job one day. No notice and no good bye. T. was beside himself. He asked about her constantly. It was heartbreaking. I tried to reach Mindy to ask her to send him a card briefly explaining she had to leave and she missed him, etc. No luck. So, I sent him a card as ‘Mindy’. It was short and sweet:

Dear T.,

This is Mindy. I am sorry I left without saying good bye. I had a chance to go live with some elephants on an elephant farm and sing songs all day.

You know how much I like elephants and singing.

I hope you can forgive me for leaving without saying good bye.

I miss you. I love you.

Mindy

Heartache is diminished. Problem solved.

I had to employ another card recently. T had eye surgery to correct strabismus in both eyes. It is a condition that occurs with people who have Ds (and people who do not).

T’’s surgeon is like many surgeons. Meaning he has zero social skills. I guess when you are ‘God’ you don’t have to rely on ‘social skills’. He told us Thor would “not be in pain following the surgery. His eyes would feel itchy.” In retrospect that seems unlikely or even like ‘a lie’ given the surgeon cuts and shortens the muscles in the eyes. But, we wanted to believe it was true.

Prior to the surgery I did what I have done before other surgeries and medical procedures. I explained in age appropriate language what would happen. I said, “I will go in the room with you. You will go to sleep. You will wake up and your eyes will be itchy. We will go home and you will have ice cream.”

Well, the reality is T. screamed and cried in the post-op room for over hour until the pains meds kicked in. Until then, it was clearly painful. It was dreadfully painful. It was hard to hear our kid in such pain.

When he got home two things happened: He blamed me ( actually only me because his Daddy is perfect) and he started wetting his pants. I could handle being hit in the face, screamed at and even poked in the eye. (After he poked me in the eye he said, “There!” That was a clear F-U.)  I knew I could not go through potty training again. I sucked at it the first time.

And the most devastating thing was T. believe I lied to him about something very important.

Clearly a card was in order. Something told me I would not be able to convince the surgeon to send one on his own. Unfortunately I didn’t remember ‘Mindy used the Andy Warhol cards’ I had. T. however did. At first he thought Mindy wrote again! Talk about quick explaining.

Dear T.,

This is Dr. __________.

I wanted you to know I think you are great. I also want to say I am sorry for lying to you about how much your eyes would hurt.

Your mother is right I am a complete jerk for not being honest and for acting superior.

I lied to your mommy. I should have told her you would be in pain. Your mommy did not lie to you. She did not know.

You can believe your mommy and start peeing in the potty.

I really think you have a great mommy even though she sort of scares the shit out of me.

I will be happy to see you again. Please forgive me for lying.

Sincerely,

Dr. ____________

Problem solved.