Sunday, April 26, 2009

confronting obstacles

Abacus has brought so much to our lives and others. She has forced me to challenge things which I was once somewhat passive to, forced me to consider things whether I'd like to or not. 

I remember Danielle saying how when parents are asked about their children being born with normative impairments, whether they would wish them to be born differently, they reply, "No, because I love them how they are." But she raised the point that there is something more than that, more than just the child and loving them for who they are, it is something about a door which opens onto world from which you cannot come back, you see the world from a perspective you had never before imagined, it is an enlightening place that I would not choose to leave if I could. It has illuminated even the most careless shadows of ignorance.  

I write this because of an incident that happened, where a comic was placed on a public noticeboard, I won't say where, but I knew who had done it. I wrote them the email below.

"I understand it was you who put the comic on the notice board about mentally handicapped people. My daughter as you know has Trisomy 21 and I found the comic to be offensive. The offense goes deeper than just a point of taste. It is difficult to see the future of my 10 month old daughter be mapped out in such crude portents. These little pieces of somewhat socially accepted ridicule add up to a wall that puts the subjects of those “jokes” on the outside of normative society. This division is through no fault of their own and the most hurtful part is that it is perpetrated by those who have the mental faculties to make better judgement. 

Having Abacus has been the greatest and most rewarding challenge to any prejudice I have ever harboured. While you might not consider the comic you posted to have been prejudice, it is this misunderstanding of what prejudice is, which proliferates it, and those on the receiving end never miss it."

I wanted to share this with you because these things exist. And if I can impart any of the knowledge I have gained from knowing Abacus, that it can be proliferated in whatever way to cut a path along which her journey through life may be less impeded. 

Just so you know, the person I wrote the email to is not a bad person at all. They were extremely apologetic for it, a gesture which choked me up with its sincerity. I'm sure that it will have a lasting effect on them and me too, to know that standing up for what I see as being wrong has positive outcomes. Abacus has such a profound effect on the world with which she has scarcely even begun to interact. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

A strange coincidence

yesterday morning I went to WINZ to apply for accommodation supplement, (for everyone living in less socialist countries, that's when the governement helps you pay for your rent/board/mortgage - provided you fit within certain requirements which are often arbitrary and let many people slip through the gaps) and so i was meeting with our case manager which isn't all that remarkable, except that Danielle was studying with a girl from her class that very day and found out the girls partner works at WINZ and it turned out that her partner was the very person who I was talking to. wierd. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

teeth and sitting

so much happened today. this morning danielle felt two sharp ridges growing out of abacuses bottom gum. What's funny is that she's really chill about it, after all the times we blamed her restless nights or grisliness on teething that never materialised, she now has teeth coming through with no fuss.

Then this afternoon she was practicing sitting, which she was doing on our knees and was happily screaming ever time she lost balance, then we put her on the floor and she sat for a good 15 seconds, I think she will be sitting up by her may 5th birthday! She's doing so well. 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Abacus is a pretty happy little baby, she smiles a lot. We have moved into our ideal flat, its perfect and we feel more settled now after 2 days, than we did in our last flat after 6 weeks. 

We drove to Palmerston North for a easter and abacus slept for an hour, waking up halfway along the journey and going back to sleep for another hour after I guess being bored. She had a good time at her great grandmothers house, with her grandparents and aunty and uncle and cousin. On the way back abacus was awake the whole ride, talking quietly to herself and playing with her little sunflower soft toy. We finally went to Denny's for dinner, it's in a town a bit too far from Wellington to go to for a laugh. Abacus loved it, she was really happy, and fed herself a piece f breadcrust, holding on to it with a fist and ripping bits of it with her gummy mouth, she really enjoyed it. She finaly fell asleep just as we got home.

We've been giving her a bit of sitting practice with her little wooden chair as seen above. It might take a bit longer before she gets there on her own.