Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rage On

We were Facetiming with my six-year old niece and nephew about a week or so ago. My sister-in-law phoned, handed us off to my nephew, and took my niece off to get her bath. My nephew peppered us with questions: Who else lives with you? Are you using a phone or an ipad? Are you sitting on a couch? Why didn't you come to our birthday party?

We peppered him with answers: Zelda (he was unimpressed when we moved the camera so he could see her just sitting there), a phone (he was equally unimpressed to learn we don't have an ipad - HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY LIVE WITHOUT ONE?), yes, because Aunt NGS had to work (and your mommy only gave us a week's notice which we didn't say, but...).  He was, I think very sad for us with our poor lonely lives with only a lazy cat and inappropriate technology.
An exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago
My sister-in-law returned, took the boy away for his bath, and we chatted with my niece. She was much more excited about telling us all about her party, how her baby sister is starting to get more mobile and attempting to "pet" the dogs, and about how she was going to go on a field trip to the Nature Center the following day.

At this point, sister-in-law wandered in, overheard the last part, and sighed.  "K., you know you can't go on the field trip.  The paths aren't handicapped accessible and your walker can't - "

K. started crying and screaming about how unfair it was that her brother got to go. "I am the same age!" she wailed.

She struggled out of the couch, grabbed her walker, and shuffled over to her bedroom door.  We couldn't see her at this point, but we did hear the sound of her bedroom slamming.

At this point, my sister-in-law was in tears and my nephew slowly came over to her, put his arms around her, and said he'd go talk to his sister.  He said good-night to us, hung up, and that was the end of the Facetime session.

We talked to my sister-in-law the next day and found out that she had scheduled a "girls day" for the day of the field trip, but K. was still really bummed that she couldn't do the same things her classmates could. My sister-in-law was actually happy that K. could slam the door and express her anger, but she's well aware that this anger is only going to get stronger as it becomes clearer and clearer that K. cannot physically do all the things her peers can do.  We commiserated, told her that K. has come a long way, and that she was doing all she could for the kid.

It's going to be hard for her growing up, but it's kind of sad that she finally knows and understands that. It was a lot easier when the differences went over her head.

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