When we received that little diagnosis almost two years ago, the last word I would have thought I’d use to describe the life we had ahead of us was ‘normal’. Isolated, different, special… perhaps. But not normal.
And yet that is totally how our life feels. Oh.So.Normal. Perhaps someone may look at us from the outside, see that baby on my hip with his beautiful almond-shaped eyes and wonder about our life, maybe even feel sorry for us. If only I knew as I was getting that diagnosis just how normal, how beautiful, this life would be with our Littlest Love in it.
Nicholas is 17 months old this week, and it’s been a while since I did a Littlest Love update. As his mother, I understand that I may sound a tad biased, but I really do love this baby boy to bits. He delights and amazes me daily and is so darn snuggleable, it’s all I can do not to wake him at night to get in more cuddles. Going in to his room to get him up in the morning is definitely one of the highlights of my day. He is a fun, engaged, happy little boy and I can’t imagine life without him.
I remember getting to a point with the older boys where I realised they weren’t babies anymore, that they had their own opinions and ways of expressing them, that they understood so much more than we gave them credit for. And now I’m watching my Littlest Love reach that same point, developing into more of a participant than a spectator, growing and changing and learning more every day. As much as I want to hold on to my ‘baby’, I love watching this transformation unfold before my eyes.
Vital stats: 10.5 kilograms, 73cm long
Teeth count: 12
Favourite words: Dad, hello
Favourite songs: Open Shut Them, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Favourite things to do: Go to music class, jump on the trampoline with Mum, go down slippery slides at the park, have a bath, read books.
Newest skills: Blowing kisses on demand, moving from his tummy up into sitting position.
Favourite food: Would sell his soul for mandarins and blueberries.
Favourite book: Where is the Green Sheep, Spot’s First Walk
Nicholas is still our ninja-baby, rolling as his favourite mode of transport, but he is getting better at creeping forward on his tummy and occasionally gets up onto his hands and knees. Currently, he’s not a big fan of putting weight on his legs, but will stand up for the right motivation. Right now, we’re trying to work on crawling and know that the rest will come in due course.
I am often asked whether Nicholas has many medical appointments, but in all honesty, I don’t feel like we have many more than many ‘typical’ babies. In his first year, he had a few specialist appointments just to check on heart, eyes, ears, etc. but Nicholas is such a healthy kid, I could count on one hand the number of times he’s been to the doctor for sickness. We have a physiotherapy appointment once per fortnight to work on mobility and our speech therapist joins in with the physio each month. We also see an osteopath and naturopath regularly to help maintain Nicholas’ good health. But it never seems like an effort to visit these health providers, as I feel as though they love him almost as much as we do. We regularly thank our lucky stars for our three healthy boys, as I’m well aware of the families in our community who face major health challenges with their cherubs.
It’s funny looking back on photos, videos and notes about our boys at the same age, noticing similarities and differences. Sam was a bottom-shuffler and didn’t really crawl at all before he started to walk at almost-18months, and he spoke very little until his language exploded around 18 months and then grew exponentially each day. Charlie crawled in a traditional fashion around 10 months, and walked by 14 months. He started parroting words at about 12 months and was saying approximately 20 words by 16 months. Even with the same gene pool, they have each grown and developed in different ways. Although obviously their mother was a big fan of dressing them all in red and blue 😉
So here is a snapshot of our beautiful, boring, perfectly imperfect life in all its normal-ness. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
PS. I was very honoured and surprised to see my beautiful boy and humble little blog featured over at The Little Mumma. Thank you, Angie, for your lovely words – you’re very sweet x
PPS. Apologies for going MIA. I have been trying to write a post about my now not-so-recent course in Melbourne and can’t seem to find the right words, so thought I’d write about one of my favourite subjects instead to try and break the blogging drought. More to come on Melbourne, promise x
A beautiful life with a great attitude towards the ups and downs. Thank you for being such an inspiration, Annie.
Thanks Kay x
Such an adorable little man. I love the normalcy of it all…. Awesome…. And I too know that feeling of wanting cuddles mid-night… actually i have even inadvertently woken a daughter or two in the process!
Ha! Crazy, cuddle-seeking mothers, we are 😉 x
Hi Annie, my name is Julie and I’ve been reading your posts for a little while now. I too have a little boy with DS who’s almost exactly the same age as your gorgeous little Nicholas. I also have two older boys as well. Anyway just wanted to say hi and tell you how much I enjoy your stories, they always leave me feeling warm and fuzzy 🙂
Thanks Julie. I’m so glad you said hi. There is something special about having three boys 😉 Thanks so much for reading and being part of this journey xx
Loved reading your Blog Annie.
I am one of many people whose privilege it is to work with children who have special needs.
I’ve noticed that most children who have Down Syndrome seem to show affection easily and an enjoyment of music & dance. These traits are an endearing quality for anyone to have. Each child is a unique individual and with nurturing, guidance and education will have the best opportunity to put their own stamp on life ……… in their own special way.
Thank you, Lynette, for your lovely comment. Nicholas certainly does love his music so far, and thankfully all the boys are affectionate, so I do hope that continues. You’re so right – each child IS unique, and we look forward to seeing how Nicholas will make his mark on the world x
We feel the same way about our little guy! https://theromans6man.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/isaac/
Reblogged this on The Romans 6 Man.
Oh, this little dreamboat! I can perfectly understand why you would be tempted to interrupt sleep for more cuddles….well, I would if Harlow slept as well as Nicholas does…. 😉
Normal life. What a blessing that is. And yep, I bet it was the furtherest thing from your mind at the time of diagnosis. But here you are, exactly where you should be and what an outrageous bunch of spunks you five are! I am always delighted to get a glimpse of your lovely life.