Having a Child with Down Syndrome Part X: The Inevitable Comparison

Copyright © 2009, Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.

If you have two or more kids, you compare them.  You have to.  They’re side by side, they look somewhat alike, they act somewhat alike.  People look for patterns, especially in those closest to them.

When I’m in a more depressed end of the scale, I think that Stuart and Alice are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Stuart is sharp as a razor.  He is so quick and so bright that it frightens me at times.  I mean, he’s two and when we sit down to help Alice with her 1st grade homework, he often picks it up sooner than she does.  For example, one of her assignments is to dump out pennies, separate them into heads and tails and count each.  Stuart does that like a champ.  Alice needs guidance.  He’s 2.

Yet, I know that Alice is also at the high end of her spectrum too.  She is reading sight words and learning to sound out new words.  It’s going to be a long trip, but it’s clear that she’s going to get there.

One tipping point for me is that Alice now gets knock-knock jokes.  She knows the pattern and she totally gets the humor or at least is playing along with the gag.
Me: He Alice!
Alice: Hmm?
Me: Knock-knock!
Alice: Who dere?
Me: Soupina.
Alice: Soupina who?
Me: Soup in a bowl for dinner!
Alice: Hee-heeeee-heeeeee!

I can dissect this on all kinds of levels, but I just like the pure emotional, humor level of it.  It’s a stupid little joke we share for no particular reason and which has all the depth of a rain puddle, but her laugh is magical.

So yes, there is a natural comparison between my children – they’re both very bright and charming.