Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stubborn or persistent--you decide!

Yesterday's post reminded me that my husband did at one point have a blog! The audience was, on the whole, his friends who wanted to read his daily devotionals. Oftentimes, John would also include a short family story, generally about the kids and their antics. As I was reading back over his old posts, I discovered a theme ran through some of those stories. Naturally, the theme involves Vera and her well-known stubbornness...or should we look at it as persistence? Either way, I thought they were funny stories, especially as they happened over the course of a year!

The truth is, children with Down syndrome can sometimes get "stuck" on something, think it needs to happen their way or no way, and they are relentless in their pursuit of the goal. Sometimes funny, sometimes maddening...but I wouldn't change it for the world!

Vera (age 8) is always angling to sleep with mommy and daddy. Being the strict parents we are, we don’t allow it; besides, Ella (age 2) is already sleeping with us – ok, forget the strict part). She approaches me in the closet with a bit of a strategy –
Vera: Sleep by you?
Daddy: (I like to let her know I can correctly translate “Veranese”): Sleep by me?
Vera: Yea.
Daddy: Yea?
Vera: Yes sir!
Vera (rounding the corner where mommy is and where I can still hear her): Mommy, Daddy said yes.
Mommy: Daddy said yes to what?
Vera: Sleep by me.
Mommy: He did?
Vera: Yes. Daddy said sleep by me.
(I now am walking through their area.)
Mommy: You said Vera could sleep with us?
Vera: Say yes, Daddy.
Daddy: I never said yes.
Vera: See, Mommy. Daddy said yes.

Postscript: Being the strict parents we are, Vera slept by me (us).

As I have mentioned before, Vera (age 8) comes up with various new angles to try to persuade Jill and I to let her sleep on a pallet in our room. We have designated one night per week as pallet night, and all the kids are strewn across our bedroom floor each and every Friday night. This "one night per week" isn't good enough for Vera, and I place the following episode under the category of reading and interpreting the VIV Bible (the Veranese International Version) --

Vera walks in on Thursday night with my Bible opened to a particular page. She walks over to her mommy and literally begins thumping it. As she points to the chapter and verse she says the following:
"Lay by mommy."
"Lay by daddy."
She then looks up at mommy and nods her head yes and thumps it some more.
She then walks over to me and repeats the same thing, just in case I wasn't paying attention to the sermon.
A few minutes later I walk in to the bedroom and Vera, Emma (age 6, down syndrome) and Ella (age 3, down syndrome) are all sitting in a circle looking at the Bible in Vera's hand. Vera again has the Bible open and, with Emma and Ella excitedly looking on, she is thumping her passage again stating:
"Lay by mommy."
"Lay by daddy."
If nothing else, she is beginning to understand ultimate authority . . .

I offer the latest approach (last night) by Vera (age 8) to sleep on a pallet in our room on a non-pallet night.
Vera, to Mommy: I'm sick.
Mommy, rather used to Vera's dramatic health turns, and feeling her forehead: I'm sorry, Vera. I think you should go to sleep if you're sick.
Vera nodding in agreement and patting Mommy on the arm: Pallet!

Last night, Vera [age 9] created a new approach in her never ending quest to sleep on a pallet in mommy and daddy's room rather than in the scary confines of her own bed. She became "Baby Vera" [her description] and requested that Jill feed her dessert as one would a baby. In the midst of this "feeding," she developed a forlorn look, looked out in the distance past mommy's face, and in a fake, quivering and baby like voice said, "Pallet for Baby Vera?"

This is the latest offering from Vera [age 8] on her vigilant quest for sleeping on a pallet in our room. I recently led a Bible Study and had written my notes on a yellow pad. She came into the bathroom with pad in hand and commences to begin "reading" it. She mumbles for a couple of sentences as she is "reading" it, flips the page, emphatically points to the new page, looks up, and says "see Daddy, pallet for Vera." [perhaps this is one of those secret revelations from God that she has uncovered like we talked about in today's lesson . . .]

This is the latest in Vera's [age 9] never ending quest to sleep on a pallet in mommy and daddy's room, rather than in her cozy bed upstairs. She is “talking” on a plastic phone to NiNi [Jill's mom] in her own little language [we call it Veranese] when she hangs up the phone. Jill asks Vera what NiNi had to say, to which Vera succinctly responded, "Pallet!"

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