Plinth Blog Special Needs Parenting

2Jun/190

Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part CXXXVIII: Ikea

Alice's dresser has seen better days. The design wasn't particularly good and we've fixed several drawers, replaced knobs, repaired slides and so on, but it was at the end of it's useful life. E had put together a shopping list and was intending to mail order them, but since it was one of those "we don't have anything planned days" where Alice will get stir crazy at home, I took her to Ikea to go in search of those things. This was a decision with a certain amount of risk because while we had a list of things to find, Ikea is a big store and I knew going in that there had to be some wiggle room for shenanigans. Also, Alice knows full well that Ikea has a cafeteria and would be angling for food constantly unless I put the kibosh on that hard.

Let the shenanigans begin. Because I'm crafty, I planned that we would do this in two passes. On the first pass, we'd find and buy the heavy stuff and load it, then have lunch and get the lighter stuff. That worked pretty well. After we loaded the heavy stuff, Alice insisted on heading up through the maze. I was able to show her the secret door to get right to the cafeteria instead of having to wind through the whole store again.

Fortunately, Alice had no problem getting a salad since most of the rest of the food had gluten in it. It didn't stop her from angling for fries, but they're cooked in the same fryer as things with gluten and that affects her. We got the rest of our needs and headed home with a constructive day out in the bag. This is notable because Alice is most certainly a teenager and has had quite a set of super cranky days recently.

I should interject at this point that and bring up the myth of Cassandra. Cassandra was cursed to utter prophesies that were true but no one would ever believe them. I believe that this myth was created by a parent of a teenager. When Alice's behavior starts to go off kilter, I'll offer her a choice to correct with distasteful consequences if does not. Recently, she's been denying that the consequences will/can happen, yet they do every single time. I point out how the consequences happened last time and maybe she doesn't want them to happen again. Yet somehow my prophesies come true. Weird, huh?

The pieces that we bought were in the Askvoll line:

Which is a very unfortunate name if your articulation isn't that clear, like in Down syndrome. I tried to get her to put a lot of emphasis on the 'k' and not say it too loud in the store.

The surprising part was that Alice wanted to participate in putting them together. She was happy to put in dowel pins and sort out hardware.

She also liked hammering in the plastic pins.

And yes, she's got a grip that's choked up pretty high on that hammer. That's not important here. The important part was that she was quite happy to help constructively in nearly every step of the process, which is a very nice change from the usual adolescent crankiness.

Side note: why is your hammer pink? For starters, it's not my hammer; it belongs to my spouse. Second, she used to work in a manufacturing facility and needed tools to work on molds or machinery and in that environment, tools get ruined and lost, so she decided to make it perfectly clear that these tools were hers, so she painted the tools and the toolbox Barbie pink, and I think that's awesome.

 

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