I took Ricki to be vaccinated against swine flu a good two months ago, as she is considered high-risk. [Individuals with Down syndrome are high-risk even if they have no heart or weight problems, due to their narrow respiratory passages and their impaired immune system.] However, I was not able to get the vaccine until yesterday.
I had set up an early morning appointment, because I was planning mid-morning to take Ricki to a play in honor of Chanukah. A few minutes before leaving the house, Ricki expressed a desire to join me, apparently not wanting to stay home with nothing to do. So I agreed. On reaching the bottom of our stairs, I suddenly realized that it was a bit later than I had thought, and that we would have to walk quite quickly in order to arrive on time. Si I urged Ricki to speed up, and when she didn’t, I walked ahead of her. This had the desired effect within a minute, as Ricki ran to catch up.
Reaching the clinic, they were amazingly organized and received me on time. Then Ricki insisted on holding my hand, so that I shouldn’t be scared.
-“But I’m not scared….”
But Ricki was seemingly reveling in the role of being the “support” figure, so I let her.
Later, as we headed towards home, Ricki suddenly got the “BIG GIRL” bug. Rather than walk with me, she ran ahead some 30 strides, and constantly checked to see that I wasn’t catching up on her. (I confess that at one point I took a short cut just to peeve her, to discover that I was a bit closer………….)
At home I told her that big girls can also walk with their Moms; I had missed her company. And even though she agreed with me, I doubt that it will do any good…..
But I find the contrast of “hurry-to-catch-up”/hand holding/run ahead rather interesting, don’t you?