My mom has been here this week, taking care of Maybelle in the week between the end of her school and the beginning of camp season.  They have had a great time together.  Maybelle has been quite talkative, saying (and reading) "Nonny" and learning that her grandmother is a person who will do just about anything Maybelle can ask for.  Maybelle's lengthiest sentence in her life so far emerged this week:

"I ready to go walk."  

Five words!  Unprompted!

Although mom has been here since Sunday, we still have no pictures of her and Maybelle together!  Biffle did make a video, though, one which he characterizes as capturing the few seconds right after some incredible cuteness.  We'll post that sooner or later.

In other news, I wanted to let readers know that I revisited the joking comment made using the word "retarded" in my class this week and asked the students to consider what the word does--what power structures it reinforces, and why it's a word that so many professional and governmental organizations have stopped using.  The conversation was quite civil and thoughtful, although I was a tiny bit bummed that there were no evident lightbulbs going off in anyone's head.  I do love some lightbulbs in a class conversation.

This afternoon I'm heading to Baltimore for a National Women's Studies Association Governing Council meeting.  This means I'll have flight time and hotel room time, and my plan for those times/spaces is to write an op-ed connecting Amber's and my prenatal testing research with the 20th 21st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Wish me much success!


Cass said...

Have a blast in Balmur! Make sure you eat some crabcakes if you're not allergic and get to walk around by the harbor. Fell's Point is a cool place to go too--very lively nightlife.

Happy writing, conferencing, and traveling!

Lisa said...

Maybelle kicks ass.

krlr said...

Her talking is just fabulous! [I'll pretend to be a grown up & ignore the little stab of jealousy. Yes, I know, to each child their own path]

And grandparents are excellent for spoiling - I roll my eyes at the gifts they bring but then recall my own Gigi did the same & I wasn't ruined forever. Or at least I won't admit it.

Alison said...

Thanks, Lisa and krlr! Although I do agree that her talking is fabulous, I have mixed feelings when I share "hurray, Maybelle!" stories. On the one hand, it's excellent PR for a world that believes lots of terribly untrue things about people with Down syndrome. On the other hand, many of us who are parents (or just mothers?) do a lot of comparing, and I hate to add any fuel to that phenomenon.

I think that our kids have strengths in some areas and challenges in others. You might notice that I rarely (ever?) share "hurray, Maybelle" stories that involve fine motor skills of any sort.

The Mom said...

I'll say it again, though, Alison - those "hurrahs" and challenges are present in all children! I'm so happy to see dispel Downs Syndrome myths, and to learn how many of them I had held are untrue. I do wish for the ability to understand more of what she's trying to say to me, but I remember feeling the same thing with you, and look how you turned out! :-)

The Mom said...

That was supposed to say "I'm so happy to see Maybelle dispel Downs Syndrome myths" - oops!

Mel said...

Alison, I'd love to hear your take on this. Saying "awww, that was nice of them" seems so simplistic and dismissive of the disabled player as someone who has something real to contribute to society.


krlr said...

Oh I don't think you should EVER feel bad about "Hurray, Maybelle" stories. There's no shame in reveling in our kids and celebrating their achievements. I feel terrible I even (sort of) joked about being jealous. Of course anything can be abused & much depends on how comparing moms process “adverse” info (ideas for things to work on or does it devalue their own? I’ve met the latter mom and it was rough to watch all that anxiety) …but there is clear value in sharing stories. [Written with the fervor of a new convert.] Crittle & a bunch of other bloggers are getting sleep studies, which hadn’t occurred to me, we hear about the ins/outs of IEPs, etc. I remember being surprised that someone was giddy about my 2 yr old walking/climbing, and I know we need to emphasis speech. That’s not from medical/therapists who refuse to stray off the “in her own time” line, that’s from this community. Delays are such a vague individual issues it could be isolating without the shared experiences. GO MAYBELLE!