In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I've been sharing some things on my Mommy's Facebook page, and now, I will share some things with you. Just so you know, being aware of
1. I am now 19 months old, which is official toddlerhood.
2. I have Down syndrome.
Now that you are ready to listen to me, here are all the things I think you should know about toddlers with Down syndrome.
First of all, "uh oh" means "uh oh." Just because you hear us say "uh oh" before the bag of lettuce falls on that guy in the store does NOT make it premeditated. Maybe I have a feeling that the bag of lettuce is going to slip. Big people, "uh oh" means accident! That's why toddlers with Down syndrome say "uh oh," so we don't get in trouble. Remember that, okay?
Second, toddlers with Down syndrome need to explore. For example, some toddlers with Down syndrome (like me) don't want to walk yet, but we still need to check out our world. This means we have to climb up all the stairs when you fail to lock the gate. We need to see what happens when we spin the toilet paper roll. We need to see what is at the back of every cupboard. I'm trying to help my parents remember when they leave things out by announcing my intent. It makes my parents fast. Try this: Yell "UP," then sprint toward the stairs. Can't walk? That's okay, just crawl fast like me! You can watch Mommy and Daddy move at lightening speed!
Third, toddlers with Down syndrome have strong opinions. That's why I learned the word "no-no-no-no." Isn't that word fun? Just don't say it to a toddler with Down syndrome. Or a toddler without Down syndrome. Or any toddler at all. We don't like "no." We like "Okay, more cookies!"
I also want you to know that I love Elmo, my babies, and my kitchen. I love my red ball and causing trouble and wearing grown up shoes. I love to say "shoes," "baby," "apple," and "no-no-no-no." I love to play with my friends and read books and cause lots and lots of trouble.
Do you feel more aware of toddlers with Down syndrome now? You should go hug a toddler with Down syndrome today!
(Your local Toddler with Down Syndrome Expert, age 19 months.)