Yesterday was a bummer so today was going to be good. Today I decided to go grocery shopping first thing in the morning to free up the afternoon for fun stuff. Ok, well maybe it wasn't first thing in the morning, more like after 10 or so, but it felt like first thing to me since I normally go around 3pm.
I discovered this is prime shopping hours! Not only is the store empty, but no one has had a chance to be pissed off yet so other patrons and store employees are all super happy! Plus D was not tired and due for a nap so she was behaving perfectly!!!
So after the store and 2 cart fulls of groceries I took the kids through McDonalds for some hormone riddled fast food since it was $1.99 Happy Meal day. We came home, put up the groceries and ate. Then on to the water park!
I slathered some SPF 100 on the kids and some SPF 15 on myself and it was sunshine and splashing all afternoon! But of course nothing is so simple. I realize many of the complications I face are due my own fault but still...
B made a friend. This happens a lot. She's just a friendly kid. She loves playing with other kids, and since she is so big smaller kids love playing with her. To them it's like having a "cool older pal". So B and her new buddy Kendall, who is 8, are playing with D. It was actually really sweet to watch B who's 12 and D who's 2 play with this girl and they all got along so well!
So anyways, after a while Kendall's mom comes up and introduces herself. She says Kendall is her step daughter and comes to town when schools out so she has no friends in the area. Would I like getting the girls together some time. I try to play it cool, but I'm as giddy as I would be had I been asked out on my first date. It's hard to find friends for a 12 year old since by this age cliques are often already established and B doesn't go to school in my area so neighborhood kids are hard to find. So I say that a get together would be awesome. We are talking and as we talk about the kids and a playdate B is off in the corner of my eye acting like B. This isn't anything bad but it's just her being overly flamboyant and touchy feely. Things that turn off a lot of people so I start obsessing.
I nod and act like I am listening to this women talk about her kids but I'm only catching bits of the conversation because in my head I am going over a list of pros and cons. Should I tell her B is special needs? If I do maybe she won't want her to play with Kendell? If I don't maybe she will think I'm embarrassed by my own child? If I do and she still will let her play with Kendall maybe they will act funny or talk slower like some people do? What if she thinks I;m dishonest for not saying something? What if, what if, what if?!?!? So I kinda blurt it out.
"I wasn't going to say anything because I don't want you to act differently around her but if you are around her for a while you will notice anyway that B is special needs. She has developmental delays and tends to be very tactile and immature but that is why she gets along so well with kids Kendall's age, she is about at that level," I say and wait for her response. Now to me this was a huge divulgence of something personal and scary. She says, "Oh, I work with special needs kids!" and we begin to talk about that.
I don't know what reaction I was expecting. I guess in my head I had figured worse case scenario would be her snatching her child from the water and running away screaming before B has a chance to infect her. This is never a reaction I get, though I do get some all too sympathetic smiles, or "how do you handle it?" comments. But generally people are really accepting of B in small doses. Sure they don't invite her over for sleepovers and playdates alone very often but I know it's more because they fear for their ability to take care of her and less about the fear of her disability. (And for the record there's nothing to caring for her. She's normal, she just functions on a lower level so if you treat her like a 12 year old and expect her to behave that way you'll be disappointed and frustrated. But if you treat her like a 6 or 7 year old you'll get along fine and every so often she will surprise you with acting her real age. )
Is the problem me? I know I'm not ashamed of B's disability. I don't offer up the info because it's not always necessary to say it. I guess I want to protect her. I don't want her to be "the special kid" but at the same time if I don't say something and people see how she acts at times she can be labeled as the "weird dorky kid". So when should I say something about her and when shouldn't I? I still haven't figured that one out but in the mean time when I do offer up the information it will be with knots in my stomach as I wait for a reaction. I just can't help it.
So anyway, Kendall and her family left with my number and I was left with a promising new friend for B and a feeling of being so silly as to let myself worry about this lady's reaction to my child. She was just as excited for Kendall to have found a playmate as I was for B.
And while all this went on my youngest was baking like a lobster! Having a Latin skin tone I just don't burn. I do have an allergy to the sun that makes me itch if I don't wear a light block but as long as I smear on a SPF15 in the morning I'm good all day. I put an SPF100 on both girls and B having my skin turned a lovely golden tan color today. D taking after my husband is cherry colored! I keep calling her Rosie and Cherry. Her sun burn doesn't seem to hurt but I still feel terrible.
Note to self: White people can burn, you have to reapply sunscreen! With the whole sun causing skin cancer deal it wouldn't hurt to reapply to B and I as well but it's imperative that D has a healthy layer of sunblock on at all times. Sucks that I learned the lesson at her expense. Check out my poor Rosie!