I am S is for Special – Happy World Down’s Syndrome Day

It’s World Downs Syndrome Day. ❤❤

It’s a day to celebrate the extra chromosome that makes some people just a little bit more special.
One of the first images I saw on Facebook today was of my good friend Lee Gooch’s handsome little man Noah.

And oh! How it melted my heart.

What an angelic, gorgeous and perfect little face.  There is mischief in those eyes.

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Photo with permission from Lee Gooch

This image, like all of the beautiful images on my Timelines today, melts my heart, not only because of the joy it shows, but also because of the memories it provokes in me.
Lee and his family are blessed.

I know this, because my family too were blessed. Actually, we still are.

A child with Downs Syndrome isn’t just their extra chromosome.

A child with Downs, is special.
Special in every sense of the word.
My own Aunty Carmel was special.
She was beautiful, mischievous and intelligent. She held more love in the tip of her finger than ANYONE I have ever known. She was witty, bold and an absolute rascal, loving nothing more than to get the craic going with whoever was visiting.

She loved to dress up, adored The Rose of Tralee and loved to dance.  Every single person who walked through the door of my Grandparents’ home, fell head over heels in love with her. She was the most head-strong, determined and fearless Ladybelle I’ve ever met.  She kept our family on our toes.


And she taught me many lessons.

The main one being that we are all different and that different is good.
I remember being in the Shopping Centre with her and my other Aunty when I was about 5.

Other kids were staring at Carmel. It was the first time I realised that she was different because I suddenly became aware of other people’s reactions to her.

Her reaction to one teenage boy who stopped to look at her? She stuck out her tongue at him, laughed her hearty laugh and waved at him mischievously as we pushed her past.😂😂
There and then, I was proud of her. Even at that young age, she taught me that you must NEVER let anyone bring you down, that you must be YOU, and that there IS no other You to be.
She was perfect.

She was the strongest woman I ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Carmel had no tolerance for nonsense, seeing the world without political correctness or prejudice. She also had no filter! (I take after her like that!)  She simply saw people.  She recognized and delighted in kindness. She had no time for people who were not kind.

She was more brave and more caring and more wonderful than I could ever put into words and I miss her every day.

She was indeed my Special Aunty, but for so many more reasons than her Downs Syndrome.

Special doesn’t even start to describe her or the love that she gave or more importantly, the love that she demanded.

Love.

Pure and true…

Like the love on wee Noah’s face in that photograph and every day.
A family who have been blessed with an extra chromosome, know a love that is beyond words.
So there.

We miss Carmel every day and she lives on in our hearts and in our memories. Knowing and loving her is responsible for so much of who I am today.
And I send my love and respect to every single family who are fighting every day for the rights of Downs Syndrome children, and who are helping to make people realise that the “S” in DS should not stand for “Syndrome”…

It stands for “Strong”.

It stands for “Smile”

…and it stands for Special.
#worlddownsyndromeday #smile #love #special

(Lee has given me permission to post this pic. Thanks Lovely. And kisses to Noah.)
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Happy Blog-Birthday to Mammy!

Today is The S-Mum Blog’s birthday!  It is four years since I began my Blogging journey.

I really can’t get over that.  Four Years?  It seems as if I only started yesterday, and yet so much has happened…

I began with one baby girl and a very careful voice…Four years later and I’m still thinking about Merlot, but I have TWO little ladies and a whole lot less shits to give!

I know my voice.  It is loud and proud.  I have the most incredible MamBam who follow and engage with me every day.  And, I got a national award along the way too. 🙂

So Happy Blogday to me.

I shall be sipping bubbles this weekend to celebrate.  Today, there might be cake.

Actually, there will definitely be cake.

Here’s the first post I ever wrote on the Blog.

Hope you enjoy!

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I am Supermum?

To be someone’s Mum is a gift.  From early childhood, little girls happily play at being mum to younger siblings, or indeed to dolls, or pets.

Me, I’m the proud and doting mum of a 3 year old Drama Queen, and I am happy to admit, that I am STILL playing!  No handbook arrived with the little sweetheart.  I don’t have a degree in parenting.  I don’t have a bloody clue really!

I make it up every day.  I make decisions that I know make my own Mum cringe.  I’m sure that at times, my dear Granny shakes her perfectly blow-dried head in horror at my parenting techniques.

In fact, sometimes, I swear that I’m having an outer body experience when I deal with the child.

The Boss, as she has taken to calling her pretty self, stands in front of me; arms crossed, pout perfected, audience’s attention caught and voice ready and poised to hit those terrifying high notes…while I chuckle like a crazy lady as I watch myself try to remain in control;  Deep breaths, calm expression, remind myself that I am the adult here.

“Listen Darling.  We need to leave the toy back on the shelf for another wee child. “

I’m winning.

“Good girl.  Now, come on and we’ll go get a Babychino and then we’ll go home and watch Minions…”  (Yes, blackmail.  Get over it.  It works…sometimes.)

I have her… I just need to get her to take my hand and then we’ll skip happily out of the shop, leaving behind the assembled audience in a cloud of applause, appreciation and awe at how well that mammy handled that…

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  I NEEEEEEEEEEEED TEDDY!!!!” Cue autotap tears and stratospheric screaming… Oh! and don’t forget the kicks and snake-like movements as I try to lift her gracefully into my arms.

I manage to wrench her under one arm, pick up the bags and move out of the shop.  The audience shake heads and probably judge.  At this moment in time, I want my Mammy!

We reach the bench outside.  I put screaming child down and hunker down to have a positive parenting style talk with her. Her beautiful blue eyes are glistening with tears and her cheeks give the word “Rosy” a new level of meaning.

“Now Madam, listen to me.  Don’t EVER…”

Her attention has been distracted by the huge cluster of helium balloons behind me.

“PEPPAAAAAAA PIG!!!  Mammy wuk!  It’s Peppa Pig bawoooooon!  I NEEEEEEEEED IT”

Tears gone.  Smile on. Adorable wee face up close into mine.  “Pweeeeease Mammy. I wub it!”

“Next day we’re out, I’ll buy you a balloon okay?”

“Okay Mammy!”

And as we skip off towards the car, I look at the messy little head on her, and I know that for all my “playing”, I’m not doing a bad job really.

I am blessed.  I am exhausted.  I am happy.  I would kill for a glass of Merlot.  I am 100% in love with Mini-me. I’m trying my best.

I am Super Mum. 🙂

 

 

I am Such a GENIUS Mum 😘

Mammy is a genius.

A feckin genius I tell you.

As Mini-Me’s ability to COMPLETELY ignore me becomes increasingly professional, I find myself sometimes wondering HOW the FECK to get her to do even the most simple daily tasks?

My orders, my requests and any other hint of a suggestion of her doing something that might please me, seem to float around her head, never quite making contact with her ears. Usually, it’s only when I SHOUT or SCREAM that she eventually acknowledges that my voice HAS in fact been sending massive soundwaves in her direction.

She’s just chosen NOT to surf them. 😂

And even when she finally acknowledges that I’ve asked her to do something, she still finds 162 ways to procrastinate or forget or simply not be able to do it.

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Put on your Pjs please Darling.”

“Mini-Me I am not going to ask you again…”

“Whaaaaaaaaat?!” (Add eye roll or exasperated sigh for effect.)

“I’ve asked you to Put on your Pjs. Get them on right now.”

“But where ARE they?” (Still watching Tellybox/making jigsaw/rolling on the floor etc…)

“Wherever you left them. Now go put them on!”😡

“But…” insert random WTF-inducing excuse/problem/comment here.

“PUT ON YOUR PJS NOOOOOOOOOOW!” Screaming BansheeMammy appears.

“Okay! Okay!” Stomps down hall, muttering something about “no need to shout”. (Little twatsickle.)

Mammy sighs in deluded, false victory, before being interrupted by “MAMMEEEEEEE. I can’t FIND them!” or some other shite like that, then stomps down hall, muttering and swearing to find her standing right in FRONT of the fucking Pajamas, which are the ONLY thing lying on the floor, but which are seemingly fucking INVISIBLE to my daughter.

Cue scolding, fighting, retaliation, defiance, huffing, puffing, threatening, snarling, crying and Mammy eventually putting the fecking things ON HER. (It’s that or throw them AT HER. Bad Mammy. No! Terrible thoughts Mammy.)

Different night, same old shite. Until tonight. Tonight, Mammy is a genius. The requesting, finding and putting ON of the fecking PJs took a whole 1 MINUTE AND 37 SECONDS.

I SHIT YOU NOT.

Why?

Because as I was about to ask her for the first time to “Put on your Pjs please Darling”, I opened the cupboard and spotted this👇👇👇 and I had a brainwave.

“Oooooh look what Mammy found! I know, let’s have a race!” (Singsongy voice, think Mary-of-the-poppins.) “I’m going to time you to see how quickly you can put on ypu Pjs. Will we see what number we can get?”

“Yay! I LOVE races!”

“On your marks, get set…GO!” And I swear to God, she slid sideways back into the kitchen, fully dressed in her fricken PJs, a whole minute and a half later…

“Did I beat it?” (Not sure what she’s beating, but when it stops me wanting to beat my head off a brick wall, I’ll roll with it! 😂😂)

“Of course you did, you are AMAZING!” And it was.

Amazing.

And I am a genius.

And I will try it again tomorrow night, but she’ll probably have copped on to me by then.

Ah well, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. 😂😂😂 How was your day? 😘😘😘

I am Some Perspective on Father’s Day Mum

This column was harder to write than I had anticipated.
Why?
Because no matter what angle I approached it from, I found myself anticipating the negative comments from other people.
I am blessed to have only wonderful father figures in my life.  My own Daddy is the actual, official “King of all the Daddies in the world”.  (That is an indisputable fact and anyone who declares their Dad to be better, is wrong. Don’t even try to argue.)

But even though Daddy G is indeed The  King of all the Daddies in the world, to me, I would also argue that My Him is the King of all the Daddies in the world too.

And therein lies my problem, see?
Perspective.
If you are reading this thinking, “Well actually love, MY Dad is The King of all the Daddies in the world“, then YOU are right too.  But he is only the King of all the Daddies in the world TO YOU.(and your siblings!)
And if you are thinking “Hold up there S-Mum, my partner is actually The King of all the Daddies in the World, you silly mare!”, you are right too.
Because, we only see things from our own perspective, don’t we?
Today, those of us who can visit or call our Dads are blessed.  There are so many who wish they could,  Today, like Mother’s Day and Christmas and every other day of the year, is difficult for so many people.  There are empty chairs at so many tables, and they seem even more empty of days like today.  To my Lovelies with this perspective, I send my love today.

Others will read this and roll their eyes, because Father’s Day means little to them for one reason or another. That’s OK too.

Many Fathers will spend today surrounded by their family, opening endless bags of socks and Toblerone.  There will be packed carveries and Mr Hall-of-the-Mark shall be rolling in his money from all the cards and utter crap that we have binge bought over the past few days.  There will be lunches, and dinners and grandchildren playing and hugs and general appreciation for what we appreciate every day, but don’t always say.

But so many Fathers will spend today missing their children.  Perhaps because of distance.  Perhaps because of circumstance.  Perhaps through choice.  Perhaps because of someone else deciding they can’t see their child.  And while there are of course, so many who spend today alone for so many reasons, it is important to remember that those who are broken-hearted today, are still Fathers.

Again Perspective.

Like Mother’s Day, Like Christmas, everyone’s perspective of Father’s Day is tinted by their own experience and their own story.  While one person curses the day for the memories it stirs, another celebrates the day because of the year they’ve had.  One person hates the day because it makes them angry, another celebrates it because it makes them happy.  One person breaks their heart the whole day, another doesn’t give it a second thought.
What is it anyway?  It’s just a day.  It’s only a day.  But if you are in a position where you are blessed enough to have a Daddy or a Grandad or Stepfather or any Father-figure in your life, enjoy it.

Enjoy celebrating them and all they do for you. Call them.  Visit them.  Enjoy every second of today.
Because like every other day, we never know what is around the next corner.  We never know when our worlds will change.  And we never know how important seemingly unimportant days like today are, until we are forced to change our perspective.

And so you see why I found this difficult. Because my perspective will not always be the same as that of my reader, but that does not mean that one of us is wrong.
Whether you are celebrating today, or not, have a wonderful Father’s Day.   xx
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