My four-day make up post for Down syndrome month –

Saturday, October 16 –

T.’s birthday party was attended by two grandmothers, an aunt, an uncle, family friends and new friends including two school friends. Some high points included his father and uncle assembling an awesome kitchen for T.’s birthday. One of T.’s favorite play activities is “the kitchen”. This is likely a nod to his dad’s influence who does all the cooking in our house. As an aside he also loves dusting, which I don’t get because I am not sure where he is seeing that happen. We ordered a version of the kitchen they have at his play school. This kitchen requires significantly more assembly time than your typical store bought variety, which was accomplished after T. went to bed Friday night.

There is a beautiful nostalgia that is involved in assembling toy’s for your children – you actually get to do what your parents did when you were a kid working like a little elf making sure that prized gift was ready by morning. For me – it was even better. I got to watch other people create the nostalgic memory and keep my marriage intact. T.s response upon seeing the kitchen was to clamp his hands to the side of his head while bending over at the waist trying to image how “preschool kitchen” became “home kitchen”.

Later at the party T. did a crazy impersonation of Curious George. All the kids got little Curious George masks. T. started out by scratching his head and under his arms and making Curious George noises and then it devolved in to screaming. It was in a word hysterical.

This was our second birthday with T. He had two others with two different families. I know what one was like and I have no idea about his 1st. His 4th birthday was significant in a couple ways. One he knew it was about him. He knew these people had gathered to be with him. He didn’t withdraw but he was in the center of it. He gloried in it. And – he could open the presents by himself.

Expect a Curious George post in the future – I have Curious George issues.

Sunday, October 17 –

Rosa’s Law –

On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed Rosa’s Law (S. 2781), effectively replacing the term ‘mental retardation’ in Federal law with ‘intellectual disability’.

I didn’t know about this and I can’t top this post about it so go to Specially Designed – another blog by a parent of a teenager who has Down syndrome.

Monday, October 18th and Tuesday, October 19 –

My Stepford Wife Confession:

I hate that dryers steal socks. It makes me nuts. I am also a little fearful of even mentioning it here because I think the dryer is a real sicko who gets a kick out of taking socks and any reference to it in the universe fuels it’s demonic power. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is That-Which-Should-Not-Be-Mentioned. I have a collection of single orphan socks. Some go back a few years but I keep thinking they will show up probably right after I throw them out. I have imagined receiving photos in the mail much like the owners of purloined lawn trolls do with their trolls posed in front of the Pantheon except it’s my missing sock on the foot of some drunken German tourist in Playa del Carmen.

My husband’s missing socks have never bothered me. I knew I didn’t have the stamina to take on his missing socks. Call me a selfish wife but I don’t even try to find his. But, then came T. OMG! He is my son – if I am not responsible for his socks who is? Toddler socks are so small and they are no match for that sucking vortex in the dryer. Sometimes I couldn’t find either of the socks! It was madness. Also – they cling to any fabric. You could be at a meeting someplace and feel a weird bump in the back of your shirt that you could push around that was so maddening you excused yourself to go to the bathroom and took your shirt off and there was a tiny green sock with the images of mocking dinosaurs. I have never inadvertently worn one of my own socks inside my clothing. I had to do something. And – like a late blooming Heloise I came up with a plan of action. I bought a little garment bag for washing unmentionables. I showed my husband the bag, shaking it in my hands – “Now, this is very important. All of T.’s socks must go in here when they are dirty. Never in the laundry basket loose. Only in the garment bag. Only in the garment bag. Only in…” He sighed, “I get it.” You might think he thought I went off the deep end but 7 years in to a relationship with me it was small potatoes. There was hell to pay the first time I saw him casually drop a pair of T.’s socks in the laundry basket sans garment bag. Why would he do that? Why not just throw the socks in the street?

Summer is a respite time because T. wears sandals – no socks! I blame the glorious long summer we had for forgetting to use my handy system of sock retention at fall’s first sock washing. I behaved capriciously. Flaunting the rules of the universe I didn’t use the magic bag! The first sock washing post summer’s end resulted in 4 socks remaining in the dryer when there were 8. The 4 remaining lay in T.’s sock drawer nestled in to each other  – waiting.

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, Marriage, Parenting, Special Needs by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

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