Aubrey asks each day what we have planned for the next day. So, this morning she asked what we have planned for tomorrow. I told her we have our Down syndrome picnic tomorrow. Then she asked if she has Down syndrome, and I explained to her that she doesn't have Down syndrome, but her sister Bailey does have Down syndrome.
Then she asked if Bailey's friends have Down syndrome, so I named all of Bailey's friends who have Down syndrome. Then she asked if the people on TV have Down syndrome, so I explained about the little girls and boys we see on the Baby Signing Times DVD who have Down syndrome. Then she asked if she has friends who have Down syndrome, and that's where I made a mistake. I said "yes, Taylor has Down syndrome". Then Aubrey started crying, and saying she wants to have Down syndrome.
I tried to explain to her that it's something you're born with, and that those who are born with Down syndrome need people like her to help them advocate for their needs. Then I had to explain what advocate means, and finally it was time for her to go to daycare! Whew!
I want her to understand what Down syndrome is, and I also want her to feel free to ask questions. But, I'm not sure how to handle it. I've wondered for the past two years what these conversations would be like. Now that I've had one, I wonder what future conversations will be like, and how to handle them.