I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now…mostly, stumped on how to cram all the interesting emotions that come with being the mother of this girl into a single blog post. It’s hard to fit all the stories (good and bad) without writing a novel and don’t get me started on the impossible task of limiting pictures…I promise this is the bare bones of what I wanted to share. What? She is stinking cute and hilarious and maddening and profound and I’m done with the poop fascination and cuddly and silly and perfect. I still have days where I wish she didn’t have Down Syndrome. But she is really good at snapping me out of it… Something about her grabbing my face and puppy-kissing me or her belief that clothes are really superfluous when you think about it, makes it hard to dwell on stupid stuff.
In three years we went from a baby who scared me something fierce to a feisty little girl (No really. She is travel sized for our convenience) who has some definite ideas about how the world should work.
Also she has the most perfect feet for flip-flops which is great because we kind of don’t wear anything else if we can help it. And the way her eyes disappear into little half circles when she laughs hard (she loves to airplane on my feet) make it easier for this mama who hopes that someday I’ll be good at this whole thing. Not looking for validation, I’m a good mom. It’s just that I’m starting to see how much more I’ll be when she has had more time to teach me.
Rainforest Café was my first thought for her birthday because they have huge aquariums and “fish” was one of the first signs she learned to do well.
All the munchkins loved the fish.
Dinner was tasty (over-priced but you are paying for ambience, right?) and the kids loved everything. I thought Little man would die from the adventure that was walking through the casino to get to the restaurant and the fact that the animals moved?! fugetaboutit. Layna did not like the fake thunder storms that happened every half hour. Like she would cover her ears and sign “all done,” pause, then she would look at Daddy and sign it again. She yummed up her mac and cheese by the fist full because silverware just slows you down.
The waiter and staff sang to her and brought her a cupcake. I was expecting her to freak out a la thunder storm but she just stared at them and then clapped at the end. She opted for the direct route when eating her cupcake. The swirls of red stuff turned out to be more exciting than the cupcake, finger painting at it’s finest! I do have to say my favorite moment of the evening, was when all the Japanese business execs filling the long table behind us started clapping and waving at her when the staff finished singing…it made me smile.
So here is my top ten awesome Layna stuff list: (in the order that I think of them)
1) Singing to herself. She can’t talk but she sure knows the signs to Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, and Popcorn Popping. Doesn’t matter if no one else is “singing” along.
2) reverting back to pacifiers and bottles. But she just chews the daylights out of them and, really, I think she just likes the thrill of stealing them from Corra.
3) Favorite books! and not just one or two but she is really starting to like books! She has always “read” them to herself but more and more she is demanding that I read to her (top of the list are a Minnie Mouse book called “Hot Dog Day” and “Pinkalicious”)
4) Epic pout faces. When she gets hurt or sad she tries to be stoic and not cry. She just covers her mouth and pouts and holds back the tears. Unless it’s really bad, which is helpful for me. I always know when I need to run.
5) Lack of interest in the TV. Not going to lie…sometimes I wish I could put her in front of a movie for some mommy sanity time, but I kind of love that she isn’t interested.
6) She is a fish. “Bath time” is the second thing she signs after “all done” when we finish dinner.
7) Garyn giving her piggy back rides. Cracks everyone up.
8) Won’t wear shoes unless she is walking on sharp rocks…definitely my daughter.
9) Always wants to sing songs, but is very adamant that I help Corra do the hand actions if she is in the room. Layna will tell me to stop if I’m not doing it right or if I’m not singing the right song. She can actually say that word and does. Frequently.
10) Cuddles and dance parties are the order of the day with this one, and she is in the right family for both of those.