New Mama Musings

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gone Daddy Gone

This morning my dad went into a nursing home.

Lately I've been going back, in my mind, to the child I was, terrorized and belittled by her father, and I think: someday he's going to have dementia. He's going to forget who I am, who my sisters are, and everything that he's raging about right now. He won't be able to put slippers on his own feet without assistance. He won't remember how to go to the bathroom. He will fade slowly away.

And I'm not sure whether this knowledge would have made my childhood better or worse.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Counting Sheeps

A few nights ago Henry was talking in his sleep, as he often does.

"Why Maddy take my sheeps?"

He was pretty upset, but I consoled him a bit and he settled back down.

This morning, out of the blue, he said it again: "Why Maddy take my sheeps? Why she take my sheeps to her mom's house?"

I tried to explain to him that in fact Maddy did not take his stuffed animals to her mom's, that it was only a dream. I told him that sometimes, when we sleep, we tell ourselves stories or pretend things, but they're not real.

I thought I expressed the concept pretty plainly, but Henry appeared not to get it.

"Why Maddy take my sheeps?" he asked again.

And then: "Did Maddy take my sheeps while we was dreaming in bed?"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Missing the Big Picture, in the Best Possible Way

Earlier this week my sister Karen was watching Henry for me. For fun she asked him the names of his (half-) brothers and sister, which he gave her, and then he added, "Maddy is different."

Maddy has Down syndrome. Karen, surprised by my two-year old's apparent insightfulness, asked Henry how his sister was different.

"She has painted fingernails," he said, looking at his hands. "I do not."