Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Week with Mary

I am more than a little late with this post. My intention was to write about the week I spent with Mary during my other two's Spring Break. Which, at this point was two weeks ago. Mary had her Spring Break a week and a half earlier than the others, so when their week came, my husband took them to Virginia to visit his family, while I stayed home with Mary. Mary was very excited to have me all to herself for a whole week. I, on the other hand was bracing myself for a week of crazy mood swings. All ready to blog the craziness away. I had a busy week scheduled, appointments, outings, school, one very anticipated concert to see Daughtry. I was sure Mary was going to be off, because that's how she is. Any change in the normal routine, makes her turn into Sybil. Our week came and went. Absolutely nothing crazy happened. Yes, there were a couple of weird things. Mary spent 3 nights sleeping in her brothers bed. That is unusual because Mary will only sleep in her room, she never wants to participate when her siblings all want to gang up in one room for a sleepover of sorts. Also, for some reason, she thought we had to eat out every night. I couldn't argue, why cook for two people? The highlight of the week was the concert. Mary was beyond excited, I couldn't wait either. Just to see her experience being at a concert of that magnitude (to her). I was worried about taking her because I didn't know if the general loudness of it all was going to freak her out. All went well, we had a nice dinner at the Hard Rock, bought her a Daughtry t-shirt, got to our seats early. Once the opening act started, I was freaking out. One thing I never thought about was that there might be strobe lights. Boy were there strobe lights! All I could think was, "what kind of mother takes her epileptic daughter to a light show?!" No, I wasn't that hard on myself, but I was obsessively telling her to close her eyes, look down, turn away from the light! I think I scared her a little, as well as the people sitting around us. I realize the chances of her having a seizure were probably slim, but knowing strobe lights can induce a seizure, had me a little concerned. Instead, Mary had a seizure of a different kind. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was shaking my head, wondering, what the heck is going on. During the concert, the singer, of both acts, would periodically shake hands with the people in the audience below. We were in the balcony, no way, no how, were we going to have Daughtry come up and say hi. Nor, could he possibly see us waving to him. Try telling that to Mary. She was getting downright pissed. At one point I had to threaten to take her home. Of course that worked for about a minute. Last year we took Mary to see Air Supply at Epcot. In Epcot's amphitheatre, we had seats close to the stage, and the guys did notice her waving and waved back, and would even mimic her arm waving. I guess she expected the same attention. By the end of the night, Sybil was in full swing. I realized that it was late, and the excitement of it all was probably too much for her. Sensory overload in a major way. We couldn't even get through teeth brushing she was so moody. That night she went back to sleeping in her own bed, I'm sure she needed things to get back to normal. So did I!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Being Different

Today was a big day, it was picture day at school. Mary was very excited about going to school all dressed up. Up until dismissal, Mary had a wonderful day. When I picked her up in the car line, she told me some girls made fun of her. We have been down this road before, sometimes it bothers her, sometimes it doesn't. This time, it really bothered her. Between the tears and the "I'm so ugly" comments, she told me what happened. While in the car line two little girls said her zits made her look ugly. Mary didn't even know these girls, but I suspect she tried to strike up a conversation with them which they were not interested in having. We couldn't get home fast enough. All I wanted to do was hold her tight, and yes, cry with her.

Once I got home and sat down, with this child as big as I am in my lap, I told her to just cry. I did not want to just tell her to brush it off, to ignore it. That's what I always say. This time, I felt like I needed a different approach. Especially when she started saying she wanted to leave that school, everybody is mean, etc, etc. I wish it was that easy. Unfortunately, I told her no matter where she goes, there will always be mean people. I have always tried to beat around the bush with Mary in regards to her differences. I'm done, before I knew it, I told her, "Mary, you are different than other kids". I used her friend in her class as an example. This girl is very different, she actually walks, talks, and looks different. I told Mary that even though she looks like everybody else, she is different. I hate to have to tell my child to stick with her own kind, but what else can I say? If every child was as loving and accepting of other kids as Mary is, then I wouldn't have to. I reminded her of all the people we do know that love and accept her for who she is and how she looks. We know a lot of beautiful people. Friends and family who are beautiful on the inside, which is the most important. I again, explained that people who use ugly words, are ugly inside and out. You know, the usual pep talk.

I never wanted Mary to feel different, and I knew at some point I would have to have a talk with her about her differences. Mary did acknowledge that she understood she is different, and agreed to try to stay with her friends and talk to other kids when she is approached in a friendly way. I think we are still too far off on learning to read social cues for her to be just striking up conversations with random kids. It makes me so sad, and it seems so contradictory to what I have tried to teach all my children. Be nice, have a good heart, treat others how you would like to be treated. We know so many kids that are taught the same things, and are accepting of other kids. Honestly, when I think about it, Mary is not the different one. Mean is different.