04 March 2013

Enjoying our "baby"

Matthew absolutely adores Luke. 

When he wakes up from a nap, one of his first words is usually “baby”.  When he’s done eating and wants down from his highchair he says, “out” or “down” and finally when he’s on the floor and taking off to find Luke, we hear him recite “baby”.  When Luke is sleeping, Matthew stands by the side of his Pack and Play, peers inside, looks at his brother and says “baby”.  Yesterday Matthew was drinking milk from his sippy and when he was finished, he held the straw up to baby Luke’s mouth, offering him a sip too.  And he said, “baby”.  When they are in the bathtub together, Matthew points at Luke and calls him “baby”.  When it’s time for bed, Matthew gives mom a kiss and then mom kisses Matthew.  Since mom is rocking Luke, and a tall daddy is holding Matthew, he has to hang him down low to kiss Luke in mommy’s lap.  Matthew stretches hard to kiss Luke goodnight and he calls him “baby”.  When Matthew goes to the sitter without his brother, he walks around calling out and looking for the “baby”.  Although Matthew knows many more words, his favorite is, you guessed it! “Baby”!

He also loves to touch the baby’s face and he especially enjoys poking him in the eyes and mouth and has even attempted to stick his finger up his nose.  When Luke is laying in his activity gym, Matthew tries to lay down beside him.  He also wishes that mom and dad would allow him to actually pick up his baby brother when he works so hard to get his arms around his middle and attempts to take on Luke’s weight with his own little 26 pound body… we have never let it get far enough to be a problem, but Matthew sure wishes we would give him a chance…

When Matthew sees Luke he sees a “baby”.  Sometimes we can coax him to call him his “Brudder” and on a few occasions, we’ve heard “Lu”, but mostly he’s just “baby”.  And they are in love.  Luke is quite happy to watch his big brother play and run and act silly.  When they are together, they are just brothers.  I don’t have to explain to Matthew that Luke will be different when he’s bigger, he doesn’t care!  He just loves the “baby”.

I’m relieved that we can be ourselves at home and share an open and unconditional love.  The thing is, outside of our home, I’ve struggled with figuring out the appropriate timing of the “how, when and why” when it comes to telling others about Luke having Down Syndrome.  Through our eyes, Luke is everything he is supposed to be and he is our perfect little guy, but I’m not very well versed in the etiquette of communicating it to others.  Yes - I blog, I Facebook, and I most certainly talk about it with people… but when, what and how much do you share?  I think most people we know – well, I think they know.  I don’t want to come across as having nothing else to talk about and I don’t want our interactions to be awkward or for them to feel weird about it, so I’ve just gone into this being really open… but I also think there is a balance between getting rid of the elephant in the room and over-disclosing too… Sometimes, it just isn’t very straightforward, but we’re doing our best!  We will just keep enjoying our “baby” and pray that we figure it all out soon!

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