So, child number one is blind. Actual diagnosis not until five months of age, Early Childhood educator at about six months of age, physiotherapy etc. from ten months…so probably many of the tactile fears and things are because we didn’t know about such things yet, or what to do about them.
So, child number two has soft toys around her from birth, to ‘prevent’ fear of furry things – living or otherwise – in case this one’s blind as well. Yep, ok then, lots of real-life stuff that is soft, prickly, rough etc. as well as smooth and firm and comfortable, lots of touching the grass. Does this make a difference? Not a bit! Even more fear than the first.
So, child number three has therapies from birth (from mother, then professionals at home etc.) but we’ll just introduce everything we can think of without too much concern. What do you suppose is the first thing this child looks for on a visitor (known or unknown)? Their hair, their dog, their anything fluffy and soft! Except brushes, they’ll still take some working on, and grass; grass is not fun. Which is the only child really interested in a guide dog? You guessed it, number three. And what was number three’s favourite gift as a little one? A hair extension similar to the hair of the aunt who gifted it. How favourite, you ask? Taken to bed, in the car, on visits, left in the bag at kindergarten…everywhere.
What did we learn? Individuality.
Some things can be learned; some are innate; some are healthy; some are damaging; sometimes it matters; sometimes it matters not.
Oh please, please look into each child – each person – to see who they are, who they might become and how according to their individual design. Don’t look to make a carbon copy of yourself, or a standardised model of humanity, or be afraid of what is not alike to you now. Each one and each community has the great potential to feed off, learn, teach, model and become their own beauty. Enjoy and know each other, avoid replication.