Friday, August 29, 2014

Sticky Situations

I knew I should have pushed for her surgery.  :-(  But I didn't want to risk scheduling a procedure with a runny nose.  It's during times like these when I feel like I failed at doing what's best for the kids and in this particular case, pushing for Nina's syndactyly release last summer.

right hand
At the dinner table tonight, Nina asked me why her fingers were "sticky."  What she meant was why her fingers were stuck together and not separated like ours.  Because I had mentally prepared myself for discussions like these, I thought I would be ready when the time came.  I was wrong.  
left hand

Following my "script", I gently explained that it was the way God had created her and that each of us were different in our own ways.   Although I was pleased with my answer, I completely forgot to consider the fact that my daughter is, was and perhaps, will never be satisfied with a single question.

She then asked if her fingers would become like ours once she grows up.  (At times like these, you know at the back of your mind that you are treading dangerous waters -- but I had to answer her so I carefully chose my words.)  I told her that when she no longer had colds, her doctor would work on releasing fingers.  Her big brother, being the curious child that he is, then asked how they would do it.  I didn't want to say that the doctor would use a knife (because they might decide to do the deed themselves) so I told them he would use a scalpel emphasizing that it was a tool that only doctors could use.

Nathan suddenly had that worried look in his face and asked if his sister would die to which I assured him that she wouldn't and that she had already undergone surgery before on her head.  I told him that a doctor also used a scalpel when they opened her head to fix her bones and that even after they did that, there was his baby sister beside us happy and healthy.

Nina remained quiet for a time and the next thing I knew she began tearing up.  I asked her what was bothering her and in between sobs, she said that she was scared of the doctor's scalpel.  Needless to say, I was devastated.  As I hugged her and reassured her that everything would be okay and that we would all be there for her, I knew then that we should have gone through with her surgery sooner and that we should expect a very distraught child when we do schedule it.

I know that it's too late to do anything now except to prep her so that when the time comes, she will be ready.  But geez, I have no idea how to do it :-(  Wish us luck please?  And while you're at it, do say a prayer that we get this thing (the syndactyly release -- and the tube for the ears)  finally over and done with.

P.S. - I knew something happened in school which prompted her to ask about her hands and so I asked her about it.  And true enough, one of her classmates asked why her hands were "sticky".  Note to self - talk to Teacher Joanna about this so that she can perhaps incorporate something into their lessons about the differences in each person

Monday, August 25, 2014

Aint No Button Getting Me Down

In an older post, I talked about Nina's fascination with buttons and how she would work on our shirts until she was satisfied that they were all properly fastened.

Just the other night, as we were preparing for bed, she chanced upon one of my button down shirts which was hanging by the cabinet door.  Instead of getting ready to sleep, she began threading the tiny buttons of my shirt into each hole.  I knew for a fact that once she started with something, she wouldn't stop until it was completed so I quickly got my phone and started recording her progress.

It probably took her a little under a minute to complete the top button and her kuya and I were becoming a wee bit impatient (Don't you think that we adults have that need to have everything done as quickly as possible?  I know I do).  But in the spirit of trying to be a good parent, I decided to wait it out (and leave kuya with no choice but to do so as well).

While I watched her, I realized that had it been me, I would probably have stopped even before finishing the first one.   She struggled with each one but she kept going and going without showing any sign of giving up.  It was then that I began to reflect in awe at the fact that my little girl, who has been diagnosed with a "disability" was able to patiently though a difficult task without a single complaint, without taking a break, and more importantly, without even asking for help whereas I would normally grovel or perhaps even give up the moment things get a little too challenging or inconvenient.  Now isn't that mortifying?

It really is humbling to come to the realization that my daughter, through her actions, is teaching me perseverance in the face of adversity.  Normally, it should be the other way around and yet, here she is, doing soo much better than me.  I know I have so much to learn at this point, luckily I have a wonderful teacher ;-)

Maybe I should start keeping a spare button with me just to remind me to never let little things get in the way when it comes to hitting my goals.

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."  Arnold Schwarzenegger