Thursday, June 13, 2013

15 Month Update

She's a busy bee! We had the old 15 month check up that confirmed that she's still developing "typically", which is useless, because, not really. On a check list, yes, she's typical. In real life it takes a lot to get her to hit those milestones. Though the imitation and the attempting to care for us by sharing her things is not something we've really worked on. That is coming naturally. I think Mariana is just a social child. Where as before she would resist making changes to how things are done, we are watching an emerging need to imitate us. She really wants to walk, she really wants to eat like us, she is repeating in babble the sentences we say. I say, "You do it." in a sing-song and she says, "Do doo do." in the same tone. We are seeing some pointing, a love of books and enjoyment of some of the therapy play that she used to resist.

We have three teeth, one is the two year molar. I know, she's weird and she seems to be getting the matching molar on the other side. I'm very anti-medicating life situations, but ibuprofen is the only way she's able to sleep. She'll take 10-15 minute naps all day and then wake every hour at night. I'm totally losing some of my hippy cred, what with needing to stop cloth diapering for muscle tone reasons and all.

They asked me if she's scribbling yet, which made me laugh. Who gives a teething baby a crayon? Not this girl. But I have painted our awful stainless-finish fridge (the nasty, smudgy kind, not the good kind). I painted it with chalkboard paint, which, the dust is reminiscent of Amelia Bedelia. However she's able to scribble with me right there, and it's not a big deal if she eats the chalk. (Hippy street cred not too far gone...) It's funny to watch her siblings dance behind her containing their inclination to "show" her how to do it correctly. "Draw a kitty Mariana! Draw a circle!" When they get too overzealous she throws the chalk and kicks her legs in protest.

Protest is becoming a common theme with Mae. If she's not into something, therapy, the food you are offering, drinking from the straw; she'll kick her legs and arch her back. She has quite the persnickety temper, but I do see some emergence of an attempt to communicate before she loses her mind. (Yelling, "Nah! Nah!" is usually that attempt.) Watching her develop in this way I can see the desire to be like us in ability. She wants to eat with us at the table even though we eat dinner later than she does. She wants to be out in the yard with the kids, and she tries to get down during walks. The wagon has been an excellent solution to this particular problem since one of the other kids will ride with her. It's also going to be useful to have her push the wagon in the grass to practice walking forward. Currently, because she cruises the furniture from side to side, she tries to walk sideways.

Recently I was asked what I would tell someone with an adverse prenatal diagnosis. The truth is, I don't know. Mariana is my daughter, plain and simple. There's no grand dissertation I could write, no eloquent sentiment I could express that would convey the joy and love and commitment I have to this person. I'm glad she's here. I would miss her if she weren't. I did miss her, which is why when she was born life made more sense.

I'm not well equipped to help anyone in crisis over a Down syndrome diagnosis. Her diagnosis wasn't a crisis for me. This was my baby, the baby I needed and the family needed and our marriage needed and our community needed. The only thing I could ever say is that life without Mariana, through tears, frustrations, fear and exhaustion, would be less. I would be less. Everyone who cares for her would be less. We all know it, and I hope that one day she does too.


  1. So awesome. What a gal your youngest is!

  2. She is Mariana who happens to have Down Syndrome!!!
    She is Mariana who happens to have an extra chromosome!!!
    She is Mariana who happens to be changing lives, every single day!!!
    She is Mariana....a true miracle and gift from God!!!!