Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 17: My First Q&A! (Part I)

I'm so excited to be posting my first Q&A!  Thank you to everyone who left questions for me on Friday's post.  I had to do some serious thinking about some of them, too.  I'm going to have to break this into two posts, seeing as I'm rather long-winded in my answers... 

It was a little bit of a problem that I'd disabled the right-click function in Blogger, though, as I couldn't then copy the questions directly into this post, but eh, I'll get over it.  Gotta love alt-tab. 

Q. How did you grow out Sammi's hair so gorgeously?  Were you ever tempted to cut it?  Did she resist the clips and holders and stuff?

A.  Sammi's hair is really a story of how my resistance to a preconceived notion of mine about Ds just got out of control.  I had wondered, when she was born, if kids with Ds had to have that institutional bowl cut that it seemed I saw in my memory bank of old photos.  I thought if I could have her hair long and natural, I could smash that particular stereotype and ensure she'd have a more "normal" childhood or something.  So I just never cut it.  Ever.  Not even a trim.  Actually, when she was born, some of the OB's first words were, "Wow, I've never seen a white baby with that much hair!"  I was never really tempted to cut it, although I do receive some pressure from time to time from other family members (thanks for the haircut scissors you brought over two weeks ago, Mom...I get the hint...LOL).  Correction...I am now tempted to cut it a little bit to bring it back to her waistline.  I asked her last week if she wanted me to cut her hair, and she said no and got upset.  Oops!  What have I done?  Oh, about the clips and stuff...at about 3 months I had to use a single clip to keep her hair back off her forehead.  Once she discovered that she could pull the clips out, which was a brief phase, I just had to be persistent and keep putting them back in.  Eventually she was resigned to the idea that she had to live with them.  I can only use very specific hairbands and clips in her hair because so many others get tangled or caught, and trust me, I have tried them all.  It's just been a lot of trial and error.  Sammi doesn't love having her hair done, but she's pretty good with it unless I'm trying to pull a hairband out of her hair from too close to her head.  Ugh, I'd hate that, too!  I usually do her hair while she's eating breakfast and watching TV in the living room in the mornings.  I do miss being able to have her hair in pigtails or a pony tail instead of braids (having her hair down poses certain, uh, logistical issues when it comes to sitting on the toilet, and it also gets pretty tangled), but I also just love the braids, too!  I think the day is coming, though, when I need to bite the bullet and take it all up a bit...

Q.  When did Sammi start talking and did you start sight words (etc.) before she started talking?  I think I've waited too long, %^&* linear thinking.  I think we're just going to navigate around the speech & dive in visually.  Your experience?

A.  This is a great question, and I'll answer this before I get into the reading questions (next post).   Sammi actually started talking (relatively) early, with her first spoken word @11 months (more).  By 15 months she had about 15 spoken words and no signs (we'd never introduced them at that point), but then, while she kept those words, she stopped learning new ones.  At 18 months we realized we needed to do something to bridge the gap until she started learning new words again, so we introduced a few signs, which really helped.  At 21 months, when she started walking, her language began to take off again and we eventually dropped the signs soon afterwards.  (Btw, this phenomenon is fairly typical of our kids with Ds...they lose traction in one developmental area while concentrating on mastering another, then explode with new skills once that other goal is met, like walking.)  We didn't actually introduce sight words, other than the ones that accompanied the pictures on some baby-sign-language flashcards we had, until this past year (also to be discussed in my next post about reading).  Please keep in mind that children don't need to be able to speak to be able to read.  I saw some videos last year of children with Ds who were learning to read and using signs to communicate what they were reading.  So sight words can be introduced at any time, with or without verbal skills.  And it's never too late, either.  Learning is an ongoing process.  When asked by parents when they will know what their young child with Ds will be capable of, Samantha's geneticist tells them, "at the end of their life."  You can never know what they'll be capable of - there is no time/age when learning new things just stops.  They will always learn new things, provided the opportunities and tools.

Q. Have you thought on having another daughter/son???  :)

A.  Omg, this was probably the hardest question of all!!!!  Wow.  We had only ever wanted one child to begin with.  And when Sammi was born and for the first 3 years of her life, I felt like there was no way I could ever love another child as much as I love her, and I couldn't ever ask her to have to share love with another child.  As she grew older and more mature, I knew that actually, she could handle that, and would probably love to have another child in the house, but financially, we're not in a position to have another child (through adoption), from the standpoints of having one of us stay home from work again, daycare costs, future costs, etc.  Also, perhaps a bit selfishly, we're not prepared to have another child.  Sammi's at a really easy age right now, and is just so much fun to do things with.  We're enjoying so much the ages and stages she keeps growing into, and love not having to be distracted from any of it!  Hope that made sense...

Q.  hmmm.  do you mind if I steal this idea?

A.  Oh, of course!!  I stole it from someone else, so hey, go for it!  Maybe someone should write some sort of Blogger Code one day, something that outlines all the (previously) unwritten rules of blogging, including the one about it being perfectly fine to steal post ideas.  Eh, nothing's sacred...

Okay, I've written quite enough for now.  The rest of the questions will be answered in my next post (or the one after that), as I feel that they'll require a lot more room and time to answer.

2BContinued...

13 comments:

Team Lando said...

I have another question - When did Sammi start walking? :)

Deb said...

I have 4 children now and I think that is enough but I have to tell you every time I see your precious Sammi it makes me long for another girl (I have 1 girl and 3 boys).

Alicia said...

i was like you we didnt wanted more kids, we were good and happy with our easy boy Elias, but I guess when its time its time, and you know it, no matter anything else :)

oh and just to let you know, for coping text, just select the text, and on keyboard press CTRL+C

that will copy without using the mouse :)

Anna said...

I love your well thought out answers. They do bring up more questions though! ha ha! Like, the clips and hairbands you mentioned. I dont know how many Ive bought, its so frustrating to purchase them, put them in her hair the next day and know, Nope, these arent the ones.(and you have like twenty of them.)please do tell. I cant tell you how much of lil Gs hair Ive pulled out with the bands that SAY they wont pull the hair?!

Rochelle said...

Love the Q & A.

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

LOVE THIS!! I had the same questions the hair the more kids...love it! smiles

The Annessa Family said...

I absolutely adore her hair!

Brooke
www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

Kacey Bode said...

Lol about the hair stuff....I have that same horrible haircut image in my head, and for that reason I refuse to do bangs, especially the kind that start at the crown of the head. I keep debating cutting Ella's hair, it's just above her waist and when she sits on the toliet she tends to lean her body forward and her head back and well...you know what happens. We typically have her hair up all the time anyway. Ella though has had several haircuts, mostly just trims which she desperately needs another!!

Denise Mom of 4 Amazing Kids said...

I am hoping Maddison will have hair like Sammi! I don't wanna cut hers either. No Bowl Cuts. It was so great to see you in person! I am glad we stayed away from Elmo.

RobMonroe said...

Same reasons for us and Abby's single-kid-dom. Love her, but realistically can not afford another, either financially or emotionally!

teal915 said...

Ok, so I know we're not supposed to compare, but she had that many words at 15 months! My mouth is hanging open right now lol. Kamdyn is 17 months, and she signs, but no words yet. The hair thing is funny too, because I have trimmed Kamdyn hair when she started to grow a boy's orthodox jew hair style when she was about 6 months old, but not since. Her hair has naturally grown into this adorable kind of bob that everyone asks me if I did, but I didn't. Now that her hair is getting longer, and she won't leave in a barrette, a couple of people (my mother in law mostly) have told me to cut her bangs, but I refuse because of the "Down syndrome hair cut" thing. Love Sammi's hair. My mom saw your blog, and she commented on how pretty Sammi is too.

Lacey said...

Wow, she talked early! Arina is two and still doesn't say any specific words. I never even thought of it until my ped said maybe she should get some speech therapy at her two year check up!
I love the idea of seeing her in all the different stages without distractions. Never thought of that. But the girl does need a sibling sometime! Hint hint ;)

Cathleen said...

Re: Sammi's hair... when she *does* finally get a hair cut, you have to take her to Disney World to get it done there! They make such a big deal out of first hair cuts (and any hair cut) and it's just $12 (plus the expense of a trip to WDW, of course!). Lilly's gotten her hair cut there almost every time except 2. One of the reasons we're going back in December, since by that point it'll be 10 months since a hair cut. :) By the way, wish we could have gone to your Buddy Walk! Looks like Sammi had a fantastic time. Next year.