Monday, March 8, 2010

"She talks funny!"

A couple of weeks ago, while eating dinner...between bites....Shea stated that a boy in her class said she talks funny....well, actually he told a teacher that she talks funny!
I asked Shea to explain further....

(I guess the following conversation occurred at the end of school in the gym where kids wait for their parents to pick them up.)

Little boy: She [Shea] talks funny.
Teacher: Ummm, I can understand Shea very well.
Shea: I was born with a cleft palate....look.....(At this point, Shea proceeds to yank open her mouth and show the boy her still unrepaired gum line....'the cleft' she calls it!)
Little boy:  Oh, wanna play???

And all is well in the world of pre-schoolers!!!!

Back to the dinner table....
My husband, Faith, and I were speechless for a moment as we were absorbing this interaction.....
Of course, we all told Shea how well she does speak and that she has come along way in her abilities to communicate....
(Sometimes she 'communicates' too much....remember this post?)

I asked her how she felt about what her friend said....
She told me she felt "a little nervous and a little sad"....
Poor baby!!!
I asked her why she felt nervous and sad....
She told me she wasn't exactly sure....
I choose not to pursue this particular conversation at the moment...
Trust me, when Shea is ready to talk about her feelings in this matter....
SHE WILL!!!!!!
She will and then some!!!!!  lol

I told her that she handled the situation perfectly...
I told her she is brave and strong and that we are so proud of her!!!

Oh, how I love this child of mine!!!  She actually takes my breath away....

I think I would have shrunk away from the little boy...I probably would not have known quite what to say....
I am so thankful that Shea and I had previously practiced how to respond to questions about her cleft lip & palate...
However, I don't think we ever quite practiced the above scenario.....ha-ha!
But, she obviously incorporated what she felt was needed at the moment!!!

I confirmed the 'conversation' with the said teacher the very next day.
The teacher told me she was "blown away" with Shea's response....
That she has never seen a five year old child handle this kind of query with such honesty and frankness.
The conversation was over with in about 20 seconds and completely resolved.

The little boy was just curious....
My little Shea was just....her rock star self.....

Way to go Shea!!!!


  1. Way to go, Shea!!
    Just shows a little girl who has been surrounded by LOVE and SUPPORT... she's obviously brimming with self-confidence :)

  2. Go Shea! I hope my DD is as confident as she is someday.

  3. Wow, Shea handled that like a pro!!! I know how proud of her you must be! And you should be proud of yourself, too. Her response is a reflection of what you are teaching her at home...that kind of confidence doesn't come without help from Mom and Dad!

  4. Good for her! You must be so super proud! You obviously have done a fantastic job with her for her to have such confidence and so awesome that she could be so assertive! What terrific qualities in a little girl!

  5. Good for Shea!!! And I'm proud of you, too - you've prepared her very well!!!

  6. I am so happy to read this! My son is just 5 months old, but he has a cleft lip and palate. I worry about social interactions down the road, but love how you all were so prepared! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Way to go Shea! Our daughter was born with CL/CP as well, and she does have a BIG speech issue. We just had the Zplasty done last week, and we are hoping it will help. She has a super speech therapist trained in cleft kids, and I know she tries SO hard. I know it will be an issue in school (she is 5 now, but only home 9 months, so not quite there yet with language). I hope Lilly Yin can handle it as well as Miss Shea.

  8. What a great job she did of handling this situation!
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my post today...sometimes, I find it hard to get my thoughts "out" in a way that I hope makes sense.
    Thank you again!

  9. Wow! Shea good for you! It was nice to hear her honesty and willingness to open up herself like that. I can learn a lesson from her!

  10. What a stud!! :)

  11. wow! I'm in awe! way to go, Shea!

  12. Of course Shea would handle it this way...she rocks!! And of course right as I read this Im thinking..."oh little boy if her Auntie would have been there, I would have not handled it with such class as my PERFECT little niece"!!!! Thank You Shea for being you and a inspiration!

  13. YEAH SHEA...but YEAH Momma and Daddy for preparing her for potential questions. SELF CONFIDENCE! I DO love it that kids just ask questions and while we, as parents, are poised and ready to attack for ANY wrong doing...they simply had a question/wanted an answer and then say, "Oh, wanna play?"
    LOVE IT!

  14. I just jumped over from No Hands but Ours and wanted to say "Yeah Shea!" As the mom of a cleft baby, this is so encouraging!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  15. Shea, I absolutely adore you! You're just too precious!!! I hope my Emily Margaret is just as spunky as you are baby girl!
    Kris, Thanks for sharing this story with us. It just goes to show that providing your children with unconditional love and preparing them for the road ahead is what it's all about. Your a great family!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D