Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lazy Baby

From time to time I am guilty of telling my daughter she is being lazy about one thing or another. Usually, it is when she doesn't want to hold her own bottle. I know Rae's abilities better than most and definitely better than strangers so I feel like my use of the word "lazy" doesn't hold the same connotation as some random person. Honestly, I probably shouldn't say it to her at all, but that is not the point and I am trying to remove that particular verbiage from my speech.

This being said...

The other day we were sitting in the waiting room of Rae's Pediatrician, Dr. A, and she was happily laying down in her stroller. We were there for a standard check-up, which was a nice change of pace, and she was thirsty, but didn't want to put any effort into holding her bottle. I'm pretty sure that she believed if she keep playing the "I'm too weak" game I would eventually cave in and hold it for her. Ha! She was so wrong. I refused to play her game and just kept telling her that she was capable of holding her own bottle.

During this battle of wills, an elderly woman started shuffling our way. As anyone with a baby will tell you their cubby, pinchable cheeks seem to have a gravitational force all their own and it seems no one is immune to its pull. So, it was no surprise that she peeked into Rae's stroller and started a conversation with me. Unfortunately, while she made her way towards us she overheard the one sided discussion I was having with Rae about her unwillingness to hold her own bottle.  So, I immediately started bracing myself for the inevitable questions and I was not disappointed.
EW: "How old is she?" 
Me: (Yes, I know, I know she's old enough to walk just go ahead and ask) "16 months." 
EW: "Oh, well she should be more than capable of holding her bottle."
Me: (*sigh*) "No, it's okay she has some difficulty and doesn't always want to." 
EW: "Is she walking?" 
Me: (Deep breath, you knew she was going to ask) "No, not yet."
EW: "Well, she's just being lazy."
Me: (Did I just hear that? Seriously?? Geez! Deep breath, she doesn't know any better. Just smile and nod. If you correct her it will be awkward and then she may ask more questions.) *uncomfortable smile and gentle nod*
EW: *quietly shuffles off to an empty seat*
What I actually wanted to say in a slightly snarky tone: "No she's NOT lazy. She has a medical condition. Thanks for the reminder." Sometimes these conversations are like having alcohol rubbed into an open wound. Burn, burn, burn! Unfortunately, at the time, I lacked the ability to verbalize any response much less one that wouldn't be considered rude (no point it both of us being impolite). So I swallowed my words, bit my tongue, offered a slight smile and nodded. I do that a lot.

Sometimes, it's because I don't really want to open a dialogue about Rae's Hypotonia. I may be in a very vulnerable place that day and tears will appear with the slightest provocation. Other times, I know they don't intend any harm in their questions or comments and by pointing out their social faux pas it makes every one uncomfortable. I don't like making people feel uncomfortable (intentionally or unintentionally). More often than not, I know that by stating Rae has Hypotonia it will solicit any number of questions to which I usually have no answer, advice that I really don't want, or pity. I HATE pity.

I don't want to be pitied. I have a beautiful, smart, champagne haired, blue eyed daughter, with a lovely countenance, sparkling smile, impish grin, even temperament (most of the time), contagious laugh, and a crazy sense of humor (she's into physical comedy). She has the most pinchable, dimpled cheeks (of course I'm biased) and when she gazes at people (even strangers) she makes them feel like they are the only important person in her world (except for Moe-Moe the monkey or Elmo).

These are the reasons I didn't correct the elderly woman's assumption that Rae was "just being lazy" and then ranted to my support team.  Later that evening, I sat in my living room repairing the tiny fissure she created in my ostrich egg.

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