The girls sometimes rough house and we have maybe been a bit more protective of Anna than we should be. Her shunt is a concern so we have always told Em and Allie that they have to be careful with Anna because she has a boo boo on her back and her shunt, which I am sure we have referred to as a boo boo as well. Looking back, we probably should have explained it differently. The girls now know what a boo boo is and they call the scar on Anna's back a boo boo.
Last month, we received a children's book from the Spina Bifida Association that teaches youngsters what a shunt is and what it does. The girls just do not fully understand. Shortly after I read the book to them for the first time, Em was haphazardly running around the family room. When I asked her what she was doing, she responded with, "I'm trying to get a shunt."
Anna will sometimes announce, "I have a shunt," but I know that she still just doesn't quite understand what it is and what it all means. The other night, she told Rich that she has two shunts.
We have been teaching the girls that Anna has spina bifida. I know that they don't understand any of what that means now but my hope is that they will understand as they grow. We never to refer to Anna as "different" but they know that there are some things that are different with her.
Right now, the girls are still trying to pronounce spina bifida. They mostly say, "Spina bispada." We'll get there.