Keith’s Summary of Last Week’s Dropoff:
As promised – the following is a quick summary from Keith, which he wrote after dropping Adelaide off at kindergarten with her purple-bruised face. (And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving, all!)
Yesterday, Adelaide had her first laser surgery for her port wine stain since kindy (kindergarten) started. Jennica and I have been warned that kindergarten is when kids “become more aware” (polite code for “get nasty”) of port wine stains.
This morning I dropped her off. I really wanted her to be her normal happy self. I thought, “if she can just do that so that the other kids are comfortable, and therefore more willing to engage her, she might have a much nicer day.”
And, I thought that I would cheat a bit. I opened a Halloween-sized pack of M&Ms and handed it to her, hoping to pump her up on chocolate-released endorphins. (Don’t judge.) She ate two and handed the little packet back to me saying, “No thanks, Dad. I don’t want to have too much sugar before kindy.”
Yes, my five-year old is now more responsible than I.
Her first two interactions were in the hall before class. The first was with a tall girl who stood staring at Addy Rae, with a forced ‘I-like-you’ smile, while she listened to Addy talk. Then, she nodded politely and went into the room without saying a word. Addy had a ‘that-was-odd’ face, but wasn’t at all bothered. (Later, the teacher told me that she had prepped the class on how to be polite. Good effort, sweetie!)
Her second interaction was with Mikey (alias). Mikey stumbled down the hall to hang his coat up but stopped when Adelaide accosted him with a bombardment of words. He stood staring at her with the same ‘it’s-morning’ scowl that he had been wearing the whole time. Then Addy said, “Mikey, I look different today. Can’t you tell?” Mikey smiled, nodded, and they both laughed while he put his coat on the hook.
Man, I love that kid. (Addy, that is. Mikey’s okay.)
Posted on December 1, 2013, in 3. Addy Stories & Experiences and tagged Encounters, Parenting, School. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
I contacted you a little while back after running across your blog while reading about port wine stains. I live in Atlanta, and my 23 month old sweet daughter was born with a port wine stain on the left side of her face. She just had her 6th laser treatment this past Friday. it was only the second one under general anesthesia. (The first 4 were done using a topical numbing agent, which is no longer practical due to her age and more importantly, the need to get close to her eye which necessitates inserting a contact lens- a procedure no near 2 year old is going to tolerate awake 😉 Her doctor is super pleased with her progress (as are we). The cheek area has lightened significantly, but the lip area still as a ways to go. She warned us that that particular area is a bit more resistant to the laser. She did go up on the settings this go around and the swelling was definitely more intense. Poor girl looked like she has been in a bad bar fight, but she is so resilient and happy, you would never know. I am amazed by her resilient spirit.
I am so glad that Adelaide did so well going back to school after her last treatment. We are still at that innocent age when looks don’t matter, so easing her back into daycare today wasn’t that big of a deal. However, I do struggle with how to respond when people ask questions about her face, esp after a treatment. I want to educate them, but at the same time, i don’t want to be judged. I don’t think the average person understands how extensive these port wine stains become with age and without any treatment. Do you have any advice on how you respond to these types of questions? I could really use your advice and experience, as I am still navigating my way through all this. Also, any advice on how you talked to Adelaide about her PWS when she was Sylvie’s age. Sylvie doesn’t notice it normally, but after this last treatment, she did touch her face when she looked in the mirror, so she notices that it looks “different.”
I so appreciate any suggestions and advice, and I hope you and your family are off to a great holiday season!
Great questions! I’m actually turning one of my answers (regarding how to talk to other people) into my next post, so thank you. 🙂
I also have some tips for how to talk to your daughter, and when I compile those I’ll post them as well. (Some are quite fun.)
I’m glad her cheek is lightening up so well! Addy was very similar – her cheek lightened up, while the front of her cheek and lip/nose area remain quite resistant still. Oh, well – progress is progress. 🙂