My Down Syndrome Life

Downs and the Playground

There isn’t anywhere a kid loves more than a playground, especially my Isabella. Since we spend most of our time at a softball field with Ally, when it has a playground that is a double bonus for Isabella. She is now six years old and looks like she is four years old and still a toddler. She still wears a diaper because she is stubborn and will not potty train. She is just now reciting her ABC’s and starting to count to ten. Will she do it? I have no doubt, but in her own time. You can still her mind calculating on most things and figures out how to do things that amaze me. The issue I have is that my eyes are very slanted due to my Native American heritage. I’ve always loved my eyes and Isabella with her Down Syndrome, you don’t know if she has them because of the Down Syndrome or because she inherited them from me. Regardless she has beautiful eyes. When we go to the ballgames and there isn’t a playground, Isabella loves to spend her time climbing the bleachers and cheering on the team. Two of the dads taught her to yell Go Bulldogs! So now even if a Cubs game is on, she yells Go Ally! and Go Bulldogs! It’s adorable. She is also a people person as many DS kiddos are. She loves to go around and babble to people and since she signs more than she talks, she many times takes their hands and plays with them as if they are signing. Many people enjoy their interaction with her and as long as it doesn’t bother them, I allow her to socialize. There is always that one mom though and this was our assistant coach’s wife, that I will delightfully name Bubblewrapper mom. She made every ballgame miserable because she would make snide comments on how I shouldn’t let Isabella talk to strangers or play with their hands because of the germs. Most of these supposed strangers were the parents of the team, but I ignored her. Then if there was a playground, the kids will be mean to Isabella because she is different. One time they played the cooties game against her and I had to remove her from the playground in tears. Then there is always that parent at the playground who lectures me on etiquette for my child because Isabella gave their child a hug and it suddenly becomes Isabella pushed her. Or it is that mom who has jandiwipes out and every few seconds is cleaning their child’s hands at the playground. Fact is people, kids get dirty and that is what the bathtub is for when they get home. I allow Isabella to live fully and if she gets dirty at the playground so be it. She loves the bathtub even more when she gets home. I always love having that lecture with playground mom though and explaining she has DS and seeing the expression on their faces. They usually remove their children from the playground then because their children can’t interact with someone so vile. As if and get a life. A one ballfields, a huge group of kids were running and playing tag. Isabella wanted to join them. They ended up excluding her because she looked different and was wearing a diaper. It was 90 degrees outside and because of sensory issues and the heat, Isabella decided to strip down to just her diaper. Not a big deal, I’ve seen other kids do it. Being left to her own devices, since the kids were ignoring her, she found a dirt pile and began playing in it as if it were a san pile. She found a stick and used it until a larger child came by and took it from her. I sent my husband to retrieve it back for her and the child replied. she doesn’t understand anyway. Really? She is crying, I think she understood. Then another mom yelled at Ally’s softball coach’s wife (not Bubblewrapper) about how inappropriate it was that she was in a diaper and playing in the dirt. The coach’s wife explained about Isabella and her DS. Let me add, I really like this coach’s wife. She is the bomb diggity. Anyway, this mom ended up apologizing to her, not to me though. The moral of the story is that no one knows what is going on in anyone’s life completely and many people are sticking their noses into other people’s lives and complicating them too much. Obviously these kids could use a mom looking into their own lives rather than my daughter’s rather than making her a target because she is different. Oh and because I stood up for my child with bubble wrapper mom, yeah every word out of her and her husband’s mouth has been I am cray our insane. They have proceeded with text bullying, social media bullying, use of girls on the team bullying, and even set a fake Facebook site up to harass my family and ruin Ally’s chances to play softball now and in college. I ask, who is the insane one here. What I would like to know is how everyone else’s experience is on the playground with their DS kiddo or in public. I’m really interested. Comment below. If there is a topic that you would like for me to write on, please share it below too.

Thanks and Thoughts

I know I haven’t written on my blog for quite awhile and I am thinking of starting a new blog that is more inclusive of all disabilities and not just Down Syndrome. I stopped because I thought no one was reading my blog and I found out today that wasn’t true. So thank you to everyone who has stopped by to hear what I have to say!!!! I want to keep this blog open to just present what I learn along the way with my daughter with Down Syndrome. So today’s topics are what Isabella is up to these days and again education and a new group I am trying to form.For starters, Isabella is doing great. She is very precocious. The school system evaluated her and she is operating at a 3 1/2 year old level and she is five. So no surprise that she is in that toddler phase where she has temper tantrums and is testing mom and dad’s mental capacity to see how much they can take. Luckily she still looks like a toddler at 3 1/2. She adorable! Please don’t think she isn’t smart mentally though. That child’ brain is working like a velociraptor and you have to be one step ahead of her. I truly think she could work at a 4 1/2 year old level if she wasn’t stuck in the toddler phase of stubbornness. I teach her her ABC’s and numbers and for the love of God she won’t state them back to me. Then she’ll be playing with her dolls and I will hear her reciting them. It’s hilarious!

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