Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Do You Mind?

When Beth was born we had to teach her e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. The physical therapist that came to our house each week showed us how to manipulate her fingers so she would eventually learn to grasp a toy. We worked her legs so she'd feel the movements of crawling. We showed her again and again how to roll over. Each new milestone was preceded with weeks, even months of strengthening exercises.

Beth with her physical therapist

We taught Beth every little detail about sitting up and walking, swimming and running. 

But something I wish I could go back and do over is the mental aspect of life. Now, you're probably thinking, "Well duh, of course you'd have to teach her the mental things." And we did. She attended good schools, we even home schooled our girls for a couple years. 
Beth and my mom

But I'm talking about those tiny, day-to-day things that you just don't think about. At least I didn't think about 'teaching' them to Beth. I didn't teach them to Sharaya or Diana but they understand the concepts. For instance:

"How much money do ya have on you?" 

If you or I were asked that question, we would grab our back pocket where we keep our wallets or clutch our purses and then give you an approximate number. But when Beth is asked that question she looks down and never answers. She's completely  silent. I've learned instead to ask her,

"How much money do you have in your wallet?"

Then without hesitation she'll answer, "A five and some ones." Then I explain to her what 'have on you' means. A quirky little phrase when you think about it.

  Another one is:

"Do you mind if I borrow your colored pencils?" 

For a long time she just looked down and wouldn't answer. So instead I would ask, "Is it okay if I borrow...?" That one she answers immediately, "Yep!"

The whole 'do you mind' question is tricky because you have to answer 'no' in order to say yes. I even find myself answering twice when someone asks me that question, "Sure. I mean no!"

Are there any phrases that have you scratching your head?


ellen b said...

So so much that we take for granted. Bless you as you learn and teach.

Barb said...

Hi Cindy!

Oh boy, did this post hit home!! I know exactly what you mean! I was reading your post to my daughter, the mother of a blind child with autism. She was laughing because she could relate to every word. Averi, is like Beth, and will just be silent if she doesn't understand the questions, she's very literal. And, being blind, she can't even get clues from you. This post really validated some of my daughters concerns, thank you for posting it!

Beth is so adorable!! What a sweet young woman she has become, and what a wonderful mom you are. Raising and teaching a child with a disability isn't an easy job, but you have succeeded in raising a beautiful, smart capable young woman!!

Have a wonderful Christmas, Cindy!!

Hugs and Love,

Caz said...

Just thinking about the whole "do you mind....?" thing is baffling... how do any of us get by without a creative and thoughtful mum interpreting for us?!
A very happy Christmas Cindy and Beth x