Connor didn't feel well today; I suspect he might have caught something on the plane ride home. He had three seizures and was running a bit of a fever. Hopefully he'll be feeling better tomorrow.
So we stuck close to home; since the little guy spent a good portion of the day napping I took the opportunity to clean his room. The nice thing about having a Deaf kid is that when he's got his hearing aids out you can haul stuff around, run the vacuum cleaner, etc. and you aren't going to wake him up. I reorganized his closet and all of his storage areas, so his room is all nice and neat now.
Over the course of the cleaning, I collected up a huge pile of all Connor's stuffed animals. I'm not exactly sure how many he has because I didn't count them or anything, but there are a lot of them. I started actually paying attention to what they were when I was going through them, and he's got some really, really strange stuffed animals. I have no idea where most of them came from, either. Maybe they're multiplying in the bins.
Some examples of the interesting wildlife Connor has collected include a gray goat (with a white goatee, as is appropriate for goats), and a gray gorilla (also with a white goatee, which is less appropriate for gorillas). I suspect maybe they are related due to the whole multiplying-in-the-bins thing, and if any more goatee-wearing animals show up in the bins my theory will be confirmed. I'm not sure who the mother is, though, as we don't have any female gorillas in the bins. The most likely suspect is a bear with some gorilla ancestry.
A bear is most likely statistically because Connor has way more of those than any other animal. So many bears. Bears wearing things no respectable bear would be caught
dead wearing, like army uniforms or little tiny sports jerseys or bunny
ears. The only way a bear would actually
wear bunny ears was if it had just finished eating the rest of the bunny and
was saving some for later.
He has a couple of little birds, a sea turtle, not one but two hedgehogs, a few frogs of varying sizes, a leopard, and several kinds of dogs, some of whom are wearing clothing in a similar fashion to the bears. I was okay with the clothing on the dogs as people really do dress their pets up in all kinds of ridiculous outfits, until I got to the bulldog. It's a bulldog wearing a raincoat and carrying a pumpkin. What the heck?
Okay, so I had to go get the bulldog just now to take another look at it, and on closer inspection he might actually be wearing a weird squished pilgrim hat of some sort. Oh, and also according to his tag he apparently fights cancer. This makes much more sense.
I'm pretty sure that this is one of the animals some random person on the street gave us. This sort of thing happens at least two or three times a year and I still don't know quite how to react to it. We'll be sitting at a coffee shop, reading a book (me) and pointing out every single car that drives by (Connor) and somebody will walk up to our table, pull a stuffed animal out of their purse and present it to Connor. Then they'll tell me what an absolute angel he is and how they just had to give him something because he's such a "poor dear lamb." (the last person who did this was elderly and British, and that's the actual expression she used).
And it's not just animals-- he's been presented with candy, paper flowers, stickers, balloons, and on one memorable occasion a miniature disco ball that played a tinny electronic version of "Staying Alive" when you pressed a button on the top.
Don't get me wrong; I don't have any problem with stuffed animals or with people giving Connor presents-- people we've at least interacted with, anyway. It's the whole "complete stranger walking up to us and presenting Connor with a gift thing" that throws me for a loop. I haven't figured out a way to graciously refuse yet, and for that matter many of them simply present Connor with whatever they have instead of asking me first. While I know they mean well, I'm never sure exactly how to respond-- especially since I get the impression that many of them are giving him things because they feel sorry for him. That isn't exactly something I want Connor to internalize.
Is this something that happens to other people? Is it just people who have children with special needs? Or do parents with typical kids have complete strangers pop up out of the woodwork and give their children small pilgrim hat-wearing, cancer-fighting stuffed bulldogs every once in a while too?
2 weeks ago