Q3: Life With Charley – When the Roll is Rolled up Yonder

One of the difficult things about Down syndrome, or any other minority, is that people tend to group and stereotype those who belong.

Mom always refers to them as “they.” 

“They are the sweetest children.” 

“They love music.” 

They, they, they. Thing is, there is no “they.” Just like the rest of us, each individual is his or her own person, and develops at his or her own pace. Pp. 40-41

What are some of the stereotypes you’ve encountered?  Does your loved one “break the mold” or do you find yourself agreeing with any of them?

Sherry tells us about an embarrassing moment:

Somewhere mid-plan my self-talk was interrupted when I heard a woman say, “Honey, didn’t you forget something?”

I looked down at the bags I was carrying. “I don’t think so.”

She nodded towards the grocery cart. “Uh hem.” 

Oops. Oh yeah. The baby. “I forgot I had him,” I said. I’m sure that didn’t sound so good. From then on I promised him I’d remember not to forget him. P. 42

Have you ever done something similar?  Would you be brave enough to tell the world about your mistake?

Another trait, that may or may not be part of the syndrome, is eloping:

Sure enough, I rounded the corner of the kitchen to find the front door wide open, screen and all, and there, on the stoop, was the dump truck, parked right next to the broom. And rolling down the hill was a red and yellow, plastic-domed, feet-propelled car. The hill may as well have been the Indy 500 racetrack. Zoom. He headed for the intersection. My hand went to my mouth, stunned, but the sound of Charley yelling, “whee!” snapped me out of it.

Oh God, oh God, oh God. I ran as fast as I could (more like a turtle on Ambien), yelling, tripping, running, yelling, but he was way out in front, and I was sure he’d make it to the crossing. The car veered off to the side of the road and crashed onto its side on the lawn.

By the time I caught up with him he was yelling, “Uck, uck.” (Stuck) I hugged him hard. “Your hot-rodding days are done.” I cried because he was okay, but also because I wasn’t. I could barely breathe. My knees vulcanized into rubber. I couldn’t walk, so I sat with him there in the grass until, finally, he stood up. I had no choice but to get up too, because he was running back up the hill to the house.

Goodbye spring locks. Hello keyholes. Pp.47-48

Did your child ever run off?  How did you deal with it?

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