Wednesday, June 20, 2007


We've known for awhile that our daughter, Callie, is different. She is in special education and has trouble grasping many things. The first 10 years of her life were spent in an orphanage in Shanghai. Now, it is a large, comfortable orphanage - not the kind that you hear horror stories about - but an orphanage just the same. For ten years she made no decisions on her own - none, nada, zilch. She had never experienced a mud puddle, so for about a year she stepped in almost every patch of mud that was in her path. She would step in the puddle, keep walking for about five steps, stop, look down, look up in horror and be furious that this gunk had jumped all over her shoes. It is hard to learn about mud puddles when you live your life inside or on concrete.

Every day is filled with Callieisms. Many days there are too many to remember. There are some that we hear almost daily.
"What time it is?" Now, this is incorrect in itself, however she is usually standing next to the clock when she asks.
"I need clothes to wash."
"Callie, you have enough clothes."
"No, I need clothes TO wash."
"Yes, I heard you. I'm still not buying you any clothes. You have enough."
"NO! I need CLOTHES TO wash."
"You mean you need clothes washed?
"Then say it right."
"ARGGGH!" stomp, stomp, stomp...up the stairs as she is muttering under her breath.

This one happens at least once a week, if not more.
"Callie, can you please unload the dishwasher?"
"Sure!" as she walks to the dishwasher. she is a great helper - it just takes longer with a lot of directions.
"Are they dirty or clean?"
"Do we put dirty dishes in the cabinets?"
"Then why would I ask you to UNLOAD the dishwasher?"
"Oh, yeah."

Her favorite sport is basketball. She loves to watch it; she loves to play. The only problem is she can't remember the rules. Our church offers an Upward league which is perfect for her. Everyone is patient and most kids aren't planning to be NBA stars. So, when she forgets that she has to dribble or that she isn't suppose to guard her own teammates, it is okay. Frustrating, but okay.

Our friend, Allison, experienced this conversation the other day. They were driving by a man walking a sleek silver Weimaraner.

"That dog looks like Fezzik." our dog is a curly chocolate Standard Poodle.

"Not really, Callie, what makes you say it looks like Fezzik?"

"It has ears."

I really didn't think she could shock me anymore - after three years you would think that I had heard it all - but she managed to do it last night. We had gone to buy her a swimsuit. That was a Callie experience in itself, but when we got home she stopped, pointed at something (I was sort of in front of her and saw this out of the corner of my eye) and said, "I wonder who lives there?" She knows all the neighbors so I stepped back off the porch thinking she was pointing to a home across the creek. She wasn't. She was pointing to the dormer window on OUR house! "What do you mean? This is OUR house! WE live here! YOU live there!" "I know, but who lives there?" "WHAT?, CALLIE! That is the upstairs of OUR house! Your bedroom is up there. You have lived here for three years! What do you mean 'who lives there?'" Later that night I told my husband that he would never believe what she had said.
"Sure I will."
"Oh, no you won't. Not this." I proceeded to tell him.
"I almost believe it."

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