this is our youngest daughter, shilo. she is two, almost three. she has one of the best smiles in the world. she has trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome.
she can crawl (fast), pull up, and walk (run) in her gait trainer, and loves music and dancing.
a lot of the world sees her and can't see anything besides those almond shaped eyes that lets them know that she has Down syndrome. there are lots of stereotypes that come with that: always happy, doesn't understand what's going on around her, easy going, compliant, and the list goes on.
shilo's personality is pretty easy going. she is an overall happy kid. but anyone who spends much time with her will quickly realize something, shilo is NOT Down syndrome. she is a two year old.
here is a list of things that shilo did today that are pretty typical for her:
-threw food on the floor at breakfast
-wiped yogurt and banana in her hair
-got every toy she could reach, out
-attempted to take her dress off as i put it on her
-threw her shoes while i was putting her socks on, then took her socks off while i was getting her shoes again
-turned around and stood up in her car seat while i tried to buckle her in
-walked to the nursery door and signed, 'play' over and over until it was time to go to nursery
-when i picked her up, the mom who was working nursery told me that she was the unsuspecting food thief: she crawled around stealing everyone else's cheerios
-attempted to get into, and take things from a stranger's purse
-threw food on the floor during lunch
-tried taking a chip out of an adults hand while they were talking to me
-grabbed a friend's boob while she was talking to me
-refused her snack because she wanted French fries
-dumped trash all over
-ripped her bib off and threw it
i'm assuming there are some other moms of two year olds who can relate to this. and, i'm betting, that they don't all have kids with an extra chromosome. it turns out that her Down syndrome doesn't define her. her personality isn't shaped by that chromosome. she is an individual, who is capable of obeying, and disobeying. being happy, or sad. and if you think she doesn't understand you, she will figure it out quickly. that sweet smile up there with a sideways head tilt is the go to move whenever she does something she knows she shouldn't. she has skills, and she will play you for the sucker you are, if you underestimate her.