Ahh that time of year where we reminisce about Audrey’s arrival and look at how far we’ve come.
Well, we’ve come a long way since the shock of a c-section and an extra chromosome!
Audrey is the best thing that ever happened to us. I think people under estimate the power of love (apart from maybe Jennifer Rush and Frankie goes to Hollywood, they seemed to get it).
The love we have for Audrey just grows and grows. I always thought love for a child was instant and unchanging, whereas it’s actually been more of a slow burn. A little love at first, then more and more and more; and, as they become more of a ‘person’, the love starts to go through the roof!
I basically want to eat her up I love her so (plagiarised from Maurice Sendak, apologies).
What I find frustrating, is that I can’t wave a magic wand and make anyone about to become a parent to a child with Down’s Syndrome have this feeling we have now. The pride, the joy and the genuine contentment we feel having Audrey as our daughter. Not wanting to change her, being so proud and so much in love.
I just hope that sharing our lives will help someone out there somewhere feel better – whatever stage they are at (pre-natal diagnosis, shock arrival, a few weeks or months in) and just take away a bit of that stress involved with looking to the future. Don’t project too much, don’t start thinking months or years ahead – enjoy that bump/baby you have right now and just know that they are going to be awesome. Fact.
So I’ve started a new job. I’m working 2 days a week and Audrey is at nursery, which thankfully I know she loves.
We had parents’ evening last week and whenever I told someone (workers at the nursery) that I was Audrey’s mum, they would say “Hiya!” And blow kisses. And tell me how socialble she is. I enjoyed parents’ evening a lot, because I felt so proud, I know that Audrey is a character and very memorable!
She is moving up to the transition room before ultimately joining the over 2s, which is scary as they’ll all be walking and Audrey will be this tiny bum shuffler amongst them! But I do want her to move with her peers and I know it’s good for her to see typical toddlers her age – great motivation to copy them when she can. The sad thing is, she’ll be changing key worker and that’s just hard because we know she is attached to her current key worker (that’s the whole point, obviously) and I’ve really grown to love that bond they have. But onwards and upwards for Audrey!
Last week we also had two bits of good news- a thyroid test came back normal and Audrey passed a hearing test with (almost) flying colours! She couldn’t be completely signed off from hearing checks, as she has a small amount of fluid in her ear, so they need to check her again in the winter time (when colds etc are worse). Fingers crossed we’ll escape the need for hearing aids/gromits, but it may be that she needs them and that’s ok. Her speech is coming along very well.
They will also need to continue to check her thyroid, but at least for now we know she is ok.
We’ve got Daddy’s birthday coming up and then Audrey’s, so we are in for some busy weekends of fun. I’ll start prepping the Audrey turns 2 post now…
Yesterday I had my first experience of being targeted by an Internet troll.
It’s not something I was hoping to experience, especially when the target was really Audrey, but I’m glad we’ve got it out of the way.
Several months ago one of the DS families I follow on Instagram had some nasty comments on a photo; something along the lines of “you should have aborted this ugly baby”. And it made my stomach churn. How could anyone say such a thing? Why would they say it? And it scared me and made me feel concerned about sharing pictures of Audrey.
Audrey’s troll left a comment and tagged another account, so the two different accounts had a little chat back and forth on one of her pictures. However I don’t know which picture and I didn’t understand all the “banter” or “abuse”, because they used code or strange slang and then deleted it all. But I had seen the notification on my iPhone, so I could still look at the comments even after they’d gone from Instagram. It wasn’t so bad. Account A says to Account B; “Aww it’s a cute retard”. Account B says “jcl XD” And there’s a bit of random letters and then “Bye”. I found both accounts and blocked them, so that was that.
But I do feel a bit… “exposed”. I share our life with Audrey to spread a positive message and I’m usually filled with pride and a warm fuzzy feeling from all our “likes” and comments. The trolls are rare, but they are still out there…
Of course I won’t let them stop me sharing, Audrey has more fans than trolls! But if any potential trolls are reading this; please remember there’s a real person behind the computer screen/iPhone/tablet and they might be genuinely hurt by your “funny” comment. We are a real family and share our lives online to show what love looks like – it doesn’t see disability, that’s for sure and it would never, ever, use the word “retard”.
My beautiful little girl (doesn’t she look grown up??):
Audrey is using a new word, just in time for turning 2… She can say “no”!
I’m thinking this has come on as I’m having to say no to her more and more; since she can get in trouble now she’s mobile!
I still remember the health visitor coming when Audrey was around 1 and she asked me if Audrey understood the word no. I was a bit baffled, because I really didn’t need to tell Audrey no, I couldn’t really think of anytime I really needed to say no.
We are now in full swing with no. Audrey says “noooo”. She loves utilising a new word or sign and this one is really getting used!
I am saying no and naughty, as well as signing, when ever she does something she shouldn’t. At the moment that is;
Emptying photographs out of a box in the living room (we have to move this).
Shaking my make up bag frantically until everything flies out.
Pulling my hair.
Pulling baby wipes out of the packet and sucking on them.
Audrey thinks the little finger waggle (for naughty), is funny and she basically just copies me. I don’t think “no” is having much of an impact.