"Dog, dog, dog, dog, dog" with an intense look on her face.
"No silly." I replied. "There's no dog here. What dog are you talking about?"
"NOooooo." She emphatically said, with the long, drawn out "o" sound that you might expect from a parent explaining something to a child who had a hard time learning new concepts. Her blue eyes bored into me, lecturing and teaching.
"doLL." She said emphasizing the "L" and staring at me with disdain for my poor hearing skills.
"Doll, doll, doll, doll, doll" She repeated.
The joy I felt in that moment almost made me cry. Why?
1. She now carries her doll all over the house- feeding the doll crackers, giving the doll a drink from the sippy cup, putting the doll in the high chair-rocker-stroller- on their fake grill station, rescuing the doll from little brother's "doll kidnap plans" that usually involve gnawing off a foot and pulling out hair.
She is such a little mother.
2. Speech is such a struggle for her, and I have NEVER heard her emphasize the end of a word so clearly before. Normally she says the beginning syllables of each word and leaves the rest to our interpretation. Since she says so few words, it's easy to understand what she's talking about (until now, obviously)
One of the common physical traits of Down syndrome is a small mouth with a shallow roof of the mouth. In relation, the tongue can then appear oversized and be much more difficult to maneuver. Not to mention that same tongue might have low muscle tone, making movements more difficult to begin with. I've heard it said that if you want to know how difficult it is to articulate clearly when you have such a physical set-up, you should place a full size marshmallow on your tongue and then talk "normally".
If you have the supreme privilege of conversing with an individual with Down syndrome (my humble opinion), keep in mind that there are no doubt a lot of intelligent, well-put together thoughts going on that just simply can't be communicated to you. I can already see this in Addison. It makes parenting her very challenging and yet very rewarding when she finally speaks her thoughts- surprising me with her deviously smart personality (don't be fooled by the label!)
At 2 1/2 she has a spoken vocabulary of about 20 words, and a signing vocabulary of around 40. Today just put the spoken count up to 21 with a clearly enunciated "doll". Those are the moments that we celebrate around here (even though it might be months again before we hear her say it again).
After hearing her proudly proclaim what she really wanted, I kept thinking- I wish I could freeze moments like this one to replay over and over again later. I take pictures, I record video, I soak it all in where I can, but somehow it never seems enough.
I think that maybe it's because I never print out pictures (seriously, I have thousands and thousands of pictures spread across three computers from the past three years, and I think I've printed off maybe a total of twenty?)
Lately I've been working to rectify that.canvas art, I had forgotten about yet another moment that I swore to remember forever. Both kids were laughing, playing, enjoying their new sandbox. I was making silly faces and ridiculous noises to get them to laugh harder. Carter blew a bubble out of his mouth he was laughing so hard, Addison experimented with running the sand through her fingers.
This sturdily structured, beautifully colored, brilliantly processed piece of art brought back all the memories from that stunning moment of motherhood, and immediately made me want to line my walls with frozen moments in time such as this one on beautiful canvas ready to shout the happiness of that split-second to the world. Remember that with little kids, the next minute could easily have been screaming, sand-in-the-eyes, fallen-and-bumped-head, sibling-eating-sand-competition. But it's OK. Because I'll only remember that moment of magic where they both smiled at the exact same time because it is documented on canvas on the wall in my Dining Room.
Lucky for you- the same company who so graciously restored the sandbox memory to me is willing to capture one of your memories on canvas art- totally free- to one random commenter. (side note, this would make a great Christmas gift)
Yes, you read that right. A personalized canvas print giveaway. Pick your favorite picture- any picture, and imagine it on a 30x40cm canvas art, hanging on a wall in your house.
Now enter this giveaway and maybe, just maybe you will be the randomly chosen winner that will get your frozen moment (on a regular canvas) shipped free-of-charge right to you (and no doubt you will get it as quickly after ordering as I got mine). And even if you aren't the lucky winner? You should definitely order one of these babies for yourself (not the actual babies in the sandbox...just to be clear...they are not for sale at this time)
Treat yourself to a frozen moment. It's like ice cream, but it's calorie free and lasts pretty much forever...
Ways to enter the giveaway:
1. "Like" Photo-canvas.com on Facebook
2. Follow Photo-canvas.com on Twitter
3. Follow EANFE in some way (check the sidebar for ways to subscribe)
4. Comment on which moment you would want "frozen" on canvas.
5. Share this giveaway (separate entry for each share)
You must do either #1 or #2 (follow photo-canvas on Facebook or twitter) in order to qualify, but you may then do all five (or any combination thereof) in order to get extra entries. Leave a separate comment for each way that you enter the giveaway and good luck!
Next Monday, October 8th at 12:00pm EST the giveaway will close, and Tuesday October 9th I will announce a winner.
Updated: This giveaway is now closed