…on our wee little Verity!
Less than two months until she’s two years old!
She’s wearing eighteen-month to 2T clothes now, but she seems so petite to us in contrast with Katie. She’s still wearing a size three shoe, while Katie’s feet have gone from a size two to a size five.
To think I worried that Verity was overweight when I got home with Katie! Back then, even weighing a pound and a half less than she does now, Verity looked so huge and chubby next to her frail sister.
Remember this video?
More than a month ago, Verity learned to put herself up to a standing position from the floor, balancing on those tiny feet. I hope to capture it on video some day soon.
Now she’s learning to shift her weight to one foot or the other, so that she can learn to walk.
“Dance, dance, Veri-ty, back and forth, side to side!”
We’re curious to see what comes first, her second birthday or her first independent steps.
For months now, she’s been able to put her glasses on quickly without help, and it is the cutest thing to watch her tiny little hands doing it! I’ll have to capture that on video also, one of these sunny days.
We can fold the glasses and put them into her lap, and she’ll open them up and turn them until they’re in the right position, then put them on. If they don’t go on perfectly the first time, she’ll try again as many times as she needs to. We are so proud of her perseverance.
She is so very far-sighted that the glasses enable her to see the world around her, and she likes that. Most of the time she ignores her glasses, but she whips them off and pitches them in a flash if they’re dirty…
…or if she’s irritated about something else, as if to say, “That’ll show you!” Uh, yes…we’re working on that one.
Hmmmm, let’s see…
She wakes up bright and cheerful in the morning, but refuses to open her eyes until she decides it’s time to stop sleeping. She will even lie there talking with her eyes still closed.
She knows what a potty is for and is exceedingly proud of herself when she uses it.
Speaking of which, her constipation issues caused by her low muscle tone were so persistent that in addition to probiotics and dietary measures which weren’t effective enough, we now give her fruit-flavored sodium docusate liquid. Commonly known as Colace, and also given to her sister Katie.
Both she and Katie have had constant upper respiratory congestion since I stopped giving them my own milk.
Verity does like her almond milk smoothies. (We’re still not giving her dairy products.) We’ve discovered that almond milk is very simple to make with the proper tools. I add a pinch of salt, dates, and a little vanilla.
We also give Verity vitamin D, fish oils, ginkgo, and grapefruit seed extract.
She’s increasing her sign language repertoire, and it’s not stopping her from progressing with verbal speech. She is willing to attempt to mimic many words, but doesn’t usually use them without encouragement. It gives me great joy every time she imitates a sound or word.
Her little body is meltingly soft and there are no better hugs than Verity-hugs.
When she needed help refining her pincer-grasp, at the suggestion of her occupational therapist we began putting her puffs or raisins into a mini muffin tin. Ideas that work are the best!
She can accurately stack the rings on her ring-stacker, and carefully build block towers.
She’ll pick up her socks and try to put them on her feet, and loves to help put her shoes on. She puts her feet into her pant legs and helps to pull them up. She knows that barrettes and hats are to put onto heads.
She can put a hat properly on her own head, and says “hat” if she notices someone else wearing one.
She defies the persistent stereotype that people with Down syndrome are always happy and love everybody. She can be grumpy with the best of them, and gives the evil eye to strangers that get too close to her personal space. She shows no propensity for habits of indiscriminatory affection. Far from it.
A specialist who works with children with disabilities recently spent some time observing her, and then asked me, “Does she have any delays?”
Yes, we definitely see her delays and difficulties in learning.
I picture her brain as if it’s surrounded by two hollow balls, one inside the other, both with holes that have to be lined up correctly in order for something to get from the outside in. We can easily tell when the holes are misaligned, and she’s just not receiving the information.
It’s just as easy to tell when everything’s lined up so she can take it all in. When that’s the case, her response time is quick as lightning.
We have to work to get her attention, and then give her input, input, input, in the way she can best understand it. We also make sure she and Katie get their ginkgo every morning, as this makes a noticeable difference in their ability to focus.
But in so many ways, Verity is just like the nine other toddlers we’ve had.
She is playful, inquisitive and on the move, gets into things and makes messes, is determined to let her voice be heard, puts all kinds of things into her mouth, throws all her stuffed toys out of her crib, loves being read to, has to be watched so she doesn’t crawl up the stairs, doesn’t like to hear the word “no” unless she’s saying it herself, and makes us laugh every day.
I was face to face with her, demonstrating the hard “G” sound. She had recently said it for the first time, in the word, “Go!”
I exaggerated the sound, showing her what my tongue was doing back there, repeating it again and again. I told her, “Verity do it! Verity say, ‘G, G, G!'”
She watched my antics solemnly, giving no other response.
After a good five minutes of trying to no avail, I went on good-humoredly to brush her teeth and wash her hands and face. Then thought I’d try again…
Verity: G, G, G!
You are such a little doodle-bug, Verity. And I love you so much I can hardly stand it.
As I handed you to Daniel this morning, he said, “It’s hard to believe some people wouldn’t want her!”