The Love Magnet is not always the sweet, loving child.
Kids with Down syndrome exude love. I know that. It would be impossible to forget as people love to talk about it everywhere I go. But the general populace does not seem to understand that kids with Down syndrome also pitch fits. Whine. Mimic speech if only for the purpose of annoying their older brothers. All the things that typical kids do as they learn just how far they can push the envelope.
The Love Magnet has decidedly taken on the "push the envelope" challenge. She has gotten into the habit of acting out during the last 30 minutes of class. Swinging her backpack at the kids while they are lined up at the door. Pushing. Smacking.
Calling her fellow classmates 'poopyhead'. (It's the worst word she can think of at her age.)
She sometimes has a hard time understanding facial expressions. I visited her class to talk to her classmates. I explained that she has a hard time understanding their feelings by how they look, and to use words with nice manners to explain it. Telling her"Stop it! I don't like that, it hurts" gets the point across. These kids have been trying to work with me this way.
I have to admit, though, that there are times where I hate having to explain my daughter to children her age. It makes me feel that I am yet again pointing out that my daughter is different. I know they are going to figure it out anyway. I know that she looks different, acts different, is different. Truly, I do know this. I live with that knowledge ever single day.
Why is it so hard for me to deal with different? I have had 7 years to accept and get used to the fact. It is not a big deal to me that my daughter has Ds. But there are still times (still!) where I wish I could take a vacation from Holland. Along with all the great tulips, windmills, and Rembrandts, Holland also has guide book that is at times 3 feet thick, requires memorization and too often doesn't have all the current information needed, a language barrier, a myriad of doctor and specialist appointments along the way, and the siblings who feel you're spending too much time in Holland.
Usually that is my personal cue that I just need a vacation, period. Mr. Wonderful and I haven't had a weekend alone since we moved here. We're trying to find time and coordinate plans, but it just hasn't happened. We have been able to give the boys their own personal vacays away. EFY, scout camps, and a week here and there visiting a cousin's house all by themselves.
Okay, I vented. I allow myself to do that once in a while. I think any parent is allowed to vent.
Trust me, though, when The Love Magnet gets home today, I will hug her tightly and be thrilled that she is home.
I love her.
Down syndrome is not who she is.