Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Play Date

I've probably mentioned this before so if I'm beating a dead horse again, just skip ahead. I won't mind.

One of the most common comments I got while I was preggers -- and still -- when people were first told Kiki has T21 was, "Oh, they're so full of love! So affectionate!" ad nauseum, cue the chubby, singing bluebirds (who STILL haven't shown up to clean my house. Disney LIES.) and fuzzy wuzzy blah blah blah sentimentalcakes.

If I sound bitter, it's because I'm a bitch. I know it.

But here's the thing. Every time I heard that, or heard some variation of it, when I was pregnant, it did NOT comfort me, as was the well-meaning intent. Instead it would spawn an anxiety attack of biblical proportions which usually ended with me, at home, blubbering in bed that my imminent child would be eternally denied an actual unique personality.

I was pregnant. I was ignorant. It was the hormones. But still. It honestly remained a fear until Kiki was probably about 6 weeks old, I shit you not.

ANYway. She is now over a year old, and my daughter? Is not affectionate. I mean she has her moments of shoving her chubby fist against your chin, baring your defenseless cheek to her wet, open-mouth kisses, which is awful sweet except that on occasion she decides to try out her four teeth, and it's always a SURPRISE!!! when it happens.

I'm not insinuating that she takes pleasure in other people's pain, of course, but those open-mouth kisses are about the long and short of her affectionate nature. She will on occasion suffer a cuddling or two. She is awfully sweet, don't get me wrong, but affectionate and loving? Umm, I have yet to see any conclusive evidence.

Which, by the way, THRILLS me to DEATH! I am not even being sarcastic. I think it's quite possible that my slightly unhinged psyche, too long tormented by the visions of chubby singing bluebirds, has subconsiously set about encouraging anything BUT affection in Kiki, as if it has become a subconscious goal to raise the very first angry, mean, bitter T21 individual in existence.

Again, without sarcasm, such a thought kind of makes me quiver with glee. I am not right.

Anywho, my friend H, who has a a 5-year-old son with T21 held a playdate at her house today, to introduce me to another woman my age -- ahem, over 40 -- who has a 4-year-old daughter with T21. H mentioned that she'd speaking to this woman, J, and had mentioned to J about how I felt that I was raising the first demonically-possessed child with T21, and J evidently responded that she thought she was the only one. Thus, a playdate was obviously required.

First of all, though, I was a little bummed, because her daughter is 4, which means that Kiki is not, in actuality, the first DPT21 child after all. I got over my pouts though and bundled up the child and went anyway.

Okay. Here's the thing. J's daughter? Played sweetly and quietly all through the playdate. Not a fuss. Not a whimper. Nada. At the end of the hour, sat next to her mom and snuggled with her.

H's son? Usually quite hyper, this time very well-behaved, played and sought attention, but was sweet and engaging, running around kissing everyone.

Kiki? Bit one of the other children on the finger hard enough to leave deep tooth marks. And then? Got pissed at me for comforting said child. It was the first time she'd ever seen me hold and cuddle another toddler, and she Did Not Like It One Little Bit.

So all in all, I think my DPT21 child still holds the market in non-affectionate behavior. Yay us!

And now I am sarcastic because of COURSE I was mortified that she bit another child. I was REALLY trying to watch her, because I KNOW she bites. I'd even just SAID so. But then I got distracted by conversation and before you know it, someone is screaming and someone else has blood trickling down their chin and...

Okay there was no blood. But she DID draw blood from Kipp's finger yesterday, so I'm not being as overly dramatic as you think.

BUT there is this part of me that I cannot honestly deny that is relieved she's biting, a completely normal typical phase for any toddler to go through. It reminds me that she's not a stereotype. She's her own little being, still figuring stuff out her own way, but still, you know, figuring stuff out.

And I'll risk getting bit any time for one of those rare, spontaneous kisses.


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