I've mentioned several times in the past how much it used to bother me when people constantly commented on how small Camden is or asked about what he was doing developmentally. I always left the conversation feeling a bit sad and frustrated. These conversations and comments haven't stopped, but there are three things I've noticed lately:
1. I don't bother explaining why he's small or why he hasn't reached a certain "skill" yet.
2. I don't feel the need to blurt out "he has Down syndrome!" to every stranger I encounter.
3. I can smile (and sometimes laugh) about it instead of cry.
I always do my grocery shopping at Walmart because it's really the only place in town. I'm there probably 3-4 times a week because I seem to forget something from the previous trip. I always do the self checkout no matter how many groceries I have because there's several available. I like being in control of scanning and bagging my own goodies. I'm a little obsessive about some things. Anyway, that's another topic. I see the same two ladies every time that work in the self checkout area. They know me and my boys pretty well by now and are always excited to see Camden. I don't think they know he has Ds, or if they do they haven't mentioned it. Since Camden was very young they would always ask me the same question "How old is he?" I then answer and they give me the same response, "Oh... he's soooooo tiny! He's soooooo cute!" I would say thanks and smile but really wanted to scream "I get it lady...he's freaking small...I know!" They really are the sweetest ladies and I know they were not trying to be rude. I just got tired of it sometimes, you know? After Camden turned a year old the conversation changed a little, but not much. "How old is he? Really?! Oh he's sooooooo tiny! I bet he's walking all over the place!" I always reply with a simple "no...not yet." Then they tell me he probably will get up and start walking tomorrow. I then say "it's possible, but I doubt it". Now at 18 months old we are still having the same conversation. It's part of my grocery shopping routine. I'm really waiting on the day they start asking me why he isn't walking yet. I suppose our talks will be a little more interesting then. Lol.
The other day I was shopping in a children's store in the mall and Camden was reclined in the stroller passed out. I kept noticing a woman walking by us and she would glance down at Camden each time. In my head I'm thinking that she must have a little one with Ds and that maybe she wants to approach me about it. I haven't had that moment with a stranger that's also in this "club" and I thought this was it! I went about my business and she finally came up to me. She asks "what size shoe does your son wear? He looks about the same age and size of my little boy (who was not with her) and I wanted to get him some shoes." I kind of stood there for a second and then replied "he wears a size 2." She said that she thought her boy would be a size 2 as well. Then she says her son is 4 months old and asked if that's how old Camden is. I almost choked because I started to laugh. She looks at me like I'm nuts (probably because I busted out laughing). I then told her that Camden is 18 months old. Her eyes got so big. You could tell she was in shock and that she also felt really bad. She tried to apologize and make me feel better by saying her son was just so big for a 4 month old and so it's hard for her to tell with other babies. I tried to let her know that it was totally fine and that I was not offended a bit. That's the honest truth. She thanked me for my help and walked away and I went about my shopping. It feels so good to be able to just smile and sometimes even giggle about these things now.
I mean...really?!?! Does this kid look like a 4 month old?! Obviously he does when he's asleep!
Edit: I wrote this post yesterday. We were grocery shopping this morning and of course I ran into the same sweet ladies at the check out. The conversation actually changed a bit. "How old is he? Oh wow...he's sooooo little. Is he talking? Walking?"
Now I'm going to have to explain the walking and talking thing. Blah.