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Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Why Am I So Different?
I knew this question would come some day, and some day soon, but I still was caught a little off-guard. One of Sera’s favorite television shows is Sid the Science Kid on PBS. He has a certain turn of phrase and cadence that Sera copies now when she asks questions. She had it when she asked this one Monday afternoon.

I hesitated for a few seconds as I tried to figure out what exactly she was asking. I don’t want to overwhelm her with information she’s not old enough to process yet, so I asked her how she was different. She shrugged. I asked if she was different from her friends at school. She nodded. I asked her if she was different from me. She nodded again. I asked her if she could tell me what was different. She shrugged.

I explained that everyone was different. We all had things that were different from other people and things that were the same. I told her that her eyes and hair were different from mine because she was born in China. She immediately argued that our hair was the same. I agreed that we both had brown hair, but I showed her how my hair is wavy and her hair is straight. We also talked about people having different color hair.

She then changed the conversation to tell me she had received an invitation to the ball at the palace and took off to change her dress.

She is a very diverse pre-school, but she is the only Asian child in her room. There are a few other Asian children there, but they’re in the baby room and the 2 year room. They actually just moved here from China. One of the teachers told me about them, but I haven’t seen or met them yet. I’d say her room demographics are pretty close to my school’s, about 50% Caucasian, 30% Latino, and 20% African American.

On Tuesday, she started talking about how she’s a big girl now and shouldn’t have a baby seat any more in the car. She should have a big girl seat. We explained that her seat isn’t too small yet, and it’s safer than a booster. We’re not ready to move her. Her car seat is good to 65 pounds. I’m betting she could technically sit in it until middle school. We won’t be that cruel, but she’s just finally broken the 30 pound mark. She was 30 lbs, 5 oz at her well child check last Friday and 38”. That just seems small to me to switch her to a booster. I like the safety of the 5-point harness vs. shoulder belt.

Later that evening, she told me that she wanted to be bigger than me. I told her that she would never be bigger than me (thank God!), but that she was growing and getting bigger the way she was supposed to.

I think the Tuesday conversations are directly related to Monday’s question. She is starting to notice that she’s smaller than her friends and her eyes are different. Her skin tone isn’t a factor because she’s exposed to such a range that she doesn’t feel different there. In a stroke of perfect timing, a book I bought on eBay arrived yesterday that deals with some of these differences, Guji, Guji. I do think she’s entering a normal stage of development, one where she is starting to be more aware of things around her. I need to make sure my development keeps up with hers.

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Blogger LaLa said...

I think you handled it all well! It really is so tough sometimes. You are lucky that her class is so diverse.

Oh, and Annslee is 5 1/2 , weighs 46 lbs and is STILL in her 5 point harness : )

Blogger a Tonggu Momma said...

The Tongginator is six, 39 pounds and still in a five-point-harness. Heh.

And the Tongginator loves the book Guji, Guji.

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