Timothy really enjoys playing ‘ball’. He shows his excitement by squealing, opening his mouth and eyes big and by moving his outstretched arms up and down really fast (which is funny, since I react the exact same way when I’m happy about something, but it doesn’t look quite as cute when I do it).
Playing this game, you sit on the floor across from him, make the sign for ‘ball’ (put your fingertips together so it looks like you’re cupping a ball). You roll the ball to him and he collapses over it as if he’s just recovered a fumble. And that’s when the fun begins. If you’re lucky, you get that ball rolled back to you. More often, he throws it over his shoulder in the other direction. And then you’re faced with a choice – get it or encourage him to go get it.
But it is in this department that Timothy resembles our last dog, Thibault. That tan colored doggy had a French name, and in France, when they talk about a round trip plane flight, they call it an ‘Aller-Retour’ (ie, go and return). The problem is that both Timothy and Thibault are rock stars at the ‘Aller’ (go) part, but neither of them are so fond of the ‘Retour’ (return) part. And this is too bad, because a ball game is tough without a ball, and it’s even harder without a partner.
Jan says that this is a good game for him, since it requires him to communicate, like when he responds enthusiastically to your offer (‘do you want to play ball?’) and requires some physical coordination in playing with the ball, even if it never makes it back to you.
Another of Timothy’s favorite things is to be held up in front of a mirror. He lights up and spies the good looking infant across from him, and starts to talk with him. It’s a good opportunity to get him to make sounds, though often when I try to engage him he’ll just look over at me, as if to say ‘ummm, can you see I’m having a conversation?’. You can see him looking oddly at me being both in the mirror and in front of him, but he doesn’t seem overly concerned. He’s too busy swapping stories with the little chatterbox in the mirror.
Timothy is already a bit of a foodie. He’ll have nothing to do with a bib anymore. Put a bib on him and he’ll rip it off faster than you can say ‘velcro’. His new philosophy seems to be ‘let me put a bib on you and then I’ll put one on myself… maybe.’
And he’s had enough baby food. Just because he’s suspended in a high chair and tray doesn’t mean he’ll compromise his culinary standards. Fortunately for him, he selected the right mother, as Laura’s an incredible cook, and will let him try everything we eat. Unfortunately for him, he’s nesting with a big eating crew and he’ll need to be quick to get fed. But I bet this little redhead will hold his own once he gets his hands on a knife and fork.
Timothy had a good appointment with his pediatrician this week. He was very active and crawling around. One question Laura asked her was why Timothy might still be spitting up sometimes after meals. After he eats, we try to hold him to let everything make their way down to the green room, but even still, he often spits up after meal. Again, this is no longer that adorable milk spit up. This is the stuff that rhymes with words like ‘comet’ or ‘scarf’. He is fairly skilled at hitting one of us with it and often missing himself, though it’s not uncommon that he needs a costume change after such an event. It’s not fun to clean up, and can’t be great for him, though come to think of it, Timothy has realized that he can smear it on the floor and make it into an art project (thanks, T!).
His doctor said that it is likely that the sphincter muscle at the top of his stomach is still immature and weak, and so is letting things back up the chimney. She said that this can be common for kids with Down syndrome, since they tend to have muscles that are not as well toned as typical kids, and that it should improve over time. We hope to use the Holidays as an excuse mask these currently colorful smells with a more festive scent.
Speaking of exotic scents, our oldest daughter, Elisabeth, is planning to go overseas for her senior year in high school on a Rotary scholarship. She finds out next week where she’s assigned, but she’ll probably be trading in the fragrances of our home for those of India, Thailand or Turkey.
We know that she’s excited for the ‘Aller’ (go) part but we can’t wait for her Retour.