Or one explanation why I’m slightly Gaga.
Here are some facts about my daughter who is Down’s Syndrome and who occupies this rather small flat with me. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her, but actually living with her 24/7 is a slightly different story to the persona that she paints to the outside world on short acquaintance, and so does go someway to explaining to my two readers why I appear to be slightly ‘round the bend’ or if you prefer, ‘three cans short of a six pack.’ Maybe I might be afforded some sympathy from you both as you read out these ten facts about my lovely daughter that otherwise were you to ‘bump into her’ in the street you would have no inkling of.
- She loves Sharks. She is fascinated by them and has been so since watching the film Jaws as a youngster. Therefore she has me scouring the internet looking for Jaws t-shirts. She already owns several thousand (slight exaggeration) I think she likes to wear them to frighten small children away who always seem fascinated by her and therefore tend to hang around her like bees to a honey pot.
- She is equally fascinated by Spiders (no t-shirts though) and despite being terrified of them, has watched Arachnophobia several thousand times. (another slight exaggeration but not by much)
- Favourite film ‘The Goonies’ made by Richard Donner and starring one of her favourite actors Sean Asten. She has watched this several thousand times. (No exaggeration) She knows off by heart every word spoken by every actor in it from the opening sequence to the end.
- She lives only for food. She thinks that she will keel over and die if she misses out one single meal. So every day consists of questions such as “What are we having for dinner?” then as we are sat eating our dinner, “What are we having for tea?” The day is then brought to a close by the inevitable “What are we having tomorrow?” as we sit down to tea.
- Because of the latter, she has taken complete charge of writing down the shopping list which contains all the food that she requires for at least the next few days. There is never anything down on the list for me. I am obviously expected to starve to death.
- She is a typical Downs in that 99% of the time she moves at a snails pace but… there are two occasions when she moves so fast that blink and you would miss it. a) When the postman arrives she is down the steps in a flash, and b) When a shopkeeper is giving you any change. Its miraculously in her pocket before you can say “Thank you!”
- She spends 99% of her time (when not watching the Goonies and/or Arachnophobia) sat muttering to herself on the toilet. Its her ‘debating’ throne, where she irons out any problems that may have bugged her during the day, or yesterday, or the day before or even last week.
- She talks to herself all the time. Now this wouldn’t be so bad in itself, I occasionally have been known to do this especially when ‘getting something off my chest’ but with K its all day, every day . I have asked her to whisper but unfortunately this ability seems to have slipped her by. She simply can’t do it, and all you can hear is a sort of ‘sphst, mmhste, mbfits , mahehset’ going on in the background. I could put my ear plugs in I suppose and try vainly to regain some sort of sanity.
- As a young girl growing up, she point blank refused to have dolls. She had a pram (which she once threatened to bring down on top of her younger brothers head when he had been teasing her for days) but she hated dolls. She wanted only Boglins. If you haven’t a clue or can’t remember what they were , they were horrid looking rubbery faces which you could put your hand inside and manipulate them into looking even more grotesque. She loved them and ended up owning every one of them.
- She refuses point blank to grow her hair long and insists on having it as short as possible at all times with the result that everyone we meet thinks she’s a male. (much to my annoyance as she is my only daughter after all, and before I had any children, I used to dream of having a Shirley Temple look alike with gorgeous long ringlets down her back.) As soon as I have departed this mortal coil, she will no doubt book an appointment and have it all shaved off.
So, does my strangeness and seemingly odd ramblings now make some sense? Can you begin to understand why I am considered to be slightly Gaga? There are other contributing factors to be taken into consideration of course, my darling daughter is just a small portion of the whole that has turned me into the gibbering wreck that I have now become. Bless her.