I was looking back at a Down Syndrome Awareness Month post from a couple years ago, about the time Miles was due to be born (and then wasn't born until mid November... little stinker!). So much has changed.
Charlie is our first born... you know, the Experimental Child. And Calvin, well I guess being our first "typical" child he is Experimental Child Number 2. As parents we do a lot of head scratching, don't we? We read the books, we examine our hearts, we pray. In the blog from a couple years ago I shared that I felt a lack of attachment with Charlie. At the time he was not calling me mom, he was calling me Kim, and while he loved to cuddle, he was not seeking out hugs or chances to play with me... not competing with his brother for it, I guess. Conversely, Calvin was very attachment seeking... maybe attachment demanding is a better way to say it! So, I blamed Down Syndrome, as I often do, and resolved to work investing in some attachment. Well, it either worked or was a stage, because when I read that a couple days ago I was totally surprised... surely this is not the cuddly guy who draws me into his games and skits all the time and calls me Mommy? My second thought was, Wow, that is exactly how I feel about Calvin right now. The common denominator? When I wrote that about Charlie, he was four years old. And Calvin? He's four now. A Down Syndrome thing? Or just a stage and age any kid goes through as they grow and differentiate who their own "selves" are (that there is some psychological speak for ya!). Sometimes they demand our attention, sometimes they don't. Either way for a hug seeking Mommy, those "I don't need you, 'cause I'm a big kid" stages are hard!
Oh Down Syndrome! You take so much blame! This kid, really, he is so "normal" in many respects... but being Experimental Child Number 1, well, sometimes it's Experimental Child Number 2 who adds the truer perspective in hindsight.
|Experimental Children Numbers 1 & 2 pull, while Hypothesis Test Child pushes.|