A Day In the Life of "Rosie's Mom"
Caleb and I have had several awkward conversations in the last few weeks. Sometimes people suggest that we have it a lot harder than parents of typically developing children. They talk to us like we are doing something noble in raising Rosalie, just because she has Down syndrome. They act as though we are faced with some monumental task. A burden. "It must be so hard," people often say. When we try to reassure them that we actually have it quite easy, they still persist. This makes us wonder what impression they must have about our daily lives? These conversations leave us feeling frustrated and misunderstood. Luckily, these conversations are few and far between.
Our main goal is for people to see that Rosie is much more alike than she is different from her peers. In an attempt to drill the point home, we thought it would be fun to give you a sample of what a day in the life of Rosie's mom looks like. I think that we lead a delightfully ordinary life. You be the judge.
6:30 AM: Rosie's awake. I can hear her having a conversation with herself in her bedroom. I'm not ready to get out of bed yet so I wait to see if she falls back asleep even though I know better.
6:45 AM: I muster up the energy to go get my girl. I walk into her bedroom to find her "reading" her Goodnight Moon book. She greets me with a smile and outstretched arms. I change her diaper and bring her back into my bedroom to snuggle for a little bit. After less than a minute of being in bed together, she starts frantically signing, "milk". I try to pretend that I don't see her but she waves her hand in my face to get my attention and signs it again. Yes, ma'am! No cuddling for me this morning.
7:00 AM: Rosie drinks a bottle of milk while I drink my coffee and watch the morning news. Afterwards, we have breakfast and talk about current events. Just kidding, we talk about whether or not she just tooted.
7:30 AM: We get dressed and brush our teeth. Rosalie is pretty good at brushing her own teeth, but I follow-up after her to get any spots she may have missed.
8:00 AM: We're back downstairs and Rosalie points at my phone then signs "music". Yes, ma'am. We listen to some mixes from Pandora. Rosie empties all the diapers from her diaper bin, the books from her bookshelf, the toy instruments from her basket, the DVDs from the TV stand, the balls from her ball pit, crayons from her easel, etc. You get the picture. She is a master mess maker. I spend this time playing with her but also trying to clean up behind her as she moves from one activity to the next at a breakneck pace. I'm trying to teach her to clean up after she's done with an activity, but let's be real, she's a soon-to-be-2 year old and has zero interest in being neat.
9:45 AM: We leave for Music Class. When we arrive, Rosie crawls to the center of the circle and dances her little heart out. She plays with the maracas and taps the floor with her hands. She has formed a sweet bond with a couple of the other girls her age. They are always hugging and kissing each other. THE CUTENESS IS TOO MUCH TO HANDLE!
11:15 AM: I try to keep Rosie awake on the drive home from Music Class. I know that if she naps now, even if it's only for 10 minutes, it will be hard to get her to nap after lunch. I turn up the air conditioner and try to have a conversation with her to stop her from falling asleep.
11:30 AM: Success! We got home and she is awake. We head inside and make ourselves lunch.
12:00 PM: I try to have some quiet play time with Rosalie so that she can wind down before her nap. We read books and I try to get her to cuddle. She gets some milk and drinks until she signs and says "all done". Soon enough, she starts signing "sleep".
12:30 PM: Rosie's nap time. We read a book and then I put her in her crib. She looks up at me and starts signing "milk" again and with great urgency. She just drank a bunch of milk right before this so I know that she is using this as a stalling tactic. Typical toddler. *Sigh.* I kiss her and go downstairs to do some dishes and pick up after Hurricane Rosalie. She fusses for 5 minutes or so, but ultimately gives in and falls asleep.
3:00 PM: Rosie's awake. I go get her from her crib and watch as she rubs the sleep from her eyes. She has a serious case of bed head and I hug her to myself while inhaling the smell of her sweaty baby hair. We go downstairs and she has some milk and a snack of Goldfish crackers.
3:30 PM: I put Rosie in the stroller and take her to the park. On the way, she waves to the passing cars and blows kisses to everyone we meet. Once we get to the park, it's straight to the swings. After swinging a while, we head for the slides. She crawls up the stairs of the playground with no fear and enjoys going down the slide with and without me. When we are all played out, we head back home.
5:00 PM: We start getting dinner ready for Daddy. Rosalie entertains herself with her pink play kitchen and her plastic fruits and vegetables. She looks up at me and signs "music". Yes, ma'am. I put on "The Cars" Pandora station and we dance.
5:30 PM: Caleb gets home. He sits with Rosie at the piano and plays while I finish preparing dinner.
6:00 PM: We eat dinner at the table. Rosalie spits out ONLY the red peppers from my black bean and butternut squash burritos. My girl is not a fan of red peppers.
7:30 PM: We start winding down. We change Rosalie into her pajamas and give her some milk. She starts signing "sleep".
8:00 PM: Rosie's bedtime. We bring her to her bedroom, change her into her pajamas, and read Goodnight Moon together as a family. Caleb and I give her hugs and kisses and lay her down in her crib. Zero fussing at night. I think she is asleep before we shut the door.