“I wonder what other people see when they look at Lil Z,” QB commented the other night after watching the video of Lil Z in her Little Room that I’d included in a recent blog post. He has a good point; I have no idea. I suspect that where we see progress – a happy Lil Z engaging with the world around her and using her hands to explore things – others might see a shrieking child swinging her arms wildly in all directions.
It happens. What I see as Lil Z’s “happy noises” other people can interpret as a miserable wail. What I see as a fun roll-about on the floor someone else sees as a sad struggle to move. I’m often telling people “you’ll know when she’s unhappy” and lo and behold Lil Z often complies by letting out a frustrated shriek followed by a feverish attempt to scratch her ears off. Yup, that is unmistakably unhappy.
It really is just a case of getting to know Lil Z and interpreting her movements and sounds. She’s become much more vocal this year and it makes QB and me so happy to hear her chattering away. Her signing has improved too, but you have to watch closely to distinguish between the sign for “more” and just a general arm flap. I guess that is why it makes me so happy when the other people in Lil Z’s life – friends, therapists or doctors – suddenly “get” her and start to form a real attachment to her. She is a beautiful, funny little girl, you just have to take some time to get to know her.
I feel like that is an important role for me, as her mother: showing the world how great she is. Perhaps I’ve got something to prove, since I think at first look, most people would feel sorry for her, and us. A lot of writing on this blog is dedicated to me trying to show how we’re actually just a normal, average family. Because for us, life with Lil Z is just how life is, it’s not particularly special or tragic or magical, it just is.