I’ve always felt that’s it’s important for Alice to have independence and to be out and about in the community. I try to give her as much leeway as possible, but there can be rather unexpected results. Today we went to CostCo for some shopping and lunch. After we were done eating, Alice decided that she needed to go to the bathroom. This is great. If you don’t know, kids with Down syndrome can have a lot of issues around toilet training, especially not always being aware that they need to go until it’s too late, so I’m happy when she volunteers to go. I asked her she needed me to go with her and Alice said, “no thanks, daddy, I’m fine.” and she tottered off to the bathroom.
If you’re a parent, you make your own decision about how to handle this. I gave her a half minute, then I stood up and watched to make she that she went to the bathroom and then I set a mental alarm clock for 15 minutes. When that was up, I went to get a female CostCo staff member to help me out and check the bathroom (because, man here). As she went to check, I found Alice at the eyeglasses counter trying them on.
Alice and I had a talk about that. I allowed that I was scared and that she should have come straight back and asked me if she could go look at glasses. I don’t think it stuck, but we do what we can. Important side note if you’re a parent of a child with Down syndrome: chances are good your child is going to need glasses at some point. The problem is that people with Down syndrome tend to have small noses and smaller midfaces which means that glasses don’t work so well. Specs4us makes frames that actually fit and look good. Those glasses are clearly not from Specs4us (and Costco doesn’t carry them anyway).
Later on we went to a community band concert at a senior center in town where I was playing. I do think it’s important for Alice to be in the community and be seen by the community. Alice helped me set up and then she found a seat and made some new best friends.
This is a good thing and a problem. Alice is friendly and likes people and likes talking to people. Unfortunately, she has absolutely 0 stranger anxiety and has no problem telling people all of our business. Still, this is a nice community and nice people, so it’s good for her to be out there.