Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Siblings and Down Syndrome

One of the questions we are most frequently asked is, "how do you balance life with your other children when you have so much going on with Claire?" or something like that.  Simple, honest answer, we do the best we can that day.  Each day is different.  There are times with both Makenna and Alice where I put them to bed at night and think, I'm sorry, I didn't do anything really special with you today; you just sat, strapped into your car seats all day while we took Claire to her stuff.  Other, less frequent times when Claire had been in the hospital I didn't even see them for a few days.  

Nate and I both try very hard to make special time for all our girls.  For a few years Makenna's thing has been Kindermusik.  We go while Claire is in school, then we get a treat at the coffee shop next door = toddles love.  Nate's thing is "Daddy dates" which are, weather permitting, bike rides to the park or trips to "The Shop," our neighborhood coffee joint. All three girls prance around like happy little ponies when they get home from a ride or coffee date with Dad.

There are so many things that are just for Claire so it is wonderful when the other girls can join in on the fun.  We think of it as therapy for their relationship.  It is heart worming watching Makenna and Claire riding horses together.  The youth Special Olympics program we attend, Young Athletes, is a family event also.  I am so grateful!  Makenna doesn't even realize it's a "Claire thing" because all her friends (kids who have disabilities and their siblings) join in together.  It's some seriously crazy, and I mean crazy, fun. 

Even with all this stuff Claire has going on we really feel that she needs the extra attention as well.  It can get exhausting for her having to be "on" for school and therapies all the time.  We want to make time for her to take a brake; just be a little girl in a family having fun for no therapeutic goal. 

Claire has gone to school and the other children are home with Mom sense Claire turned three, total life saver.  They all get a little brake and it makes such a difference.  Makenna, Claire and Alice play so much more peaceably when they have had some time away from each other.  When Claire gets off the bus at lunch time they are all happy to see each other and ready to play. 

Now that Claire is a little older she really doesn't demand any more time and attention from us then her little sisters... most days.  Sure, she has extra appointments and some unpredictable off days but, in general, our days go pretty smoothly.   Most of the time our three year old is hands down the most demanding but that just might be the nature of being three and pretty strong willed.  Alice is the baby, entitling her to a few extra cuddles plus she is  just soooooo kissable with those cheeks! Time sharing really hasn't become an issue in our family but it is something we are always taking about to avoid one. 



 "Air Plane" 

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the topics I want to talk about soon! I think balancing between kids is hard even if they don't have Ds! You guys do a fabulous job!!!!