When we got Ellie's Down syndrome diagnosis, there were a few stereotypes that concerned me. I don't know where I got all my stereotypes, and I know that with my special education background, I had a clearer picture of Down syndrome than many parents with a new diagnosis. Still, I worried about Ellie being bullied.
Turns out, my worries should have been about my tiny little girl bullying the boys.
Over the weekend, some of the neighbors opened their home for a pre-Easter get-together. When we arrived, Ellie spotted our neighbor, a little boy a bit older than her, munching happily on a cracker. She went right up to him, looked up, and signed "eat." The adults laughed, and the little boy just looked at her. She signed "eat" again. I said, "Oh, that's his cracker, sweetie. I'll get you one."
While I was getting her cracker, she snagged the half-eaten cracker our sweet neighbor was holding and stuck it right in her mouth. I gave him the new cracker.
He's a nice kid. Ellie might have scared him, though, because for the rest of the afternoon, he'd offer Ellie his food.
Good thing I'm not as worried about the bullying anymore, because I have another stereotype on my mind that's looking pretty hopeless.
We still have far to go to walking, but since Ellie can cruise along the couch now, we decided that she needs some shoes. As in, real shoes, not socks with shoe designs. Poor Ellie has short, fat feet, which make traditional infant shoes difficult to size, so we drove to a specialty store in hopes of something cute, short, and extra-wide. My vision was some kind of shoe that defies the stereotype of kids with Down syndrome in dorky, white, orthopedic shoes. I don't even know where I got that stereotype, because I can't think of any little girls with DS who wear dorky shoes.
My wallet is thinner, but Ellie is now the proud owner of a pair of white, dorky, overpriced, size 2 double wide baby shoes. (And they don't make size 1 double wide. Otherwise, she'd have 'em.)
I hope you'll forgive me for this post when you hit middle school. Maybe by then, you'll fit in some better looking shoes.
Ever since the shoe purchase, Ellie's been pulling out a pair of size 3 sparkly silver crib shoes and staring at them longingly. Maybe in Kindergarten, love.
P.S. This is when blogging comes in handy. I am an avid reader of Pudge and Biggs. Knowing that Pudge is too small for all bowling shoes at age three, I turned to her mom for advice. Seems like once Ellie moves up a size, we'll have a few more options. Thanks, Pudge (and Courtney) for your diva-licious shoe advice.