Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Painful talks

I have known that the day would come that I would have to talk to Andrea and Christopher about their sister. That they would need to know that she isn't like them and that they need to be sensitive to that. I never thought today would be the day. This evening I had this discussion with Andrea. Kaitlyn was playing with a new toy that my mom bought her. It is a Leap Pad toy that has a lighted screen and has games she can play to learn how to write. A tracing game for shapes and upper case letters and lower case letters... it's fantastic. I haven't been able to get her to trace with a pen and paper like most kids do in preK and kindergarten. The letter is already there so she will just tell me what it is instead of drawing it. This thing is fantastically different. The letter isn't really there because it's just lights, so she will write it. Then she can erase it and do another one. She will sit on the couch and play with it for an hour.. unheard of with anything but books for her. So anyhow.. Kaitlyn was playing with said toy, trying to draw a circle, when Andrea said "Nanee, your dwarwin is all messy! Is just a circwle. Do it better!" Kaitlyn responded with a "Stop Andra" and about 30 seconds later got up to do something else. I almost cried. How do you tell a 3 year old that her older sister can't do things as well as she can? I had no clue what to say, but I knew I needed to say something.. So that's what I told her. Kaitlyn can't do everything as good as you always. She can't run as fast as you, she can't color as good as you, she can't do puzzles as well as you can. But you need to be nice. Don't tell her it's messy, tell her good job for drawing! I don't know if Andrea gets it yet. I know she understands that Kaitlyn is different.. she has said as much to other kids, but I don't know if she really understands what it means for Kait to be different. Eventually she will.. someday Kaitlyn will know she is different. I'm sure that day will be just as, if not more difficult for me. It's one thing to know that your child is disabled.. it's completely different when they realize it!

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