Thursday, 14 April 2016


Monday night was a "Come and Try" gymnastics session for little ones at the local gym. I took Felix, knowing that he loves to be active and enjoys being with his friends. I've been looking at getting him into some kind of sport but, because he's so tiny, I haven't been too keen on sending him out to play soccer or football because he'd probably get knocked over and I really don't want to see him get hurt. When I heard about gymnastics, I thought that would be perfect for him; something he could do at his own pace, and use his bendy, hypotonic little body. I think he has natural ability with balance and flexibility. I was pretty excited!

Felix had a great time. He loved the beam, and the coach commented on how well he could balance. He "jumped" on the trampoline. Felix's jumping looks a bit like Igglepiggle from In the Night Garden. He lifts one foot off the ground as he enthusiastically throws his arms into the air. We've got a bit of a way to go before he gets both feet off the ground, but it's pretty adorable to watch him try. He enjoyed the warm up session of running races and stretches and even shocked me with how far he could stretch out his legs; almost the full splits. Pretty impressive.

For me, it was really hard work. Felix is still working on concentrating for a full day at school so, to have to concentrate for an extra two hours after school, was a bit much for him. There were a lot of kids who came out to try the gymnastics, so they had to line up for quite a while and wait their turn. Felix did his best to try and jump the queue, and I did my best chasing him and bringing him back to stand in the line. It's times like these that I realise how much younger Felix is, in development, compared to other kids his age. I'm totally OK with that, but it made me realise that he's not quite ready to join gymnastics on a regular basis yet. I think we'll give it another try next year. Hopefully I can find something a bit less structured for him to do in the meantime.

Some extra musings for today....
My Superman

One thing I wanted to mention about Felix, is his intuition. Felix has this amazing way of knowing how people are feeling. I have heard many other parents, of kids with Down syndrome, say the same thing.  He exudes happiness and revels in the joy other people are feeling but, when people are down, he knows exactly what to do to bring them comfort. I've been a bit flat and unwell this week and Felix has been my little rock. He has known when to come and snuggle up to me, or ask me for a kiss. He has hugged me tighter, and spent longer sitting next to me, cuddling up against me (which is no mean feat for someone who is usually a complete wriggle bum!)  I've heard some people say it's an almost supernatural awareness. I wouldn't go that far, but I do credit that extra chromosome for some extra insightfulness that a lot of us "typical" people don't have. I'm thankful for his sensitivity and, when all else fails, he's sure to bring a smile to my face.

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