Leah has become aware of the fact that she looks different, I often here her say I want new arms or why can’t I reach but she can, it’s difficult for me because I often find myself saying “Leah you are Special” and I know from the look on her face that the “Your Special” thing is becoming a bit monotonous . People tend to assume that she does not really understand her condition because she is only 4 years old, but I know this is not true and she is becoming increasingly aware of her difference.
I guess I knew this time would come and I am fully aware that this is only the beginning , when she meets other kids she will always ask “How old are you” and low and behold if they say that they are 4 years old she asks “Why are you so big ( tall)” The worst for her (and me) is when she tells other kids that she is 4 years old they run off and say “No way you’re still a baby” this gets her into a rage of astronomical proportions and it usually turns into a screaming situation of “ IM NOT A BABY STUPID!!!” Or this one “OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE IM NOT A BABY YOU RUDE IDIOT” and that thanks to the vocabulary building skills of Leah’s older sister.
The worst of me is to see the utter frustration of this perfectly capable 4 year old trying to explain that she is just small and she can play just as well if not better than the other kids. Recently she asked her dad “when will I be big (pointing to the sky)” and all dad could do was pick her up and say one day you will be grown up …just not “big” and to our surprise she said “No I want to be big” as she was not interested in the maturity aspect of growing up she wanted to know about her height.
I really thought that I would be prepared and ready to answer any questions, but I don’t know if I am. I feel so sad when kids call her a baby, I feel sad because I see how angry this makes her. But on the upside once they give her a chance, they realise that she is just short and all is forgotten. But what gets to me the most is that it seems she may have to prove her worth in every new situation, and it’s so unfair that a simple difference warrants you to the test of worthiness before acceptance.
It’s sad that even in the world of children for some, the bad habits of ignorance is instilled, and it seems it’s the BIG people who don’t seem the weed out this prejudgment of difference. If you took the time to teach your child about not seeing disabilities as an obstacle imagine the difference it would make, after all we are our children’s greatest teacher and most of what they know comes from you.