The other night I had half a glass of wine and cried because I love my daughter so much.
It was Friday night; Ted arrived home with fish and chips. We arrange a little portion for Audrey, stick Rex in the bumbo, get the music turned up and enjoy ourselves. After stuffing our faces we all retreat to the sofa and dance. And sing. And laugh.
In amongst this pretty fabulous (but not out of the ordinary) scene, I look at Audrey and start crying (with joy). She senses the tears immediately; “Y’ok Mummy?” she says, arms outstretched for a cuddle. “Better?” she asks, patting me on the back.
You see, I just get struck now and then by these scenes of happiness. Of our “normal” family life and the light that Audrey brings to it.
As we continue with our second parenting experience, it can feel strange to be out and about with my “typical” baby. I feel like I don’t have my “special needs mummy” badge on display, that no one knows that I have an extra special family with a different experience of how things go. How nothing should be taken for granted. Rex is 4 months old and seems so sturdy, almost ready to sit up, stand… Talk. Now I see clearly how hard Audrey has had to work at things that just happen for typical kids.
But somehow because of this extra chromosome Audrey has a magical way that just makes things special.
She does some classic sympathetic crying when other kids are upset (oh her famous bottom lip!).
She says “Thank you” when children steal toys from her.
She can get a smile out of some of the grumpiest looking people. And on that note…
She doesn’t judge. She waves and says hello to tramps, teenagers, people covered in tattoos, people who look unclean, the old, the young, the fat, the thin, men or women, black or white – Audrey just likes people and that makes me proud.
It’s also fabulous to witness how she can light up a doctor’s waiting room or bring out smiles to grumpy people on the bus or in a queue.
Her dance moves are a sight to behold.
Her cuddles melt into your body.
She just pretended to hurt both her feet so I would kiss them better.
She has started using “one more” as a way of getting me to continue playing/feed her biscuits/extend bedtime reading.
She regularly shuffles over to help Rex reach his toys.
There’s so much to say about Audrey’s wonderful nature (and her cheeky attitude), but I’ll leave it there for now. And please know that she is still trying lots of toddler stroppy tricks on me and is getting to be quite a handful these days. Still, I predict Rex’s toddler tantrums will be a bit harder to handle…