I almost forgot the follow-up!
After the brief Q&A with the neighbor girl (prior blog post), we got back to our house and I made a point of openly talking about the encounter to Daddy, in front of Adelaide.
I said, “By the way, Daddy, the neighbor asked about Addy’s port wine stain!” “Really? [Happily, like I just gave him good news.] And what did she say?” Addy piped up: “I said it was my port wine stain from Dr. Zelickson.” “That’s wonderful, Addy! It’s cool that she was curious about it.” To which Addy nodded slowly, processing, then agreed happily: “Yes, it is!”
Why debrief? Because I want Addy 1) to know it’s fair game for open conversation – something she can bring up casually with us, 2) to get into the habit of debriefing us after those little conversations (keeping us in the loop when any negative ones come up), and 3) to put a positive spin on it.
Did I want to? No. I feel awkward talking about it, honestly. But I don’t want to spread that feeling to Addy. So it took some effort to bring it up, but I’m glad we did. Just seeing her absorb Daddy’s enthusiasm was worth it. 🙂
Addy has become more aware (and conversant) of her port wine stain – the other day we were walking down our street when a little 3-year old girl politely asked Addy “What’s on your face?” With great self-control, I kept my talkative mouth zipped shut and waited to see what Addy, now 5, could say on her own. A moment’s thought, then: “It’s my port wine stain from Dr. Zelickson.”
(Sweetie, he didn’t give it to you, he just treats it, but whatever, close enough.)
It was a small milestone! She was directly asked about it (instead of me) , and she answered it herself, matter-of-factly and (almost) correctly. She didn’t stumble, she didn’t seem embarrassed.
I know she’ll have more of those conversations (especially with school starting in the fall), so Mommy is glad to see her handle the simple question all by herself. 🙂