Sunday, April 26, 2009

trip to the park, SPD style

The weather here has been beautiful, bordering on tropical, so we decided to get out of the house today and go to the park.  It was a trip that made me reflect a lot on Danny's SPD and how far he has come.

Danny rode his tricycle the entire way and I couldn't get over how well he did. Last year, he had to stop many times along the 4-block route, and he pedaled really slowly.  It was hard for him to coordinate, and almost impossible for him to pedal and steer at the same time.  Today, not only could he steer, but he pedaled pretty fast and didn't need to stop unless his wheel got stuck on something.

Then, once we got the park, Danny begged his dad for a "puppy under," also known in some circles (meaning any people who do not belong to the Pancake clan) as an underdog.  I couldn't believe it.  Years ago, when we first began therapy, Danny couldn't stand to be on a swing for more than a few seconds.  Now he can pump his legs and actually enjoys swinging high.  It's a pretty huge accomplishment here in our house.

A kid from Danny's class happened to be at the park as well, which delighted Dannyno end.Too bad K, who was with a couple other kids, one being his brother,  was  not so delighted to see Danny.   Danny wanted so badly to play with K, but K was a total brat the entire time.  He called Danny a "weirdo" and told him to quit following him.  Danny wasn't even being inappropriate at all.  He did run around a lot and made some funny robot noises, and ok, yes, at one point he ate some grass, but still, I don't think the comments were necessary.  I was also surprised that K's mother never reprimanded him or encouraged him to "play nice" as I would have done had Danny been leaving someone out.  I had to really bite my tongue to keep from snapping at the kid.

My first reaction was outrage and then, I freaked out worrying that Danny would never have friends and that his SPD would make him an outcast forever.  But then, I looked at it a bit more realistically.  I have no idea why K was so rude to Danny, because seriously, Danny was not at all out of line at the park.  Perhaps, I realized, this was more about K being kind of a crabby brat than about Danny being unable to make friends.  And then, I also remembered how on Tuesday at the kindergarten preview, Danny played for almost an hour with two friends from school, one of whom is a girl whose mother has told me comes home calling Danny her friend.

So, you will all be proud that today, for once, I have decided not to catastrophize.  I am choosing to focus on the positive aspects of our trip to the park and on all the progress Danny has made.   And I know I need to remember that stuff like this happens to ALL kids, whether they have special needs or not.  I mean, I was teased a whole lot in grade school by a couple of really mean girls (one of whom I found on Facebook the other day.  Is it totally evil of me that I felt just a twinge of glee when I saw that she had gained at least 100 pounds?  This, the girl who called me fat in junior high?  I repented afterwards.  But still, I'm only human.)

Anyway, I am trying really hard to keep a sense of persepective with regards to my kids.  But it sure isn't easy when I think someone is being mean to them!


Natalie said...

I, too, am shocked that the mom didn't say anything. I suppose if her kid didn't want to play with Danny then she didn't have to make him, but to let him calling Danny a weirdo slide was definitely not appropriate parenting. I totally would have made a point of letting her know "because I wasn't sure if she heard or not and I'd want to know if Hannah ever said that to another kid" what he said. Maybe that's not the best response, but I still wouldn't have been big enough to let it go. Good for you. Also good for Danny making some friends at school. That's gotta feel good to him and to you.

Quirky Mom said...

Ohhhh, it twists my heart all into a bunch when I see someone being less than nice to Apple. It's so hard.

And it sounds to me like time to celebrate and not catastrophize! Go Danny!!! (Can I celebrate a little with you? Apple rode her trike on our family walk last night, the whole way, pedaling and steering by herself! She got help at corners, etc., but she did it!!!)

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you, Patty! I tend to catastrophize things myself - so I know what a big deal it was to focus on the positive.

I'm glad to hear Danny is doing so well on his bike. Think you could send him over here to teach (my) Charlotte a thing or two? LOL

a Tonggu Momma said...

So proud of you! I constantly bite my tongue when someone is mean to my Tongginator. I think it's even worse because I used to be a teacher - I'm used to telling children what to do! LOL.

Anonymous said...

I often kick myself when I find myself saying "I wish N would just act like other kids." In the midst of the shirt biting and the excessive wiggles I worry if those little eccentricities will hold him back.
I know if I keep worrying I will be the one holding him back. It's hard to see your kids hurt it someone hurting them.

Mrsbear said...

That's wonderful that Danny did so well. I think all our kids encounter meanness at the playground at one point or another, it will always break our hearts. It's great that you can find comfort knowing that Danny can make friends and the incident at the park was just unwarranted nastiness on the other child's part. Little booger. It's definitely up to the parent to call their kid on it, I would've. But it's out there, hopefully Danny will learn to shake it off and find a nicer playmate.

Sarah said...

I am constantly amazed how many "typical kids" need a smack down and their parents do nothing. I am happy that you took away the positive from the situation because there is so much to be proud of---it will be a day that you won't soon forget.

~ April ~ said...

Other than the K incident, sounds like an awesome day at the park! I hope there are many more to come. :)

Kim said...

Glad you decided to focus on the positive, because really it sounds like amazing progress for Danny to me. It gives me hope for Meechi. Since he struggles to peddle and hates the swing, it is nice to know another child who was the same way has overcome. I find Danny quite inspiring!

and that other kid and his mom? sounds like they are just "those" kind of people. i wouldnt' sweat it at all.

Shellie said...

The facebook thing cracked me up. He sounds like he's doing just fine. Maybe the kid has his own issues, or maybe Danny seems a bit weird to him, but others will delight at his uniqueness and call him friend.