Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You have to laugh...

Yesterday afternoon I was on the phone to a friend, and starting to get tea ready. Ben came running into the room, totally naked! "Mum, Mum, there's a big problem! I've done a poo and wiped my bum, and when I flushed the water came up, so I put some more toilet paper in the loo, and flushed it again, and this time the water came up over the edge and now it's on the floor. Come quick!"

So of course I got off the phone and went to investigate. I could hear splashing sounds coming from the toilet, which was not a good sign, and Emily was in there having a look, along with her pyjama pants and Ben's trousers and undies, all of which were completely soaked in toilet water. The water was all over the tiles and about to reach the carpet in the hallway. Yuck! The water was right at the top of the bowl, and dripping over...

So the toilet is blocked until Neil can fix it- luckily we have two.

But it is kind of funny...

3 small children seemed a good idea at the time...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Upside of Down

There is a fab NZ website called Upside of Down, which I have mentioned before. It offers an online community where parents (and friends, family and professionals) of children with DS can get together, and I have found it really helpful. I have come across several parents who take their children to the Champion Centre there too.

Recently- like yesterday!- a US version opened, and Nykie (the brains and drive behind the whole thing) is keen to find out if anyone is interested in being involved in setting up a UK version. Anyone out there interested? Nykie is able to help out of course.

The NZ site is and the US site is

Well worth a look :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First day at the Champion Centre

Well, we finally made it- our first session at the Champion Centre. Emily and I took Luke in, as I don't have anyone who can look after her for me here. That's ok though, because she is so good.

We just met the therapists in our team this time, and next week we will join the group and get things moving. I wanted to see how they thought Luke was going- get some reassurance that he's doing well I guess- but although they seemed quite pleased, they did not proclaim him to be the genius I think he is! Never mind, there'll be time for that next week!
It feels great though to be in a place at last where Luke's needs and those of all the other children at the Centre are focused on so totally, and we are not fobbed off because he has a mother who actually does the exercises with him so they can give him less time. And the centre is such a nice place to be- fresh and nicely decorated. I know it's a bit superficial, but we are used to tired old dreary hospital rooms, which although tarted up a bit, are still a little off-putting.

So I feel like I can start to relax a bit, that there is now a team of people around Luke who will help me to ensure he reaches his full potential. The team we had in the HB were great, but held back by the bureaucracy they were working in.

Now I'm just a bit nervous about meeting all the rest of the families next week. After all they have mostly been toghether for a while, and we are the newbies. Luke will be the oldest in the group, so we will be the first to move through to the next group, and we will have to do it all again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The things they say...

Ben came home from school yesterday, and as he was telling me about his day, he was bragging about something he could do, but another kid could not. This was a good opportunity to have a discussion about everyone being different, and that trying is the most important thing, and that having a go is how we all learn etc. Ben is very reluctant to even try things he doesn't think he can do- cutting, colouring and pasting being one of the things he can't do as well as he would like and he avoids whenever possible! He tends to be a bit of a bragger at the moment, which is not his most endearing quality, so the conversation was along the lines of "We aren't all good at everything Ben, and sometimes we have to try hard to learn to do something new. There are some things you are good at, and some things that you are still learning to do. You need to be an encourager, not a show-off, because that's how you show you are a good friend."

I then went on to explain that Luke may take a little longer to learn things when he gets to school, and that we would like people to help and encourage him, not to show off about being better. Ben agreed with me, and then said that if that happened we would invite the kid involved over to play, which would be a trick, because once they were here, I would help him put them in a headlock...not quite the lesson I had in mind! I think I may need to have another go at the compassion conversation, don't you?!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Strange encounters in the checkout queue...

I was at the supermarket the other day. Now Luke is stronger he can sit in the big kid seat, not the baby ones where they lie back, and which are always so grubby. I was unloading my groceries for the world's grumpiest check-out chick, with Emily's assistance. When I say 'assistance', it is in the most generous interpretation of the word, as chucking fruit and cartons of eggs from her little spot about a foot below the conveyor belt and hoping they land safely is not really helping, is it?!

Anyway, a lady came up behind me, and Luke was facing her, and being all cute and smiley, as he always is. She admired him and said how gorgeous he was and asked how old he was. As she should! Then she looked at me, and back at him, and turning redder and redder, she said something like "I never ask this, and maybe I'm wrong, and if I am I'm really sorry, but I don't mean to be rude, but do you mind me asking, is he Down's?" And so I smiled, thinking 'Here we go', and just said politely "Yes he does have Down Syndrome." Well, she got so excited, and told me that she has a 20 month old boy named Riley with DS too, and that there are no other babies in the area, the next oldest being 4, and she never saw another one. It was very sweet, and lovely to meet someone else down here, as I only know my new neighbour and Ben's teacher at school.

So we chatted away and swapped notes, and her boy goes to Christchurch to the Champion Centre each week too, but on a different day. She was raving about it, which just makes me even more certain that we have done the right thing moving here. And all the while the woman at the counter looked at us stoney-faced. I gave that mum my address and name, and I hope she can remember and comes for a coffee one day soon.

Then I might have two whole friends here!