This has been a crazy week of lots of ups and downs.
It began Sunday.
I usually teach in the nursery, but this Sunday Kyle and I were in Maddie's class teaching.
This was the first time for me to teach her class.
Sometimes life has a way of dishing out a large dose of reality.
I never realized how difficult social situations are for her.
At home she's busy, vibrant, talkative, and on the go.
In public she's reserved, shut off, defensive, and withdrawn.
The next morning she and I were out pulling weeds in the flower bed.
She was beside herself with joy!
At one point she pointed to her face and exclaimed, "I'm HAPPY!!!
Later that same day we went to the library.
While I was getting some books to check out, Maddie was playing on the computers.
Another little girl came to the library and after a few minutes she came up to me and said, "I saw your daughter sitting over there and she was mean to me!"
Her mom quickly chimed in and said she was not mean.
I told her sometimes Maddie just doesn't know what to say to new friends.
It's interesting that this little girl interpreted Maddie's "stand-offishness" as mean.
I know what she's talking about.
Maddie does not respond appropriately or what we consider to be polite in social situations.
But then we get home and she helps me in the kitchen and I'm blown away by her abilities.
She was helping roll out naan bread!
After her good work she exclaimed, "I did it! I did it! I did it!"
This is actually a typical week for us, full of ups and downs.
There's always something to learn from all of it.
We've realized we really need to practice teaching Maddie how to handle herself in public.
Things that you don't necessarily think you have to teach kids like:
1) When someone says "hi" you say "hi" back to them
2) When someone tells you "bye" the right thing to do is say "bye" back to them
3) When someone asks how old you are, tell them "I'm 6"
And then of course, the things that we all have to teach children like
1) What a compliment is and to say thank you afterward
2) How to have a conversation (ask a question, wait for a response, they ask a question, you answer)
We've got a lot of work ahead of us!
Next time you see Maddie, help us practice.
Tell her hi and ask her how old she is!