Friday, October 26, 2007

About fittin' my feet in your shoes

Since Taylor learned to talk a month or so ago, she's been easier to get along with. She was one frustrated human being there for awhile. As I would watch her try to communicate before her verbal skills caught up with her cognitive ability, I'd think of stroke patients, who, I think, have the same problems. As frustrated as a two-year-old gets, it was easy to see how hard it must be to learn to talk all over again for a grownup.

Sometimes, still, when she is tired especially, her emotions win out. Like last night, when she was wailing inconsolably, and no one could figure out just what she wanted, or was mad about. And she worked herself up so much that she lost that new ability she has to communicate.

Snack? we asked.
Wahhh! she said.
Drink? we offered, holding out her sippy cup.
Wahhh! she said.
I tried to sit down with her and calm her down.
Upppp! she cried.
What!? we asked.
Wahhh! she said.

Well, as normal household chaos ensued, stuff was happening, and people/kids coming in and out, and she started to get distracted, and then she decided, yes, she did want her drink, and little by little she came around, and in about 10 minutes, was ready to resume life as a functioning human being.

In another situation, I think I would have just set her down in a quiet chair, and let her calm herself down. Because ultimately, it's what she needed to do.

I thought about when her mom was around one or so, and teething with one-year molars. I happened to be teething at the same time...with wisdom teeth. It itched...and bothered me...and helped me understand a little of why the baby was cranky, or drooling (I managed not to drool), or chewing on stuff all the time. Because I felt like that too (as I said, except the drool).

My gramma was 101 when she passed away in 1993. Her mind was still sharp and her blue eyes bright. But it was so, so easy to look at her and see the little girl she once was--she had the vulnerablity that the very young, and very old, and very sick share.

We're hard on each other, aren't we? We want the baby not to cry, the parent not to get old, the hurt to go away. And it's hard to cram our feet into that other set of shoes, to walk even a half-mile, much less a mile, and sample what they might be going through.

Well, about you? Can you put that other set of shoes on, and walk a bit?

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