Yesterday Lexi, Maddie and I took a walk down to the park to meet one of Lexi’s friends for a play date. It was beautiful weather and she even wore shorts, but I was conservatively dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Maddie decided she wanted to just wear sweat pants and a long-sleeved shirt, so I’m sure she was hot, but she never complained. Of course because it was Lexi’s play date she had to make sure she was little miss bossy when we ended up starting out late in order to get to the park.
Lexi: Daddy, how come we always have to wait for Maddie? It’s MY play date.
Me: Because there’s only one of me, and we can’t leave Maddie here by herself.
Lexi: What if she was asleep? Could we leave her alone then?
Me: [stunned silence]
Lexi: I’m just kidding. I know we can’t leave Maddie alone!
Me: Good, because I thought we were going to have to have a serious talk.
Lexi: More serious than this one?
Me: Definitely. She’s your little sister, and she has to go along on play dates like this one because I’m going along.
Lexi: I know. I went on one of her play dates before too.
Me: Do you get upset when Maddie has to come along?
Lexi: No. I just play with my friends anyway.
Me: You don’t try to include your sister?
Lexi: Well, she comes over and stuff, but she does her own thing.
Me: Maybe you should try to include your sister? After all, you know she loves to play with you.
Lexi: But she never wants to do what we’re trying to do.
Me: Have you asked her?
Lexi: She doesn’t understand all the time. She has Down syndrome. It’s harder for her to understand.
Me: So explain it to her. It seems to me like you don’t take the time, or have the patience with her that you should have.
Me: Seriously, Lex. She loves it when you show her how to do new things. Try it today.
Lexi: Is she ever going to be ready?
Me: She’s finishing up in the bathroom. So what are you going to do today?
Lexi: I’m going to include her in the play date.
Me: And why?
Lexi: Because she likes to do stuff with me.
Lexi: Games and stuff.
Me: We’re going to have to work on your choice of words. You have a huge vocabulary and you always use “stuff.”
Lexi: You use “stuff.”
Me: Um, well… Yeah, your sister’s ready.
Lexi: [laughing] And stuff.