Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Answer to question

Question from anonymous:
What is your best idea of how the mom should have responded to her child that said that mean statement?

First of all, I can't answer for all parents, but I will give you MY opinion.

My ideal way the situation should have been handled is for the parent to immediately approach their child and tell them that their question didn't sound very nice (or hey, better yet, pick your response to your child, acknowledge that the statement/question was inappropriate) and then I would want the parent and child to approach me. I would be more than willing to tell the child and parent that, "Yes, Addie does look different, but nothing is wrong with her. God made her different, she may have a smaller head, but she has the bluest eyes you will ever see and a smile that will just melt your heart".

Heck, on a bad day, I would be satisfied with the parent just acknowledging the comment and giving me a half-hearted, "I'm sorry". I'm not picky...

I am all about educating people. I want people to know Addie and to know her condition so that next time we see them, they will smile or say hello or if they choose, say nothing at all.

Honestly, there was a situation in Publix over the summer with Julien. We were shopping and there was another child with his Mother and this little boy has a severe physical disability. I could feel the curiosity just leaking from Julien and he looked at the child one too many times for my liking. I told him not to stare and to save his questions for when we got in the car. I judge my actions based on the vibe I get from other parents and this Mother didn't seem approachable. Had she been, I would have at the very least said hello in passing and given the child a compliment. I always use that as a conversation starter and I always mean what I say, otherwise I keep my mouth shut. When we got in the car, Julien did have questions and I answered them the best I could.

I am the type of parent that had the situation been reversed, it wouldn't have offended me for someone to approach me and tell me that their child was curious about Addie. That is fine. Kids are naturally curious and when you openly talk about a situation, it doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

What is so hard about that? She is a baby for Pete's sake, treat her like one! She doesn't have the plague; she's honestly the sweetest, most loving baby I have ever known! People don't know what joy they are missing out on!