Sunday, April 6, 2008

More Firsts

Tonight, Kiki had her first spaghetti dinner. I let her hand-feed some of it herself, and there was spaghetti EVERYWHERE. It was damned fun for both of us!

Yesterday, we went to Bri's first soccer game of the season. It was COLD, dammit. Well, the wind was cold anyway. I kept Kiki under my coat for a lot of it, though I admit it was a lot to keep ME warm. She didn't seem to have a problem with the temperature at all, though she kept squinting with the wind and the sun.

And of course, I ended up bundling her up under blankets in her stroller, where she napped peacefully the last 15 or 20 minutes of the game.

Bri's team lost by one goal, but they played well. We joked about Bri actually running this season (she's not very big on exerting herself.) She did great, actually got the ball a couple of times, and dribbled -- is that the right term? -- around the field really well.

I also finally had to replace my phone. It was 3 years old, and it had finally gotten to the point where I couldn't hear anyone unless it was on speaker phone, which meant that the people on the other end couldn't hear ME clearly. So I upgraded for free (I'm cheap) to a Razr (yay!) and now thanks to friends, a day later I have a killer ton of ring tones and am in cell phone heaven.

My computer, of course, has suddenly decided that whatever Bluetooth device it once had is no longer functional. I've had the computer for 2 years now, and the weekend I actually have some use for its Bluetooth functionality, it plays dumb on me. It figures.

When we were getting the phone, the saleslady leaned over the counter to smile and coo and wave at Kiki, who smiled back. "She's so cute!" the lady said, and I thanked her. We get much attention when we're out with Kiki, which of course makes me all poofy with pride and what not. Because she IS cute. She's freaking ADORABLE!

The lady went on to say, "God always finds the best parents to bless with a special child." It took a couple of beats for this to register, and by then she was continuing to tell about her grandson, who is autistic and learning disabled, and who is graduating from high school this year.

As always, I mulled this over later -- I'm a muller; I don't as a rule respond immediately to things. I know that Kiki as some facial characteristics that are recognizable for her Downs, but it doesn't register with me anymore, at least not like it used to. I think in the back of my head, I'd somehow convinced myself that no one else notices it either, that when they approach and compliment her, they're complimenting a beautiful baby, not a beautiful Downs baby, if that makes any sense.

And the other thing is this: I realized it doesn't bother me. It wasn't in the least bit of offensive; and in fact, I think she felt comfortable broaching the subject because of her experience with her grandson. It's something we immediately had in common, something we could talk about, like if two strangers wearing a jersey advertising the same sports team run into each other in the store and start talking about sports.

My mom was telling me today that she was talking to her cousin, to whom I send pictures every month, and Mom mentioned something about Kiki having Downs. I've actually never made it a point to tell many people; I've actually told none of my friends in California except for Yarnhacker, and I send many of them pics every month as well. And I've told nobody in the family except for Mom and both my Dads, and my step-mom, and I think my cousin. Mom's told my uncle, but that's about everyone who actually knows. And no one has ever asked me about it; and I'm not outwardly naive enough to think it's because they haven't noticed the characteristics; it's because they're afraid if they ask, it would offend.

Anyway, the point is, Mom mentioned it and Bon said she had wondered about that; she'd never said anything and wouldn't ask, but had suspected. (It then became a discussion about what Downs is, and Mom's rendition of that conversation is pretty amusing, but I will leave it for another entry.)

I can see if Kiki didn't have Downs, but still looked like she does, and I was as ignorant as I was before she was born, I would probably be put off if someone were to ask if she had Downs. But what I love? Is all the people who tell me what a beautiful and cute baby she is, and how genuine that is (because it is unarguably true). And I think, if in the back of their heads they're wondering if she has Downs but are afraid to ask, I think they're beautiful people and I love them and here's why.

Because they see the beauty in her FIRST, and they respond to that. And it strengthens me to know how many of those people there are in the world.

I think maybe I'm losing my cynicism.

Oh! I almost forgot the last story, which is funny, but almost at Kipp's expense. Poor Daddy. Anyway, I was carrying Kiki in from the car and as we passed Kipp, he leans in and says, "Kiki, want to give Daddy a kiss?"

And she said, "Nuh," and whipped her head around in the opposite direction with absolute authoritay.

After lunch and a nap, Kipp was playing with her. I was in the kitchen cleaning up, and Kipp started laughing and called me in. "Watch this!" he said. And she leaned forward, like she does when we play the Nose Bump-Beep game, but instead of bumping noses, she kissed him on the lips (well, she's not actually puckering and it's a pretty wet, slobbery affair, but it counts, right?) over and over and over.

I think she felt guilty about snubbing him before.


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