Saturday, January 15, 2011

THAT question

Well, it's actually not a's more of An Uncomfortable Conversation I'd Rather Not Have With My Six-Year-Old.  I'd much rather put it off until she's maybe sixTEEN, when there's a better chance she might understand my answer.

S has pretty much always been into baby dolls.  She has two baby dolls and two Bitty Twins, and her collection of "baby-doll-paraphernalia" grows with each Christmas and Birthday.  These are the only toys she plays with consistently.  S also pays a great deal of attention to those women we see, when we're out somewhere, who are pregnant.  And, if the pregnant woman happens to be someone she actually knows - for instance, her initial kindergarten teacher was pregnant at the beginning of that school year, and I think that was S's first instance of being that 'close' to a situation of pregnancy - then her interest doubles.  As with other children-w-PWS, her sense of personal boundaries, and social correctness, is sometimes questionable - so at times her interest in pregnant women, or babies, is definitely uncomfortable for me, if not for the person she's staring at.  Yes, I know she's only 6 and a small amount of this is "natural".  The difference here, between S and her peers, is that her interest baby dolls and babies and pregnant bellies will likely last long past the point of being "appropriate for her age", and perhaps will be a hobby of sorts which she carries into adulthood.


Because I don't think S will be able to have children of her own. 

That is the "question" I refer to in this post's title - the "will I have babies, Mama?" question.  Up until yesterday I've been able to successfully dodge the issue and not truly answer that question.  I think it's fine that she plays so convincingly with her baby dolls, but I have to confess, when she pretends she's "pregnant" and says there's a baby in her belly, I cringe.  Yesterday as she was getting into the bathtub, she did this again, and she of course noticed my reaction - because I've had that reaction before.  So we got to talking about this issue, of her having children.  Now, as I said, she's only 6 so there's a great deal about the whole process of having babies which I of course would not go into with her.  But she's becoming more insistent on knowing why I don't like her pretending she's got a pregnant belly, and so last night I finally just told her, "I'm not sure you'll be able to have children".  In answer to her "why?", I simply said, because of the Prader-Willi Syndrome she's made a little differently, and that grown-ups with PWS are usually not able to have children.

Now, let me say here that that last statement is not precisely true.  There are just a few known cases of an adult woman with PWS giving birth, so physically speaking, it is not impossible. the same time....

We all know there is so much more involved with having a child than simply the physical side of it.  At some point I will, hopefully, be able to help S understand that while her body might be able to "grow" a baby, there are entire pieces of her emotions, intelligence, and brain which are probably not equipped to handle the rigors of actual know, the day-in-day-out, mundane, stressful, complex management of a relationship with another person who depends entirely upon its parent for protection and sustenance, etc.  I know that when S was first diagnosed, we had to adjust our assumptions about her future, and understand that S's life might not include children of her own.  At the time, it wasn't a huge deal, because it wasn't the biggest issue we had to contend with.  But as she gets older, and it becomes clear that she's pretty smart and thus might also be pretty observant, I'm wondering if she will become increasingly sensitive to the ways in which her life path might not exactly be able to mimic that of her peers.  She's understanding more about the syndrome itself, and I hope and pray that as she grows up, she'll also grow to understand that she'll have a good life, and have people in her life who love her, even if she has to do things a little differently.



McVal said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today! and no - my sister doesn't have that doll anymore... She's 39, so who knows what happened to it.
As for your question with your daughter, wow! I've had KIND of that talk with my 16 year old about 5years ago and KIND of that talk with my 11 year old 1 year ago... It's uncomfortable no matter what age and what condition. I'm going to have to look up that condition, but in the meanwhile I'll pray for her.

Mandy Zadoorian, Writer, Website Logo/Banner Designer, Self-Improvement Expert said...

Hello from The Blog Frog! Stopping by all those whom replied to "Share your Blog and Link there to see everyone's amazing Blog's! I can't wait to visit again soon. You are welcome to visit me anytime as well...see you soon.

All are in my prayers.

Many Blessings,

Janis said...

I love your Question format for your blog. Audrianna wants to be a mommy when she grows up but she is worried she wont know what to do. I have never had the heart to tell her she wont be able to have children. Even if she could physically have one, like you said, there is no way she would be able to take care of a baby. At least not the way things stand today. Plus her being able to maintain a loving sexual relationship with a man is beyond my comprehension. I feel like you are writing my story, too; when you are writing yours. Thanks Jen.