And then I apologized...


Therapies for Pip have always been a sore spot for me. I wrote this years ago, but it rings exactly true to yesterday during a speech assessment when I lost my marbles:

"I have a love/hate, okay mostly hate relationship with Pip's therapy stuff. I love that it is available & we are being proactive instead of reactive. I love that the people involved seemed to actual care about Pip's progress & are helpful & supportive. I love that we really have seen her develop the last few months- almost as if catching up from the slow start she had at the beginning. But all that positive stuff being said- I still hate it. I hate that it even has to happen..."




Imagine...


Therapist shows Pip a drawing of 6 items & then asks questions to determine her comprehension. 


"Pip what do you watch cartoons on?"


Pip looking at me. 


Me: "I don't think I've ever used the word cartoon to any of my kids. Ask her what she watches shows on."


As soon as I said that, Pip points to the drawing of the tv-made-in-1967. 


So, my problem not only with the Dick-and-Jane drawings, is that, you apparently can't change the words or make any type of gestures - You can't possibly adapt in anyway. 



And these out-of-date-in-the-box-stringent-standardize assessments/tests kinda-sorta-make me cringe. 


My child doesn't get it-right-if-you-will, because she's never heard the word cartoon. 


UNFAIR. 


And I let her therapist know it. 


I ROARED. 


And then had to step back. 


I BREATHED.


And then I was assertive & voiced aggressively what I thought. 


I BECAME A prideful-bi-at-ch-of-a-momma-bear.


And then I sent the therapist an apology email trying to explain from a momma's-point-of-view, why I got-like-I-got. I explained that we have weekly specialist appointments & spend full days at doctors offices and in 2 weeks we are bringing Pip for her 11th surgery. That the handful or more of other medical needs in her life have taken precedent & that speech is something we took on a lot on our own. That through educating ourselves, Signing Times, Youtube videos & minimal speech therapy, she's come a helluva-a-long-way and that so many elements can affect her not wanting to co-operate or "perform" in that setting. And that while I realize she was doing her job, I hope she can understand that these "assessments/tests" sometimes feel like a real kick-in-the-balls...


#onwardandupward #damnyoudickandjane


#wingingithard


Just representing my home, The City of Kingston, that's hosting The Breakout Project


No pressure at all...
And in two days, I give an hour-long-speech at a Queen's University Philanthropy Conference, that I literally only have 5 key points to share, written with my kids marker on the back of a teacher's note. I'm going into it, the very definition of "winging it" for 56 outta the 60 minutes.
This could go ANYWHERE.
And public speaking is NOT my thing.
May I remind you:
I announced my 3rd pregnancy while giving a Ted Talk and told a tv host my ponch wasn't Doritos, but a BABY!

I blamed an entire country and it's magical ways, referring to our 3rd as #blameJamaica on a CBC radio show.
I gave a Huffington Post interview with no pants on.
And one news agency referenced, "Mom's ugly cry" when describing my reaction to seeing Pip's billboard.
So, I'm gonna go ahead and give myself some grace, bring my scribbled notes, my distracted-mommed-out-brain & face these big chats by simply sharing a wee bit of me.

#nowtheponchisallDorito

#RefuseToSink


Today I'm thankful for a partner who buys ice cream when he knows I've had one-hell-of-a-day... 


Yesterday, we waited over-an-hour to see one of Pip's specialist & the entire time, she was an absolute gem. Playing doctor, watching videos, dancing & even colouring with another kid for a bit. But, the moment the doctor came in, she went absolutely bananas. I mean, angrily signing & yelling, while somehow finding the most awkward way to drape herself all over me like a limp doll. She was just past her point. 



And I get it. Trust me, I do. 



Cause when the doctor said, "She'll have to get surgery within the year" in regards to something we weren't expecting, I kinda went absolutely bananas myself. 




In a few weeks, Pip has major eye surgery & we were just gearing up for all that it entails. The long recovery process, the emotional & mental stress it so kindly brings & the fact that it will be her 11th time getting put out. She's only bloody FOUR... 


Coming off the scary week we just had, her being dangerously low & fighting a virus with #T1D, was not the best time to hear she needs a surgery that will put her wee-little-legs in casts for 6 weeks. 



Sometimes, I seriously don't understand how God-the-Universe-Whomever, thinks that one child can handle all that she has. 



We are a little bruised, but we will fight on...






#refusetosink 

Instead of saying anything, I did nothing...


Today I'm thankful she teaches me to always be kind to others, even if I'm in a right-snarly-mood & want to teach someone a lesson. Yesterday, we had one of Pip's what-feels-like-bazillionth specialist's appointments & as much as I wanted to school this little old lady, I let my daughter do it instead. 



In a waiting room, no matter what, Pip always draws attention. Mostly, people smile or engage in small talk which lights her up. But every once in awhile, I get "that look" when they realize Pip has Down syndrome.



It's a look that I instantly pick up on now & if I let it, it has the power to make me want to cry-yell-shake-and-scream. It's a look of sheer pity with a sympathy smile added on top. It's a look that truly makes me cringe & want to get on a soap box to preach my daughter's worth. 



But this time, instead of saying anything, I did nothing. 



I let the little old lady watch as Pip and I giggled up a storm. I let the little old lady watch as Pip said hi to any & everyone who entered the room. I let the little old lady watch as Pip helped a baby when he fell & held the hand of a nurse she adores. I let the little old lady watch as Pip asked for music & then danced in her chair, making everyone instantly smile. And I let the little old lady watch as my daughter signed & said, "Love you Mom" over & over. 


And then when they called our name to be finally seen, I took off the imaginary sign, I felt like I was wearing around my neck that read, "DO NOT PITY MY LIFE" & turned to the little old lady with the biggest-smile-showing-my-upper-gum, proudly grabbed my daughter's hand & walked away... 


Why I share on Social Media... #WDSD


Being a blogger. Being a mom. Being a human - In today's world with social media, sharing your life is sorta the norm. Whether you write-snap-tweet or post, we all kinda open up & share our lives to some capacity.


For me - It's my voice. And because of y'all, it's become this really loud, outrageously awesome, strong VOICE, that has some how put a dent in the universe. It's helping create a world, where different is beautiful and people are proud to be who they are. It's inspiring an environment where all people are valued & encouraging inclusion as much as we possibly can. It's my platform to demand change, so that my daughter & others always feel safe, respected & accepted. 

[The Cities of Windsor & Kingston have proclaimed March 21st to be World Down syndrome Day #amazeballs]


And I'm so beyond humbled y'all have given it to me.




But, all that being said. Sharing stuff. Being a blogger. A writer. A proud-momma-showing-off-her-kids. A human in today's media age. It sometimes becomes a bit much. Or a comment will rub ya the wrong way. Or someone will be out-right-ignorant & write words so ugly & hurtful about Down syndrome, 
it sometimes makes me question why I do any of this. 



Why I share my life. My children. My everything. 



And then days like today happen. March 21st - World Down syndrome Day. And you can literally feel the "world" celebrate HER...



You see friends & their kids rocking #lotsofsocks. You see people posting pics in their Happy Soul Project shirts. You see people tagging you or creating hashtags with your daughter's name in them. You see your husband tuck his shoes into a pair of neon green, florescent pink & bright blue socks on his way to work. You see your son proudly ask the bus driver, "Happy Down syndrome Day Abby. You got your socks on?". And you see a school & a classroom come together and literally celebrate her so hard, she was giving out hugs like it was her birthday. 



[Hugging her Big Brother - #swoon]

And it all makes sense.



Why, when she was three days old, cradled in my arms and doctors were giving us the positive test results regarding Down syndrome, my life changed forever. 



One specialist looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "Don't worry, we can prevent this from happening again if you have a third baby." 


That man will never know the fight he created, the stir for change he inspired & the simple fact that there is no way a diagnosis can predict the extraordinary love a momma will have for her child. He could never possibly know, how his words would in turn create such divine purpose in my life. 


And that is why I share what I share and do what I do. Because I feel my daughter's impact on the world everyday. But, especially on days like today. 



Happy World Down syndrome Day...


Love 
One Lucky momma


#WDSD, #DownsyndromePROUD