Abby is different from "normal" kids. She doesn't walk like other kids her age. She can't keep up with kids her age. She can't eat normal foods of kids her age. She has therapy at school instead of play time. She's different.
Up until recently being different was normal for her. She had no idea that she was slower and clumsier and smaller. She was different in all those ways from Grace but it never really dawned on her.
Now she is closing in on four and she is becoming starkly aware. She has anxiety about the fact that she is smaller than other children. She has near panic attacks when she has a close call with something she can't eat. She perseverates about anything that makes her feel even the slightest bit different. The child is too smart for her own good. If she was a less observant child I think much of it would go over her head. Instead she has the most perceptive ears and the keenest awareness of her environment.
SO how do you handle this? She is too smart to simply explain it away. I will not lie and tell her she is wrong. Even trying to explain to her that there really is no such thing as normal just irritates her.
It is my job to make her proud of who she is and what makes her so incredible special. That being said no kid wants to be "special". Kids want to be like every other kid. So it makes my job harder. I am very aware that this is just a taste of what is to come for us. It is hard to imagine her when she is thirteen. Suddenly her bald patches and protruding rib cage and oddly sharped toes and sharp teeth will be more than cute "Abbyness". She will hate those things that make her her. It makes me sad thinking about how much her disorder will effect her.
On the other side of the coin I can't help but smile about the fact that while she is worrying about her hair or her teeth or her figure she is NOT worrying about the way she walks or that she is small or that she can't run as fast. (I know, I might be wrong here but who the heck knows???) She WILL walk. She WILL be as smart if not smarter than her peers. She WILL laugh and joke and hang out with friends. Those are all blessings.