Thursday, July 15, 2010

So, they say...

And anyway, who are "they"? Ok, so they say that a child's self esteem, sense of self, (and all that other stuff that basically means when your kid knows other kids are treating them different) doesn't come until about 4 years old. I think this is a bunch of bull. However, my sweet girl who is now 19 months old is still unaware of her difference. At least I think.

Yesterday at the swimming pool two little girls gathered around her. They were just staring at her. And, they were really CLOSE. (I have no idea where their mother was.) I was getting pretty annoyed, and close to telling them to beat it when out of no where Sam sticks her little hand out and starts waving at them. "Hi girls" "Hi" "Hi girls". And then... she puts her hand on her sweet little chest and says "I Sami" "I Sami". Wow. First of all, I have never had a baby who was so friendly. And second of all Wow - here were these two girls just staring at her birthmark and not smiling and all she wanted to do was make friends. Then one of the girls asked her how old she was and she held up one tiny, little finger. :) So, I think maybe now they will see her as a friend, a normal little girl. But, then I see it... one of the girls raises her hand to Sam's face and touches her birthmark. (FYI, not babies - they said they were 4 years old). So, Sam and I both ignored this. However, the little girl came back to do it again. And, just as I was about to tell her not to touch her, please...guess what happened?!?! My teeny, tiny girl yelled very loudly NO and pushed this girl away from her. Hmmm... I wasn't sure what to think/do. So, I just watched. And, this stubborn little girl came back a third time to try and touch Sam's birthmark. And, again, my sweet faced little angel yelled NO and gave her another push. ha! Wow. So, instead of high-fiving Sam and telling her how absolutely cool she was I simply said to the other little that Sam did not like her touching her and then picked my baby up and walked away. I'm still in a little bit of shock over it all. And, I'm feeling a little guilty. Yes, the other little girl was a child. Yes, she had no idea what Sam's birthmark was and I'm sure she was confused. However, where was her Mother? Isn't it her Mother's job to help her daughter learn about these things? And, what the heck? Sam already pushed you and said no - don't come back for more. :) I don't know. Do I want Sam to push everybody who does something like that - of course not. But, do I want her to stand up for herself and not let anyone get her down? Heck yes!

I don't know. Could I have handled it differently? Sure. But, in reality I didn't need to handle it at all. Apparently my "aww, she's so tiny" girl can hold her own.

8 comments:

Heather said...

Way to go Sami!!!! I love that she introduced herself and I love that she stood up for herself! Maybe other moms aren't as aware of what their kids are doing as us H-mommas but they should be. I would have wanted to get up and walk away the first time she tried it so way to go mom for sticking it out. :) ~Heather (my son has a H on his cheek!)

Fisk Family said...

Sami is an amazing girl and she knows she can take care of herself (all 20 lbs of her) and she did just that.

Im sorry that this is something that you have to live through on a daily basis but you and Pete are great parents and Sami has learned that from you already at the age of "1"!

Love you Sami :)

Kate said...

In my opinion, Go Sami!

I feel your pain, I deal with this so much too! It doesn't happen very often that a child tries to touch Caroline's H, but it has happened before. From what I remember, Caroline just laughed. We do get a lot of questions, though. Thankfully, she still seems to be oblivious. It is so hard to know how to react. For now, I always try to remember that Caroline is probably not picking up on how others are responding to her H but she WILL pick up on how I respond to them. So I try to be careful about what I say and how I say it. Most of the time little ones just seem to be generally curious and/or think she is injured because it is red.

As for the parents who should be teaching these kids how to react to the differences of others: it is so strange, some of them handle it beautifully with their children, and others just quickly shush their kids and never address them like there is something wrong with Caroline that can't be discussed. THAT bothers me so much more! In fact, I've been known to address a child myself whose mother has done that and provide the education.

I think you did the right thing, and obviously Sami can stick up for herself and establish her own boundaries pretty well!

Anyway, a long-winded comment but just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone!
-Kate

Nana said...

"Dynamite comes in small packages"

Lisa said...

I love your story, I am so proud of Sami and I think you handled it beautifully. Sami is one strong little girl, no doubt about that!

ruth said...

Boo yah Sami! I just had my first awkward stare at the park(i don't ever bring davy out really) I wanted to yelll move along...nothing to see here...move along just a helpless baby.

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Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

Wow, I can't imagine being in that position! But good for Sami! She's going to be a fighter. :) (And a kind and outgoing one, it sounds like!)

I agree that it's the other girl's mother's job to educate her. I think you did the right thing in looking out for your own little one!