I haven't written since we got back from our trip, but not from lack of things happening - more because I rarely get the time! I am so busy all the time, yet nothing ever gets done (how does that even work!?). There is always something to organise with the kids - things for the school gala, or homework, costumes for event days at school, playdates, illnesses, dinners, lunches...or cleaning. Seriously, does the cleaning EVER end?! And yet, even after spending so much of my time doing this mundane task, my house still looks like it's been burgled by a 2 foot ogre tearing the place apart looking for Barbies or Countdown cards, tearing up paper and leaving books everywhere he goes!
And aside from the day-to-day stuff that every parent endures, I've also been appealing to companies for donations or sponsorship with our project Establish Nevus New Zealand. Unfortunately my fundraising efforts are not getting very far this time around, which really is quite disheartening as I just can't do this without the financial backing. Because I am not trained in not-for-profit organisations, I need to seek legal help to protect both the organisation and myself. I am incredibly grateful to those generous backers who have pledged already, and I have my fingers crossed we can hit our target so that we can make this happen.
I have also been organising Nevus NZ's second family get-together, which is happening over Easter. We have had some very generous support with this side of things, and it's looking to be a great day! We are all really looking forward to seeing everyone again, and meeting some new faces.
And on top of all that, we've been starting to think about the little madam's birthday! Olive turns 3 the day before our get-together and she wants a Peppa Pig cake. She also wants a train for her birthday, because that's what George from Peppa Pig gets on his birthday. She won't agree to anything else. I have bought her some presents, and none of them are a train - doh!
Oli has settled in so well at her daycare, and the teachers are all incredibly supportive and aware of my needs as Olive's mum, as far as reassurance etc goes with her. They are fantastic with being vigilant with her sunscreen applications throughout the day, and talk to her openly about her nevus if it comes up in conversation (for example, when we cam back from Adelaide).
Speaking of daycare, I've been meaning to post about a little exchange that occurred there a week or so ago. We had another First that day. I've written about these Firsts before and how a lot of the time they come unexpected. When I went to pick Olive up, she was playing in the water, so I took her into the bathroom to get her changed before we left. Up until now, I hadn't seen or heard any comments from the other children in regards to Olive's nevus.
Being an open plan bathroom with teeny toilets, there was a little girl sitting on one of the toilets. I stripped Olive's clothes off and was searching for some clean ones when the little girl piped up with, "Oh no! Olive has a sore back!".
I smiled at her and said, "oh no, she's not sore honey. That's just how her skin is".
"Whyyyyy?" she asked.
"Because that's how she was born. It's called a nevus. Can you say nevus?"
"Neeeevuuuss," she said.
"Well done!" I smiled again and carried on dressing olive, who was totally oblivious to the whole exchange.
"Why was she born like that?" the girl asked.
"Because she is special. Just like you, and just like me. We're all born a little different and Olive has special skin on her back."
The teacher who was also in the room and listening to the conversation then said, "and I was born with a funny ankle. See?" She showed the wee girl her ankle.
"Oh. Cooooool". She said, still sitting on the toilet.
I smiled, and asked, "Are you finished?"
"Nope!" she announced and went about her business!
It was a funny little exchange, but it was the First with one of Olive's peers. The older kids at school often notice and ask Jaxon or Meisha what's on Olive's arm (her large satellite) which always opens the conversation to talking about her nevus on her back. This was the first time somebody Olive's age had shown an interest, and it was really neat! It was also really interesting how the dynamics changed with Olive. When an older child or an adult asks about it, or we are talking about it, Olive likes to be the centre of attention and will often raise her shirt of her own accord and show people saying, 'see? see? That's my nevus!', but when this little girl showed interest, Olive was completely disengaged in the conversation.
It did make me think though, about when she goes to school. At school she will have to change in the changing rooms with the other girls when they go swimming. To eliminate staring, or people making fun of her, I figured we would talk to the class when she starts and if she feels comfortable, she can show them to stop people wondering and hopefully accept her just as she is. But then, each year she will have new students in her class. Do we do this at the start of every year? Do we even do this? I would love to hear from other nevus parents, or parents of children with differences, and how they have dealt with school.
We have always been open and honest with everyone about Olive's CMN, including her and I hate to think that when she starts school she might all of a sudden want to hide her body. I know we cant control everything in life, nor how people react, but I'd like to think I can be armed with as much information as possible!
I have always said that the baby years and these pre-school years are the easiest with Olive. But I don't want to make the coming years harder for her (and us!) than they need to be. In the meantime, we are thoroughly enjoying our hilarious little girl. I can't believe it's almost been 3 years since she was born. She was just the sweetest wee baby. So enjoyable, so lovely and so damn cute! She still is, and so much more....