If you’re a regular reader, you’ll most likely know that Little Red has quite severe congenital scoliosis. (You can read up on our health journey so far by clicking here). The inevitable questioning from Little Man comes whenever Little Red has a hospital or doctors appointment. We’re trying to talk openly about her health care to him because that’s just the kind of family we want to be. Plus, we’d be fooling ourselves if we thought our other children wouldn’t be impacted by what will happen. Namely I’m referring to her future spinal operations and the physical therapy that will follow. These past few months we’ve spent a lot of time talking and explaining scoliosis to him.
When it became apparent that Little Red had curvature of the spine, we started to tell LM how she may have to wear a super cool hard vest to help her sit up straight. Being the observant and unabashed four year old he is, he had already noticed and commented on how she seemed to slouch in her highchair and pram.
SHOW & TELL
We showed him her X-Ray and, with our fingers, traced his own spine along his back. Making him giggle because it tickled. We then drew an “S” so he could feel what his sisters was like.
I used some leaves off a bunch of flowers to show him what a spine was like. Then I introduced his toy snake as another visual. After all of that, I think he got it.
Over the course of a few weeks he instigated the reading of FunnyBones every night. It gave us opportunity to teach him about his own body as well as his sisters.
We’re always drumming it into our son that we’re a family and that means something extra special. He’s instinctively protective of his little sisters and I really love that about their relationship. He genuinely enjoys their company and no one makes them laugh the way he can. We can already see the bond between all three kidlets and I see it as my job to nourish and encourage that into adulthood.
Little Red will never be alone in her health journey, even if we have to read FunnyBones at her hospital bedside when she’s a teenager.