26 July 2011

Sleepover Snapshots

Snapshot no. 1 – Saturday morning
Cathal is brought over to me by the Mammy. He throws himself into my arms and holds on tight, so tight, for so long.
When the Mammy leaves, he waves at her with a big smile and shouts “Byyyyye”

Snapshot no. 2 – later Saturday morning
Me: “We are going shopping now Cathal. What we will get?”
Cathal: “Milk... Shoes... Apple... Banana”
Total score: 3 out of 4 – His accuracy is very impressive!
Apparently he suggested the first three items to the Mammy the previous day. I got the lone banana as a bonus!

Snapshot no. 3 – Saturday afternoon
Walking to the local playground during the afternoon, Cathal in the buggy, me pushing. Cathal is providing me with a non-stop running commentary on everything he sees:
- Car!... Bike!... Car!
- What colour is that car?
- Red!... Blue!... Red!... Boy!... Man!... Bike!
And all this in between various snippets of “Cathal Babble” which I cannot decipher.
When we turn off along the green that leads us to the playground, the lack of traffic brings a pause… quickly broken by signing. Old McDonald apparently has a tiger, a lion and a snake on his farm, as well as the more traditional cows, pigs, dogs, cats, ducks, horses, etc.

The return walk home is as talkative and musical.

Snapshot no. 4 – Sunday morning
5.40 am
- NaaaaNaaaa

5.45 am (standing against my bed)
- Nana wake.
- No.
- Nana! Wake!
- No.
- Nooooo...
But I did! No choice...

Snapshot no. 5 – 30 minutes later – on my bed
Cathal decides to get another book for me to read to him in bed. Positioning himself at the edge of the bed, he is talking to himself in almost a whisper:
“Careful... Careful... Ready, steady, go.”
And he slides down off the bed, ever so slowly, ever so cautiously, obtaining a perfect slow-motion landing.

Snapshot no. 6 – Sunday 8.10 am
Cathal insists that I sit next to him on the couch to watch Cbeebies. As I over bring my bowl of cereal, he asks for the rest of his own cereals he did not want to finish earlier on.
So we sit, side by side, watching TV, eating. Every so often he looks at me and smiles. No words needed.

Snapshot no. 7 – Sunday 8.35 am
I feel sorry for my neighbours: Cathal is in the bath, and exercising his vocal cords to the max, testing the match between the acoustics of the bathroom and his musical talents. And when I tell him he is very noisy he burst laughing.

Snapshot no. 8 – Sunday 9.45 am
We are on the motorway, driving to Imaginosity. The radio is on. Cathal has resumed his singing, adding some very cool dance moves I catch in the rear-view mirror. As quickly as he started singing he falls asleep: no wonder! But I don’t have this luxury, I am driving, aren’t I?

Snapshot no. 9 – Sunday late morning – Imaginosity
Cathal is totally taken by the foam bricks: first we rebuild the wall we have knocked down. As the top rows are out of his reach, he uses the remainder of the bricks to build a series of little walls around the room, each with a different pattern, yet each almost perfectly aligned. Of course, the running commentary has resumed.

Snapshot no. 10 – Sunday lunch time
As we are nearing his house, he suddenly shouts: “Daddy Mammy! Yay!”
Quickly followed by “Oisín! Yay!”

I am aware that people with Down Syndrome are said to be very affectionate and always happy. I pay no heed to such generalisations. Every single person has his or her own individual personality. If this includes a penchant for affection and positivity, as with any one else all the better, as it makes everyone’s life more pleasant.

But I must say that having Cathal for a sleepover is always a pleasure, not just because of the fun we have, but mainly because of his own, and very personal, cheerfulness, his almost constant joy, his easy excitement at everything that is proposed to him. As with many 3 year olds trying to affirm their own individuality, his favourite word is “NO!” - always delivered in a forceful manner. Yet his face usually lights up again within seconds of expressing this negativity.

If we all took a leaf out of Cathal’s Happy Book, we would have a much more pleasant day. Every day.


Andra said...

This made me smile, he sounds like a amazing little man and a real charmer!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

It sounds like you had a lovely weekend :)

Mary said...

Cathal sounds an absolute little heartbreaker....maybe charmer is a better word :):) Nd as for you nanaP you wouldnt have it any other way eh xxxxx

Jeffrey Goble said...

Aww, Grandmas have all the fun. Thanks for the slideshow.

Mel said...

He sounds irresistible! What a clever boy he is, no wonder he has you wrapped around his little finger ;)

jazzygal said...

What a fabulous weekend you had with your amazing Prince! Even the 5.40 start is amusing and heart-warming! Thanks for sharing it with us :-)

xx Jazzy

Cheri said...

Love this snipit of your weekend together! Him sliding off the bed and whispering to himself to be careful and then ready, steady, go...well, melted me! Just too cute he is!!!!