I forgot to take a picture today, but apparently Alice solved that herself by taking some selfies.
We found out about buddy walks the year that Alice was born. Buddy Walks are events to help raise awareness about Down syndrome and to involve our communities. Our local DS resource group runs a buddy walk and we've gone to nearly all of them since Alice was born.
It's a great big party and the kids really look forward to the event. There are some families and extended families there that number in the double digits. It's nice to see. On our second Buddy Walk, I made up a logo for our team, "Alice's Tea Party" and we've stuck with that. Somewhere, we still have a hat with the logo, but I couldn't find it. On the walk, the route was marked with signs with each of the team's names on them - what a nice surprise to see ours!
Alice had her first rehearsal for the Nutcracker today as a Holly Tree. She enjoyed it, as always and liked showing off how she was going to move her branches. Here, she is deservedly tired.
Alice had new ear tubes put in today. One of the joys of Down syndrome is tiny ear canals which do not drain well and harbor ear infections, which can lead to hearing loss. Putting in tubes mitigates that. It also mean ear plugs during bath time.
I underestimated Alice this week.
It's understandable. The past two weeks have not been exactly stellar for her - a lot of backsliding in behaviors. It's been frustrating.
On Tuesday, Alice went downstairs early, as usual and decided that she was going to help out. So she filled out the parent/teacher meeting form for Evie:
She really gave that her best effort. Nice. But that wasn't all.
She then made herself breakfast, which included getting a package of smoked salmon out of the fridge and cutting it open with scissors. She got out the cream cheese and a steak knife (so close!). She got out some gluten free bread. She did her best to spread the cream cheese on the bread and put on a small square of salmon.
If you asked me two weeks ago if she could do any of this, I probably would have just laughed.
I was wrong.
Tonight's dinner was eventful, but not in a good way. If you're a parent or a caretaker of a child with DS, you should be aware that very often the child will have a lack of sensitivity in her mouth. This means that he may like very strong-flavored food. It may also mean that she doesn't really chew her food as well as you'd like.
Tonight, I made Saag gosht for dinner. I gave Alice a serving with the smallest pieces of lamb in it. Before she put a piece in her mouth, I warned her that this was meat and she would have to chew it. She chewed it once and swallowed the piece whole. She picked up a second piece. "Alice, last time you didn't chew it. This is meat. You need to chew it well before you swallow it." She chewed it once and tried to swallow it. It lodged. I started to go through the emergency procedure for a conscious choking victim. It worked on the first back blow. Hooray!
Alice was not too happy that I hit her on the back. I told her that I just saved her life. "But you hurt me!" "I'm sorry it hurt, but a hit on the back is better than dying." "Ohhh."
tl;dr - keep up on your first aid, be aware of the signs of choking and that your child may be more likely to choke.