Most of the time I have to say I'm VERY patient with children asking questions about Gavin's arm. But sometimes I just don't feel like saying it AGAIN.
This week my sister & I took Gavin to Funnelz (an indoor playground for kids). He was having a blast running, climbing and sliding! At one point, a little girl noticed his arm and asked me "Why is it cut off?" I gave the usual explanation but she was really interested and wanted to stand and stare and ask more questions. We just wanted to play and I didn't feel like talking about it anymore.
She was getting annoying and my sister joked that we should have just told her that his arm fell off and hers will fall off too one day. Ha! Don't worry, we would never actually say that but it made us laugh!
Then today we were at the Early Years Center and another little girl asked me why he lost his hand. I explained it to her and she kept saying, "That's funny!" and laughing and pointing it out to other people. She told me, "He can't even colour or do anything with that!" I started to tell her that actually, he can do pretty much everything with it but I was getting annoyed and didn't have the energy to explain it to her again. Gavin & I just walked away and went to play in the other room. Thankfully one of the staff (who is really great by the way!) had a good talk with her and helped her understand a bit better and she ended up coming over and apologizing for making fun of him.
I'm usually very patient and don't mind talking to kids about it. I know how curious they are and most of the time I find their honesty amusing. But sometimes I just don't feel like teaching a life lesson every single time I get asked about it. Sometimes I wish I had a little tape recorder so I could just press "play" and have them listen to my little speal. Sometimes we just want to continue with what we're doing and not be interrupted to answer the same questions over & over. Sometimes we just want to be left alone!
(By the way, it really annoys me when parents try to ignore the situation and pretend they don't see whats going on! Feel free to step in and rescue me from your kid's stream of endless questions! Also feel free to step in if you see your child following us around like the paparazzi!)
Its nice to have people in our life who can take over with the questions sometimes when we're just too tired to be bothered. I hope Gavin will have supportive friends who can do that for him and be there to set a good example for other kids.
I wonder how he will handle all this when he gets older. At this stage he doesn't seem to mind. In fact, I think he even enjoys the extra attention and will usually just hold out his arm to be examined. But I wonder if he will learn to accept that answering questions is a part of going places and meeting new people or if it will it bother him to always have to repeat himself and have people point out that he is different? How will he handle negative comments? Will he get his feelings hurt easily or will he be so used to it that it doesn't phase him? These are the things I wonder about...