I learned something new about my kids last night...they apparently make no judgments based on appearances. I'm fascinated by this realization.
Last night, we met up with a friend of mine and her two kids. My friend is due with her third baby in mid-October and is very visibly pregnant. As we were leaving, my eldest wanted to give my friend's eldest a hug, but the other little girl wasn't interested, so to appease my daughter, I told her she could give my friend and her baby a hug. My daughter looked at me like, "What are you talking about you crazy woman. There's no baby here." When she asked about the baby, I told her my friend had a baby in her tummy, just like mommy does. I'm starting to show, and the girls like to kiss the baby through my tummy, but I'm not showing quite as much as my friend. But apparently it hadn't even occurred to either of my children that my friend's stomach was anything other than her stomach. And they were fine with that.
We have another family that we play with on occasion. We met through ECFE classes this past fall. There are twin boys and a younger girl. The boys just turned 4 and the little girl is about 18 months. One of the boys has Downs Syndrome and although he doesn't look the "same" as the other kids in class or like my girls, the girls have never once mentioned anything about this little boy looking or being "different".
I know at some point the girls will start to recognize that not all people are the same. But I'm going to hold out hope that when they do start to realize this, and they might even realize it at some level right now, they'll simply take it for what it is and not use peoples' differences against them. I suppose this is a parenting issue as much as anything, so I'm going to have to keep my game face on, but I think we're off to a pretty good start.