Timothy did some cooking last week, making both pizza and chocolate chip cookies. He had fun and at times was a little bossy pants — he may look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but he directs the troops like General Mills (read later in the blog about the general’s pointer finger).
When Timothy had his ear tube and adenoids surgery last month, they also did one other little procedure (I think they had a ‘buy two, get one free’ deal at Children’s Hospital), which was to clip the frenulum (the piece of skin which anchors the tongue to the bottom of the mouth). Timothy has never had full range with his tongue and the tongue is an important part of being able to pronounce certain sounds. We knew that it was unlikely to have a big impact, but it might help and after talking with doctors, we saw no downside to doing it. A month later, the liberated tongue is enabling him to make some more sounds, but that same tongue is also having a coming of age party.
He’s suddenly licking a lot of things (chairs, toys, his cousin, etc), and while Timothy’s kisses have always been a little on the wet side, the tongue is now a full partner in his smooches. We’ll need to curb that new instinct, especially when we get a dog.
I was down in Houston, Texas this week and got a chance to visit with people from two great organizations. Christina Yaya and some folks are working hard to raise $100,000 to start a GiGi’s Playhouse down in Houston (www.gigisplayhouse.org/houston) to support families with kids with Down syndrome. I can tell you that as much love and humor and joy as you read about in these blog posts about Timothy, having a child with Down syndrome is a challenge and most families need help. GiGi’s provides needed services and support for these families. Timothy goes to a local chapter here for Special Olympics. It’d be a great help for the families in Houston to get a GiGi’s as well.
And Yes Prep schools in Houston (www.yesprep.org) are serving 10,000 students with a revolutionary model to get low income kids into college. I met with Lynda Daniel and some of her opportunity coordinators and they are doing great work and are so committed to these kids. Really impressive and important work.
These are much needed organizations, so please keep them in mind to support.
Timothy was doing some painting recently, and while he painted a colorful tableau, it wasn’t easy to tell when he was done with the picture. That is, until Timothy reared back and gave himself a big round of applause. That’s when I knew that Picasso was ready for his next canvas.
It has long been debated which finger on the human hand is the most important.
Don’t even ask me about the pinky, which, kinda like ‘Pluto’ is for the planets, is lucky to be counted as a finger. While the fourth finger showed early promise, it’s never moved beyond being a place to put a ring on. Angry people would tell you that the middle finger is the best for communicating a clear message, while optimistic people would say that nothing beats a thumbs up for a show of support.
But every day Timothy shows us that the second finger is the MVP of the hand. And not even because of that foam finger ‘we’re number one’ stuff.
TRBL extends his pointer finger to let us know that he needs ‘one more’ cracker or sausage (though truth be told, more often it’s two or three more that he’s looking for). He also uses the pointer to direct me to leave the room or to tell me where to have a seat until he’s ready to see me.
But more than anything else, the second finger enables Timothy to regularly ‘shush’ people. At school, in music class, at home, at bedtime (‘shhhh dada shhhh’), T knows that no words can better capture people’s attention and shut them up like a well placed ‘shhhhh’.
I know, I know, we should get him to stop shushing people, but we’ve first got to get the tongue thing under control so that Picasso isn’t licking the dog.
Never more Grateful,