Jonathan and I decided a while back to be very open with Allie about her stroke and her physical limitations. However, finding a way to talk about it has been difficult for me. I don't think she realizes yet that not all kids have physical, occupational, and speech therapists. This is kind of good because we don't want her to feel like she is inherently different. But, she's starting to notice differences and we don't want her to be confused.
For example, we were in the car the other day and Allie saw a woman carrying a probably 6-month old baby across the street. The baby had one of her hands fisted, as babies often do, but Allie noticed it and said "That baby has a Righty like me!" I asked what she meant and she said "That baby's Righty is like mine!" and she held out her Righty. I agreed that the baby's Righty and Allie's Righty looked similar, and we just left it there.
The next day her school was having an Ice Cream Sundae theme day where all the kids got to make ice cream sundaes during their afternoon snack time. I showed up a little early to pick her up and I ended up sitting at the table with Allie and her friend's while they made their sundaes. One of Allie's friends was scooping sprinkles on with one hand and scooping chocolate fudge on with her other hand. Allie noticed this and declared "Good job using Righty!" The girl had no idea what Allie was talking about but Allie looked over at me and nodded approval of her friend's right hand usage. I just said "Yeah, she's really good at using her Righty."
Last night, Allie and I were eating dinner and she noticed my bright red birthmark on my knee. She asked if I hurt myself. I said "No. I was just born with it. It doesn't hurt, but everyone is born differently." This seemed like one of those perfectly set up conversation points so I continued "It's kind of like your Righty. Not everyone has a Righty like you."
She enthusiastically nodded and lifted Righty to admire it.
I continued "You were born with a special Righty." She thought about it for a moment and said "Yeah. My Lefty is special too!"
I agreed and we started talking about something else. At least a seed has been planted.