Friday, September 6, 2013

A Mind of His Own

Before I begin I feel compelled to tell you that I am living in a second-week-back-at-work-while-breastfeeding-and-pumping-and-sleep-deprived fog so thick that yesterday I reached the bottom of my bowl of Chex before I realized that the milk had gone sour. Last week I left a carton of eggs in the bread basket for hours. On Tuesday I got to work and couldn't remember at least half of the 40-minute drive.

I'm tired.

But I always have time for this guy:

Elmo was one of last year's birthday gifts, but Max just recently realized how cool he is. It's fun to watch him watch Elmo. Since it's range of motion is greater than most robotic toddler toys, I think Max may partially believe that Elmo is alive. It's really cute.

And then there's this:

Argh. Sean and I see this and our parents' words trumpet from our mouths. "Max, move back. Don't sit so close to the TV. It's not good for your eyes. You're gonna hurt your neck." Then we drag him back a few feet and before we know it he's just six inches away again.

I don't get it. Like many televisions today, ours is much larger than necessary for the size of our living room. He can see it just fine from the couch a few feet away. Probably better actually, considering to see it from the floor he has to look up at an almost 90 degree angle. How can that be fun?

But that's what he wants to do so gosh darnit, he's gonna do it.

We experience a lot of these moments lately. Children with Down syndrome are known for being stubborn. At least that's what people say but I think that's a little unfair, really. I'm sure there are plenty of folks rockin' an extra chromosome that are as accommodating as can be. In fact, I attribute Max's strong will less to his Ds and more to being our son. He is blessed, or cursed as the case may be, with two parents who have wills of steel. Gets us into trouble sometimes.

That will combined with two and a half years of age make for exhausting meals, exhausting trips to the park, exhausting rides in the car, exhausting grocery runs. It's exhausting, and yet, it's thrilling and fulfilling in a way I didn't understand before he came into our lives. We have an exhaustingly wonderful life here.

And Max's little brother looks like he's following in his big brother's footsteps.

All of a sudden, in a flash, Chance has busted out of all swaddles and learned to roll over from front to back, back to front, and in both directions. As a result, this little show-off has decided, "To heck with sleeping on my back! That's for babies." And so we have this.

I admit, it makes me nervous. Max's low muscle tone kept him in a swaddle and on his back for months and months. Almost a year. We got a little spoiled. Chance is moving a little too fast for me, and yet, it adds to the thrill.

I can't wait to see what the next few weeks, months, years will bring. I have faith it will continue to both thrill us and exhaust us. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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