"'Cause I, I once heard
that you gotta learn
how to blend in to this mess
Where nothin's hard
and nothin's smooth or flawless"
-WallflowersIt's never been very easy for me to blend in. Plus, I've never totally wanted to blend in with the rest. I like being different. But I'd like if my difference was my hair color, tattoos (sorry dad), clothes, or even vernacular. Something harmless. I guess I want to fit in, but not blend in. Make sense? It totally does to me. I'm beginning to get a little nervous about putting my atypical kid into a typical school with typical kids. I sat down with Dr. G last week to talk about it and he reminded me of something that I've always been aware of, but I think I'm just starting to really FEEL it. Simply put, it's that everybody's got something. Even the seemingly typical kids have something going on. I know that's true, but it's hard to really feel when I'm busy comparing my insides to someone else's outsides. My fears are that she'll never fit in. She'll never have friends. The only kids who will play with her are the kids of my friends, who won't have the heart to say no to my requests. I'm already there. As a pretty social person, that's tough to see. I recently read somewhere that a woman in the same position decided to stop trying to force play dates with her kid's peers. Rather, she'll just have to make do with those friends who won't refuse. I get it. I don't like it, but I get it. I really do need to work on the social piece. That's the whole point of putting her into this "normal" kid school. The technical term is inclusion (Inclusion is a term used by people with disabilities and other disability rights advocates for the idea that all people should freely, openly and withoutpity accommodate any person with a disability without restrictions or limitations of any kind.) In effort to reduce some of the major, noticeable differences between Little Bird and the "normies" in her inclusion program (by the way, it's ALL typical kids and one kid with sp needs- that's my girl- who will have a shadow, para-professional, advocate, etc), I'm working really hard to get her out of diapers. So, if you don't have kids, you should know that most kids get out of diapers around 2. My kid is 4 1/2. Once again, we're big-time delayed. So, about 10 days ago, we took away diapers. Strictly underwear now. I'd say she's successfully using the potty 75% of the time. Not bad. I'm hoping that we get all the way there soon. The thing is, nothing comes easy with Little Bird. So, I'm trying to keep my expectations in check. After all, I've learned that very hard way that expectations mean nothing and having them is a great way to get disappointed!
Here she is surrounded by her new underwear, which she loves!!
Again, I don't want her to be like all the other kids. After all, that would be boring. But, I don't want her to have to struggle through life and without friends to support her. My prayer and wish for her is to succeed socially in this new school program. I'm really hoping that this time next year I will feel more and more confident in her ability to socialize with other kids; to feel comfortable in her own skin and for me to accept her differences and be ok with them. I'm definitely scared, but that's ok because this is pretty scary stuff.