"You have a big tummy."
"You're feet are funny."
"You have a big boo boo on your leg."
Sadie has always noticed these differences, now she has the words to discuss them with me. I remember, from Ruby, that I need to handle these questions with care. While many parents would "hush" a child who points out some obvious difference in another person. I'm not good with that approach. When Sadie says these things she is just stating what she sees, she is not making a statement about my value, she is making a statement about my difference. That's OK. More than OK. I can be described out loud.
"Yes, I have a big tummy."
"Yes, my feet are different."
"Yes, there is a big scar on my leg."
She listened, was almost satisfied that the discussion was done, then asked, "Why?"
I didn't know which of her list of three that she was referring to ... but I launched into something that I'd tried with the Rubster.
"What's this?" I asked pointing to her nose, she loves this game and was immediately distracted, "That's my nose!"
"What's this?" I asked pointing to my nose, "That's your nose!"
"How can that be?" I asked her. I measured the length of my nose with my thumb and forefinger and then placed it on her face, mine being way, way, bigger than hers, "They can't both be noses, mine is bigger."
"No," she was adamant, she knows noses, "My nose" pointing to hers, "Your nose," pointing to mine.
"But mine is like this," again with the fingers, "and yours is like this."
"They are noses!! Same and different." She said, wrapping herself in her arms, as she does to state that she is finished.
"That's why," I said, "you and I are the same and different."
She twinkled, really, she did, "Big tummy, little tummy, same AND different."
We were done. She was satisfied.
So was I.
Tomorrow, Chicago, Disability Pride: Same And Different.
Ha! Good answer.
And, go Sadie!
My BF and I were lamenting plastic surgery, recently, and she remarked on how similar all the celebrities are beginning to look. It's bizarre and depressing to see a bunch of people all the same size and shape and colour, and with similar features. Where's the delightful randomness of human variation?
Now - if we can only take Sadie's lesson learned and help the "big people" get it! Great illustration, wonderful life lesson.
I'm going to use that...
That is both adorable and effective. Awesome!
I love your blog and the way it makes me think. I'm a speech-language pathologist and I work with middle school kids in the public schools in America, and I hope the lessons I learn from your blog make me a better speech therapist. Thank you for sharing. :)
Most excellent. You're setting Sadie up to be a great advocate and lovely human being.
That is a brilliant tactic. Kudos to you, Dave.
I love it. I have occasionally been disconcerted by the unabashed eyes of a child, followed by a probing direct inquiry about some physical effect of aging! I've never had such a great way of handling questions. Mine sound like this, "Um those blue things around my ankles? Veins!" "Why do I have no eyebrows? They moved away a long time ago," (while I think,"You mean these fake ones don't fool you?" )Your answers are so much better! I am coming over for lessons. :)
Love this idea and I will be using it!
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