Monday, 4 November 2013

The Understanding of a 5 Year Old

My god daughter is currently 5 years old and could teach people a thing or two.

Last week was half term and I was able to see her. She has from an early age understood that unlike other adults "Sarah" cannot get down on the floor to play, run around and chase her, or throw her into the air.

This has never been a problem. My daybed has been the scene of many happy hours of play, a big favourite being "the teddy bear game" which has evolved from 2 teddies simply saying hello to one another and having hugs (age 2), to them calling the builder to repair holes in the roof (age 3), to travelling to Egypt and avoiding crocodiles (age 4). Her imagination has certainly always been a joy to play with!

Last week she very randomly decided to pretend to be my hamster "Dash" who had escaped from his cage and wouldn't go back. I had to catch her. Obviously this presented a slight problem as I was lying flat on my back on the bed.

It turned out that in actual fact, it was no problem at all.
"You're chasing me and running really fast" she informed me breathlessly as she raced round the room.
"Oh ok" I said, reaching out with both arms,
"You'd better look out. I'm just behind you", I added.
With a squeal of delight she looked over her shoulder at me and doubled her speed, giggling.
"You missed me. I'm running REALLY fast", she told me.
"Oh no" I said, putting my arms down and pretending to get out of breath.
"We both have a rest and then start running again" she said.

And so it went on. Quite incredibly we had a chasing game, something I never thought possible!

In my god daughter's mind my disability is no big deal. It is accepted as a fact of life. She doesn't blame me for it, get upset with me about it or ask me to change. If it is in the way, then we both together find a way around it.

If only other people were so accepting and willing to compromise about disability in this way.