If you do not want to learn about 18 year old girls with
down syndrome and bras, read no further!
Just like thousands of high school girls across the county Alex has been stressed about the dress. The prom dress that is….or in Alex’s case any dress.
For weeks Alex has been reminding me that she needs a prom dress. This was music to my ears as the mother of a tom boy who refuses to wear make-up, jewelry, any shoe that is not a croc and a bra!
I have given up the “look like a girl” battle for a couple of years. Alex has great personal hygiene, keeps her room clean and is very responsible. I was a tomboy myself, so for now I am okay with her look. However the jiggling boobie look in a slightly overweight teenager with down syndrome is not my thing. We have cried, pleaded, threatened and even bribed Alex to wear a bra, and we have been unsuccessful.
We have compromised with multiple undershirts and an occasional sports bra, but no regular way to control the wiggling chest. I do make her cover up her boobies before she goes to school and we often have the “I can see your boobies” conversation. As in all things Alex is practical, and for us girls who have been constricting our chests for decades, I know where she is coming from. To Alex, a bra is uncomfortable and difficult to put on, but in my world a necessary evil.
As Alex and I went dress shopping I prepared myself for the worst. Alex had already declared she was not going to get a long dress or one with zippers. I envisioned Alex choosing a muumuu type of an outfit with crazy prints and burst out in uncontrollable, body shaking, and hysterical tears when this vision was realized. I think this is all payback for the many times my Mom wanted to take me shopping for dresses and ended up with yet another sweater.
After I was able to control myself, we finally found a few suitable cocktail dresses, without zippers in solid colors. As we went back to the dressing room and passed the bra section, Alex very quietly said “Mom, I need a bra to wear with this dress”. And very quietly I picked one out that I thought was her size and had her try it on. This time my tears were of happiness.
Morale of the story - a hysterically crying mother in a clothing store is much worse than buying a bra.
Prom is tomorrow, including a dress, a bra and make-up? I am practicing my hysteria as I write….