|First kisses for Mummy|
I have been giving Felix lots of kisses since he was born and one of the first signs we started using with him was 'kiss', but until today he has never actually done it. Every day I have had to wait patiently for that response from him that came so early with our other children. I've had to watch other people with their babies and see how their little ones gave them lots of big, wet kisses. Until now I've had to make do with lots of big cuddles with my little man, but no kisses.
|Thank you for the kisses|
After my shower this morning (hence the wet hair in the photos), I was playing on the floor with Felix when I asked, "Have you got a kiss for Mummy?" Straight away he leaned towards me, mouth wide and dribbly and gave me a big wet kiss; and then another and then another! Those kisses were worth the wait and I felt like the luckiest Mum in the world!
There are so many things I took for granted with our other children. Not that I wasn't proud of them when they reached milestones or didn't notice their progress, but they learned so much so quickly that it was hard to keep up. One day they would learn to stand and the next day I would find them standing up on the dining room table!
The fact that Felix learns things at a slower pace because he has Down Syndrome could be something which would make some parents discouraged, especially if they are competitive by nature and enjoy seeing their other children be the first to do things and excel at everything. I know some parents of children with Down Syndrome who have admitted, very honestly, that they find that difficult sometimes. I haven't allowed myself to get upset over it, but there are times when I notice what other children Felix's age are doing and wonder when he will be able to do the same things. I receive an email every month from a baby club telling me what to expect Felix to be doing at that age. I have stopped reading them now, not because they get me down, but because I can't expect Felix to be reaching those particular milestones as quickly as other children and by reading them I put pressure on myself and on Felix.
|Learning how his truck moves|
It's really important when you raise a child with Down Syndrome, or any child for that matter, not to compare them to each other. We have 7 other children without any disabilities and they have all been different. Two of them walked at 9 months old and one didn't walk until he was nearly 16 months old. The rest of them were somewhere in between. They were the same with eating solid food, sitting up, sleeping through the night and toilet training. I refuse to even compare Felix to other children with Down Syndrome because they all develop differently as well. As long as Felix is making steady progress, I will be very happy!
Felix continues to amaze me with the things he is learning to do. Yes, he is learning things slower than the other children did, but he tries SO hard. Each time I sign to him now, he will make an attempt to imitate me. Sometimes his gestures look like the sign and sometimes they don't even come close, but the thing I'm so proud of him for is that he tries.
I watched a YouTube video a while back of a girl who had come top of her class in high school. She was giving a speech after receiving her award. In the speech, she graciously thanked everyone for the recognition she had received for her academic excellence; but the next thing she said had me in tears. She explained that she had a younger brother in primary school who had Down Syndrome who, although never getting the grades in school that she did, worked harder than any other person she knew. She said that even though she studied for many hours a week doing homework, sometimes complaining about it; her brother put in even more hours to accomplish some small successes without ever complaining at all. She described him as her inspiration and said he was the one who had motivated her to be the best she could be.
Felix is already showing that same determination and persistence and I really believe that he too will be an inspiration to those around him.
|Concentrating on pushing and pulling his truck|
Real Little Boy
Someone must have told Felix that now he is 18 months old, he is a big boy. Today, for the first time, he has started to push his toy truck backwards and forwards instead of just putting things in the back of it. He is also trying to climb on top of everything. He has managed to slide the kitchen door open even though I put something behind it to stop it sliding and has pushed the laundry door open to try and get to the cat food. He's quickly turning into a little whirlwind!
Can't even explain how amazing this little boy is....what a blessing!