Monday, November 25, 2013

An interesting encounter at Burger King and a toxic synovitis update

Many of you have been so kind as to inquire how Ellie Bear's hip is doing after her little bout of toxic synovitis.

I think it is safe to say she is doing much much better.  In fact, she is back to her usual rambunctious self.  You are viewing the above picture correctly.  That is Ellie climbing on top of some trashcans at Burger King.

Austin got hit with 34 degree weather.  And rain.  Both a record I am certain.  I had to find a long-sleeved shirt and a coat and a hat and socks. . . in Austin.  Anyway, here is some complex math:

cold weather + wild child = indoor playscape + coffee = Burger King

Why is she on top of the trashcans and why on earth am I capturing this gross moment on the cellphone camera?  To be quite honest, I have no idea.  Most of  Ellie's antics cannot be explained and I like to document her spunkiness.  Besides, you didn't really think I would bring my nice SLR camera to Burger King, did you?  So hence the grainy cell phone pic.  In fact, I should warn you that this post contains nothing but cell phone pics.

What I do not understand is why she is on the trashcan.  I mean, seriously, the whole reason we are at Burger King is so that she can play on their ridiculously huge playscape that is constructed of two stories of tunnel slides and climbing platforms.  It is a motor-sensory-seeker's dream!  (and a mother's nightmare.  Ever try to track down a kid in one of those contraptions?! Especially when you are claustrophobic and afraid of heights!)

oh my gosh, she looks so sweet and innocent.
I bet she had you all fooled!

Somewhat unrelated, we had a rather strange experience.  A good strange.  Ellie accosted this 11 or 12 year-old boy wearing an awesome Star Wars hoodie.  I think she liked the hoodie because it looked like it had buttons on it.  Anyway, she started pushing the "buttons" on his hoodie and called him "dada".  It was really quite embarrassing, well for me it was.  I think Bear was oblivious to the awkwardness.  The boy took it in stride like these things happen all the time.  These things do happen.  All the time.  Ellie calling males over the age of 10 "dada" that is.

Anyway, this nice young man-child and his friend tell me that she is so cute and ask her age.  As usual, I get the odd looks of disbelief when I say that she is 4 years-old. They then proceed to ask me her birthday as though to confirm my answer. I suppose it would have been inappropriate to tell them I distinctly remember when and where I squeezed her out of my . . . er never mind.  Chick-A-Boom is a pint-sized, nonverbal 4 year-old so I get the age confusion.  The boy considers my answer and asks me "Does she have autism or Down syndrome?"  Huh, a kid using people first language and he said Down, not Downs.  Apparently, his sister has autism and she didn't start to talk until she was 4 years-old and he was wondering if Ellie was like his sister.  I explain that she has Down syndrome and is still learning how to talk because she has difficulty using the muscles of her mouth, but that she understands everything. He and his friend get very excited and start to play with Ellie.  They ask her questions and show her the Star Wars hoodie.  It was beautiful.  Two teenage boys playing with a 4 year-old girl in Burger King. It was really quite sweet and I thought that perhaps our youth is more in tune with and accepting of people with special needs than I give them credit for.

Now, I just need to teach Ellie what is appropriate to climb and what is not.  We have a ways to go.

Taken just before she decided to strip naked.  On the island.
Yes, my kitchen really is that messy and yes, that is a romance novel you spy to the right.



  1. What a wonderful encounter! I still get choked up when those happen because I just feel they are rare. We had this Old Navy worker accost us last week--I thought Owen had done something bad like knock a rack of clothes down (which wouldn't surprise me). But no, she wanted to talk about Ds and sign language and his name sign. She was just a breath of fresh air and she couldn't have been older than 20. It was nice!

    Oh Ellie, please don't teach Owen about stripping on the island counter.......please!

  2. This is such a great story. I remember working in my moms early childhood class with a little girl with Down syndrome. She was my little buddy, and I even got to take her to Special Olympics gymnastics classes. I've never commented here before, but I do read and have read your blog for awhile. Ellie is so cute, and is making such great gains! You are a wonderful mom.


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