Through a child's eyes

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Gromit, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Thought I would share this with you as I think you may find it heartwarming...

    My neice is 5 yrs old and still has both her Grandads (my Dad being one of them) - unfortunately my Dad has AD (recent diagnosis) and her other Grandad suffered a very bad stroke last year so is in an electric chair and has only the use of one hand. She also has a cousin who although is 21 yrs old is severely disabled and will always need care. But my Neice is so unphased by all of this. Before she kisses her Grandad (the one who had the stroke) she says to him "now Grandad I am going to give you a kiss, please try not to drool on me too much this time" - this has her Grandad in hysterics laughing. To her cousin who unfortunately is a bit clumsy and has large front teeth (accidentally clonked my Neice on her head once and left teethmarks!) she says "I am going to let you cuddle me now - but be careful with those teeth!". And now she is aware of my Dad's failing memory - when she visits she says to him "Now you do remember who I am don't you Grandad?" (Dad does remember her as he is in early stages of AD at the moment) He finds this very amusing. Occasionally when Dad is repeatative she says "Oh Grandad, you have already told me that - but you can tell me again if you like".

    As far as my Neice is concerned she has very special relatives and if anyone asks about them she can quite easily explain things in such a wonderful and heartwarming way as being "very special".

    Whilst out feeding birds last week she came across a little boy who kept eating the bread she was putting out on a log for the birds to eat until his Mum apologised and explained he was disabled - totally unphased again my Neice said "oh that's ok" to his Mum and then turned to the little boy and said he was very welcome to eat the birds bread if he wanted to!

    Its amazing how children see things in such a great way and cope so magnificently. I wish I could be more like my Neice.

    Just wanted to share this with you.
    Love
    G
    x
     
  2. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Cheeky

    well my Neice has definitely got her Grandad sussed out. Just been on the phone to my Mum - my brother, his wife and my Neice are visiting Mum and Dad at the moment. Apparantly my Neice has just been found eating a cadbury's mini roll right before her dinner - when asked who said she could have it she obviously said "grandad did" - knowing full well that Grandad wouldn't remember if he did or he didn't say she could have it!!!! Well at least this horrid disease has its bonuses for my Neice!!

    Take care all.

    X
     
  3. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    Lovely - thanks for sharing that Gromit!! I understand totally as our granddaughter aged 3+ also has lovely ways with Grandad!! (She is due any minute now and I wonder if he really appreciates the effort they put into visiting us so reguarly).

    Enjoy those precious things - I think they begin to mean more as this illness takes us over. Best wishes Beckyjan
     
  4. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    I think the younger children are the better they take things in their stride. Whether this is because they are too young to have 'learned' prejudice or whether because they are encountering new experiences all the time nothing seems strange to them I don't know.

    I made the mistake of mentioning the 'A' word to my niece who is 14 when she was staying with me the other week. She knows her grandpa has memory problems- she went to Athens with me and my Mum and Dad last month and was great helping with my Dad- but I didn't realise that her mum (my sister) had not said in so many words 'Grandpa has Alzheimer's Disease'.

    Her first response was 'Is he going to end up like Mike Baldwin?' (in Coronation Street). I said no (personally I didn't think the portrayal was terribly realistic but full marks for tackling the issue).

    After that she was extremely annoyed that she had been 'kept in the dark'. She said she wouldn't tell my sister that I had let the cat out of the bag but I said that I would tell her mum.

    The next day I apologised to my sister who said that she hadn't used the 'A' word as she didn't want to frighten my niece. As soon as I left my niece gave her mum a hell of a time for having kept this from her!

    Oh well damage (if there is any) is done now.

    Sue
     
  5. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Hi Sue,

    Don't want to sound hard hearted, but 14 year olds give their Mums a hard time about almost everything!! I wouldn't feel guilty if I were you. I'm sure your sister was trying to protect her daughter, but it is usually best to tell the truth on these occassions. All you did was to tell the truth. No doubt your niece will soon get over it - and I'm guess it could be a relief to your sister to know that her daughter knows. Now she doesn't have to worry about keeping a secret, or deciding when to tell her the truth. Hooray for aunties, I say!! Nell
     

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