Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My sweet Ari...

Vague title, I know. I really couldn't think of a good title. I'm tired.

So, as I have mentioned before, I am visually impaired, very visually impaired, actually! I have a rare congenital genetic eye condition. My retina did not develop properly. There are many blind spots on my eyes. I have very limitted peripheral vision.

Amor Chiquito has been aware of this since before she turned one. We have talked about it several times. At the same time, I don't want to overdo it. I don't want her to feel as though she needs to constantly watch out for me or take care of me. I am her mother. It should be the other way around.

All that being said, Amor Chiquito is very aware of my visual impairment and her actions really show it.

The other night, we were leaving my mom's place and we were walking to the car. Amor Chiquito and Daddy headed out first and I talked to my mom for another minute or so. It was dark outside, so I was walking to the car slowly.

Amor Chiquito: Daddy, we need to wait for mommy. She can't see when it dark outside.

Just a little while ago, Amor Chiquito and I were spending some time together before bedtime. Suddenly, she asked "mommy, can you see?"

I am a big believer in being honest to kids and using words that are age appropriate. So, my response was "yes, love, I can see a little bit. You can see a lot and I can see a little bit." I figured that would be sufficient for now. It was.

Other situations where it is clear that she is very aware:
Sometimes I call her name just to say I love you. Other times, I call her name so I can figure out where she is. If you've been with a little kid to a big store, you know what I'm talking about! So, when I call her name, her response is usually "I right here, mommy."

When she is about to hand me something, she typically says something like "right here, mommy," or "right in front of you, mommy."

I am so very grateful for my sweet child. She is so aware and she loves helping others. My hope is that our modeling positive behaviors will inspire her to continue to be the beautiful, caring human being she is right now.

I'm sure someone out there is wondering how my visual impairment has impacted my parenting style. It has, in some ways. I will write about that another day. The short version is that I do almost everything with my child. Some things I do differently. There are three things that I have a very hard time with: measuring her medicine, clipping her nails, and brushing her teeth. Breastfeeding was challenging at first, but we got through that, clearly! More later!

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