Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter Friday

A perfect handprint!
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I'm a sucker for occasions. I love Easter, Christmas, Halloween, St Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving etc. Any excuse to decorate the house, bake some themed cookies or do craft things with the kids and I'm in my element!!

Before Felix came along, the older kids (aged 10 and up at that stage), were starting to wane in their excitement to make things. I could convince them to stick lollies on a gingerbread house (once I'd done all the boring bits), or dress up for Halloween (after I'd decorated the house) but, I knew my days were numbered before they would lose interest and prefer to spend the time on the Playstation instead (speaking about the 5 older boys, of course).

That tickles Mum!
Along came Felix!

Within weeks of his birth, he had his hands and feet painted, several times, to send to friends and family. As he grew, we regularly ended up covered in paint and glitter. We made things out of pipe cleaners and cotton balls and squished playdough between our fingers. There were many times I looked down at my shirt, while out in public, to see a splash of paint, or had to pick a bit of dried glue out of my hair. Making things with Felix has always been very messy, very enthusiastic and filled with lots of giggles.

At Christmas time, my little Picasso makes wrapping paper with potato stamps and paint, until such a time as he gets too enthusiastic and it ends up being a finger painting with a few footprints (which family members usually prefer anyway!) We always make a new decoration for our tree, and he proudly hangs his finished creation....then takes it off....then puts it back on....then takes it off. You get the picture ;)
Felix's rAB..BiT

People often comment on how clever I am for the ideas I come up with to make with him. The truth is, there is no cleverness involved. Thanks to the power of the internet, I'm able to find ideas that "actual" clever people have come up with, and steal them and use them with Felix. Genius! A big shout out to all of those people who lay awake at night, working out how to design a tractor made of egg cartons, a kitchen made from cardboard boxes and foil,or a puppy made out of cotton reels! What would we, mere mortals, do without you?

Today, Felix and I made a chicken using his hand and toe prints (thank you Pinterest). There is nothing Felix loves more than having his hands and feet painted. He thinks it's hilarious so, he was very excited when he saw that I had pulled the paints out of the cupboard. He sat as still as a statue while I painted his hands and then very carefully pushed his hand down on the paper. He's quite professional at it these days! He did the same with his feet, giggling as I wiped the paint off before he was able to run off and stain the carpet. After the paint was dry, I finished off the chicken by gluing all the pieces on. He took one look at it, threw his hands in the air and said, "Oh wow! That's good!" At which point, I got a bit teary because he spoke, yet another, very expressive sentence!

A really beautiful thing, about people with Down syndrome, is that even as they get older, they still love celebrating occasions. They often have an innocence and wonder that stays with them throughout their life. They love giving gifts. They get excited the night before Christmas, and will know where all the coolest fairy lights are. They will countdown the days until their birthday and remind everyone they see, that it's only so many more sleeps away. I often think it would be beautiful if the rest of us were more like that. We get caught up in the stress and worry of life and forget to enjoy the simple things. Felix has reminded me that it's OK to take a step away from the craziness of life sometimes, and to do things that are spontaneous and fun. I love creating memories with him and seeing the pure joy on his face when he does something he enjoys. I'm looking forward to many, many years of listening to his laughter as I share new experiences with him.

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