"Cocktail Personality" - One of the first phrases we heard six years ago to describe individuals with Williams syndrome.
Even the Wikipedia definition of Williams syndrome contains this statement: "Most individuals with Williams syndrome are highly verbal and overly sociable, having what has been described as a "cocktail party" type personality, and exhibit a remarkable blend of cognitive strengths and weaknesses."
In the past few months, Clare's "cocktail personality" has really been coming out full force. She talks to EVERYONE everywhere. She loves to say "hi" to every person she encounters. But she just does not say hi. She likes to add something personal, such as "Hi, guy!" or "Hi, lady!" Recently, at Jamie's soccer practice, she passed one of Jamie's teammates - a boy who has pretty long hair for an 8-year old boy. Clare brightly chirped, "Hi, girl!" as she waved and walked by. That prompted our discussion about how saying hello is okay, but we can leave it at that. If we do not know the person or do not know their name, we can just say "hi." Nothing else needed to be added. It's weird the conversations you have with your children and the rules you have in place that you never dreamed you would need.
I love that Clare is friendly and outgoing. That she smiles at everyone and wants to brighten people's days. That she enjoys striking up conversations with just about anyone. But I admit there are many times I cringe knowing what's ahead, the scenarios I can see coming - such as standing in line behind the woman with purple spikes at the OB's office ("I like your purple hair!") or passing the overly-made up woman at the grocery store ("I love to wear make-up like that!") or her new favorite is telling the entire world that her mom is going to have a baby. (At least she doesn't try to pull up my shirt to SHOW everyone like Violet does!) These days, we are receiving ample opportunity to talk about boundaries, personal space, and appropriate conversation.