Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 for 21, Differences

Since we've been home, Bryan and I keep noting the differences between Zeke and Chase.  We of course knew that like all of our boys, they'd have different personalities, different abilities, different preferences...but in the interest of the stereotype that lumps all people with Down syndrome into the same cookie cutter, I like seeing all the details up close and personal and pointing them out.

For example:  
Chase is delicate, with a little peanut head that can still miraculously fit into the newborn hat that Guy wore home from the hospital (albeit a little stretched out).  He has very slim arms and legs, and absolutely no booty.  He has lower muscle tone, but high strength when he chooses to use it.

Zeke is stocky, in actuality only 5 pounds heavier than Chase, but he feels about 20 pounds heavier because I think his muscle tone is better than Chase's.  

Zeke verbalizes a LOT.  He's always got that little motor mouth running.  We're not entirely sure what he's saying, but he has a lot on his mind and he wants to share.  He's also really good (most of the time) following directions- take that to the garbage, clear your plate to the sink, put your shoes on, go inside the house...etc).

Chase is quieter, saving his words for when he really needs them, like when Gavin is trying to take a toy away from him.  You'll hear that across the neighborhood.  And he can hear all the directions that we give to him.  He just chooses to ignore the ones he doesn't like.

Chase is sure on his feet- he has MAD PT skills.  Yesterday at the park, he'd hang from the monkey bars for 10+ seconds, and then drop to the ground and land on his feet.  He runs pretty quickly (although still has those funky Phoebe arms waving all over the place- lol).  He goes up and down stairs foot over foot while holding onto a railing, and will step up and meet his feet on the stairs without holding on to anything.

Zeke is still honing his gross motor skills.  He's got the basics, walking, running, climbing...but he's definitely not as comfortable with any of that as Chase is.  He has the funniest little run/walk thing going on- he pumps his arms from side to side- I'll have to catch it on video sometime.  He looks like a little old man power walking.  He tried the monkey bar trick today, and could barely hold on for a second before dropping to the ground and collapsing.  He just couldn't seem to get his legs placed underneath him.  

Zeke has awesome fine motor skills.  He grips his crayon/pencil almost perfectly.  He loves to color, and could sit for a half hour with crayons and paper and be content.

Chase still has the whole hand grip going on, and lacks the attention span to color anything for more than 3 strokes of a crayon.  If you sit with him, you can convince him to try it longer, but he really just doesn't care a whole lot about it.

Both can be stubborn as ALL GET OUT, but Chase definitely wins the prize for obstinence.  If he does't want to do what's on your agenda, he just will not.  Will not.  Not ever.  And if you force him, then he will be very, very, very sad for a very, very long time.  Zeke wants to do things his way, but he's learned the magic of counting, and when Bryan and I hit number three, he is ready to comply (most of the time...the rest of the time is when we learned that 5 pounds more actually feels like 20 pounds more).

Both of them are silly, funny, and mischievous.  Just in their own ways.  Both have a look that says, "I'm gonna go do this thing you care?  By the way, it's not allowed."  Both are very loving- Chase is more apt to go in for a cuddle, and Zeke goes in for a kiss on both cheeks (and forehead, and chin, and nose, and lips, and arms, and knees...)  

NEITHER are happy all the time.  If you ever, ever hear anyone spout off that myth, feel free to refer them to me :)

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