Thursday, December 6, 2012

No More Sugarplums

You know that stereotype about people with Down syndrome being "always happy?"

So many of my fellow Ds moms hate that stereotype and are happy to break it down with photos of their kids melting down, crying and being little rascals.

But you know what?  I kind of wish it were true sometimes.

I understand that ascribing only one emotion or state of mind to a person can be a little de-humanizing.  I want the world to see my daughter as she is, a complex individual with her own wants and needs.

But these days a little more happy wouldn't hurt.

Let's just say that the terrible twos are in full force, even though her official birthday is a little over a month away.  The days of my mostly snuggly, smiley little girl seem to be fading into the background, replaced by an arching, flailing, griping girl, eager to avoid diaper changes, clothing changes, being fed, being put in the car. You know the drill.  She's a toddler.

I get it.  The desire to be independent is strong.  But because a certain someone's fine motor skills aren't quite up to the task of self-feeding the very few healthy foods that she can/will eat, this mama is getting frustrated. I know that kids won't starve themselves, and Cora would happily rely on nursing to fill all the gaps.  But I am growing weary of constantly nursing.

So now I am looking for ideas to help self-feed soup and yogurt.  And ideas to help a big toddler girl accept transitions.  Explaining things and signing in advance helps.

But, aye.  I'm feeling a bit exasperated.

Take last night's adventure to ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo.  I have been looking forward to taking Cora for months.  So, of course, she decided to cry almost the whole time. 

Still trying to make the most of the night...

Sharing her true feelings. Blurry, yes, but this totally captures Cora's night at the zoo.

It's time to re-set my expectations and accept that my visions of sugarplums may have to remain visions for a couple more years. You know, it's supposed to be sugarplums dancing in the children's heads.  I'm pretty sure Cora would spit out sugarplums if she had the chance.

Maybe I have to accept that feeding and clothing may be a bit of a vision too and start adjusting to my life with my toddler.

Good thing she's stinking cute.


  1. I am pretty sure we didn't actually go *anywhere* when Samantha was two. It just wasn't worth the risk. LOL Sorry you're in the midst of it now, but know that it *shouldn't* last tooooo long...

  2. Right with you!!!! Hang in there!! Xox

  3. I beg my kids every single day for just a little cooperation. Sean especially. I feel like I say "come on now. Life isn't that awful." or "suck it up a little" more times than I care to admit.

    The terrible 2's do get a little better, but then comes the time (somewhere in the 3's) when they realize they can outsmart you easily. Especially if they tire you out. LOL Granted Sean is still 2.5 and outsmarts me all the time, but he's got help from Meredith. ;)

  4. HA! I remember hating the "they're always so happy" comments...Then Russell hit about two and a half and I would have given my right arm for that stereotype to be true!!! lol...I feel ya on this one! Just read your FB status so it looks like Cora may be snapping out of her moody phase, at least for now ;)

  5. Oh yes, we have now reached the "I-do-it-myself-but-I-can't" phase of life! We are still there, but it has been getting better, just because Owen is learning and able to do more things himself. As far as self-feeding goes, we have worked on that for nearly a year and he is just now getting it. I finally resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be messy and when I did that, he started working harder at it!

  6. Crunchy, dissolvable foods...she can also hold it herself, easier than using a spoon and balancing soup or yoghurt.
    My nearly three year old won't eat yoghurt Or sloppy, lumpy textures, we have to give him lots of crunch. Mini quiches are good.
    Check out a good sensory speech pathologist of physiotherapist, they should have good ideas.
    Also the chair she sits in is important.
    We gave away the soft padded high chair and got a wooden high chair which made him sit up straight and improve digestion, otherwise he was just flopping back in the comfortable padded chair and being a lazy eater.
    We also had to go cold turkey with the milk and cut it out over a weekend, and then when he was hungry he showed us he could eat!
    No more topping up allowed!

    I would also suggest the lights at the zoo were maybe a bit of sensory overload for your little girl. Things like that are too much for my kids (9yo girl too with DS). It takes a while but I now know what things I can take my kids too or not. They also don't like too much noise and crowds.
    Hope this helps....

  7. Ben has also hit the terrible twos. Colin was SO much more challenging, though, so Ben doesn't seem as bad. And yes, he too is so stinkin cute too when he is mad:)


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