My Kid Comes with an Instruction Manual

I hear a lot of jokes about kids not coming with instruction manuals. Fathers who eye up their children with that unique mix of awe, fear, and love that comes only with fatherhood and joke that life would be easier if their kids came with a manual. Mothers who sigh when the hundredth soothing technique they’ve tried just can’t settle down their fussy babies. You know what I mean – you have probably said this yourself. I said it all the time while I was pregnant.

Turns out my kid does come with an instruction manual. And after all my joking around, I wish I didn’t have a stack of books on my coffee table right now telling me exactly how to help my child walk and talk. I guess I must be having a “Down on Down syndrome” day because at only 12 weeks old, hubby and I have not had a lot of time to get over it. We accept it, we love Rowenna, but we still have these days when we look at our stack of manuals and wish our list of worries amounted to things like diaper rash and daycare instead of open heart surgery and prejudice.

Don’t get me wrong – I am beyond grateful for the pioneering health professionals and parents who came before us and wrote books like this so my child can have the best start possible. I can’t even imagine the struggles faced by parents of children with Down syndrome even 10 years ago, much less 50 years ago when institutionalization was the norm. But still…

I guess today I’m just craving a little normalcy. Which I know is a totally normal thing to feel.

Off to work on Rowenna’s newest dress!

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