Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who knows? and Who cares?

I think Miss B is getting to "that" age.  The age where she's not as much of a baby and people are starting to notice that she isn't doing the typical one year old things.  It seems like now that I say she is one, people are a little more cognizant that it isn't typical for her to still be riding around in her infant carseat. 

And after asking how old she is, the next question is ALWAYS about if she is  walking or not yet.  ALWAYS.  Really.  As soon as you say, "one year old" there is some sort of automatic conditioned response that leads people to say, "Is she walking yet?"  As if walking is the only hallmark of being one.  Forget about talking, signing, eating table foods, getting into cupboards, loving to read books, etc...no one cares about anything except that ONE gross motor skill.  But I digress...

Anyway, I have had a string of events recently that have made me wonder who knows that Miss B has Down syndrome and who doesn't.

The first event came when I was talking with some people from church.  I said something about Down syndrome, and a lady that sees Miss Bannana EVERY week--and holds her often--looked at me, bewildered, and said, "oh, do you know someone with Down syndrome?"  Um, yeah.  MY DAUGHTER.  It made me laugh because obviously she had no idea.  Who would have thought someone that has seen her consistently for months would have no clue?

The very next day, I took Miss B to a doctor's appointment and the nurse told me that she wasn't sure that Miss B had Down syndrome or not--she had to check her chart to find out.

Right after that appointment, I ran to the store, and as I was checking out, the cashier girl told me she has a sister that is 15.  And me, not connecting the dots, thought: that's-great-why-is-this-girl-talking-to-me-about-a-random-sister-I-just-want-to-pay-for-my-stuff-and-get-out-of-here! And then she was asking me all sorts of questions about Miss B, which I thought was a little odd...(And I STILL wasn't connecting the dots!)  Until she asked if we had gone to the BuddyWalk in the fall.  Then it dawned on me that this girl had instantly known that Miss B has Down syndrome because her sister has Down syndrome and that we were part of the same club.  I sure wish I had clued in earlier--I would have chatted more!

My point is--some people know right away.  Some people aren't going to know at all.  Some people will wonder (especially now that she is getting older) but won't be sure.   And each of those things is OKAY. 

Because Miss Banana has Down syndrome.  It is part of who she is.  It is part of who we are as a family. 

But just PART

People can get to know us because of that part (like the connection with the cashier girl).  They can get to know us without it (like the lady from church).  Or they can wonder and ask questions about it--or not.

We love our Miss Banana for who she is--ALL of who she is--and if other people know or don't know about her having Down syndrome so be it.  She's perfect either way.


Cathy said...

I had a lady come up to me at a restaurant last Friday. She has a 7-year old son with Ds. However, she said she hadn't even noticed that Lily had Ds, just her little whale spout hairstyle...her 4-year old daughter pointed it out to her. It was nice to chat with her for a few minutes.

And I soooooo know what you mean about the "walking" question. Lily's almost 2, but is the size of a one-year old. We've been getting that question for over a year now. I sometimes lie about her age...just to avoid the question.

Kristen said...

That church lady part made me laugh out loud. You know, my niece (who does not have DS) is 16 months old and not walking...and my sister-in-law is asked constantly about it as well. Unfortunately, since she knows it is likely she carried the SMA gene, she and her husband are totally freaked out she has SMA and that is causing the delay. But the odds of that are soooo slim, and there are probably literally 1000 other things it could be. The moral of my little story--I agree. People totally need to ge over the walking thing.

Runningmama said...

Oh this was the perfect post. Emily will be 1 in less than a month and you are right...when they turn 1 people expect certain things and Emily is NO WHERE CLOSE to walking...you are right though, it doesn't really matter at all, she will walk one day and it won't matter that it happened later than other children because she will be doing it...just like everyone else!

Marisa said...

Grant was in an infant car seat until he was almost 14 months and is now almost 15 months and is BARELY walking. We need to come up with new questions for moms of 1 year olds. I'm more impressed with the fact that he sleeps through the night and eats good food out of the trash and leaves behind the "garbage." That's my boy!

sara p said...

i know i think of that every once in awhile, do they know? then like you i think, do i care?...no. max is now 17 months and still in his baby car seat. he's only 19lbs hes going to be in there for a while. i started taking him out of it when we go in places because he wants to sit up and look around just like his big sis, so cute:) any ways, great post:)

kecia said...

loved loved loved this post! So perfectly put! I have had many of the same situations....My husband has pictures of the kids in his office and Bree is 3 and his coworker had no idea until the other day when my husband said something about it...I just love how you portrayed this!

Anonymous said...

I love your post, but mostly all the love you have for Ms. B :)

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