You couldn’t do this in those lousy free carrier bags, mum!



I suppose boys will be boys (regardless of the number of chromosomes they have). 

     Freddie loves his new camera. So much so that he took it with him when he went to the toilet. And when he’d finished doing what he needed to do …

     … he took a photograph of his POO!

     “Great photo”, he said. 

    (I don’t wish to split hairs but, technically, you could say it’s actually a ***t photo.)

     Still, it’s good to see him taking such an interest in something.


I didn’t know that those with Down’s Syndrome have reduced visual acuity, even when wearing correctly prescribed spectacles. He’s seen at the Ophthalmology Clinic regularly, and is also checked by an Optometrist at school – but neither of them has ever mentioned this to me. Check out this post from The Down’s Syndrome Association for more details, and sources of information:


Happy seventh birthday, Freddie! I don’t know why but seven has always had a talismanic feel about it. And now, suddenly, here we are. 

     He has just discovered these little characters, and really likes them, just like mummy did, way back in the (very) early seventies. This one, handknitted in the true spirit of the Clangers, was made by one of my fellow students, possibly one of the nicest ways I’ve come across of earning some extra dosh whilst at uni.

     Freddie was so excited to see big brother Harry, who came home from Sheffield specially for the occasion. The two of them, it seems, have a mutual love of cameras. Freddie loves taking selfies on my phone, usually when I’m not looking, and with his partner-in-crime big sister, Lucy. He was well impressed by Harry’s new camera – an actual camera, not a phone! Which came in really handy, because I’d ordered a Kidizoom Action Cam on behalf of Nan and Grandad, but when it came I was dismayed to see how small and fiddly it was. I went straight from imagining he’d love it to being convinced he’d never take to it at all. But having seen Big Brother with his camera, Freddie just copied everything he did, and in the end it proved to be his favourite present.


     I was pleased that he got lots of books – he’s beginning to actually read now and recognise familiar words, and is keen to show off his developing skill.

     I don’t know where the last seven years have gone, or where the next seven will take us, but for now we’re picture-perfect (lol – so long as you don’t look too closely).

The closest I ever get to a photo of me with all three of my children.


We are fast approaching Freddie’s seventh birthday. I suppose it is only natural, on such anniversaries, to look back. I would have been hard put, then, to imagine what our lives would be like now, and the little boy that Freddie would grow into. Here’s an early post from the archives explaining how different things are to the way so many people predicted it would be …

So far, it hasn’t been as bad as ‘they’ said it would be. Down Syndrome is not the future you would choose for your child, but it’s not the end of the world, either.
When I was told that there was a 1-in-12 chance that the baby I was carrying would have Down Syndrome, many people (medics and family members especially) were of the opinion that if I went ahead with the pregnancy my life would be over; I would have nothing to look forward to for the rest of my days but the incessant daily grind of being a carer, trying to meet the all-consuming needs of a disabled child.
I didn’t believe them.
So, with the life of my unborn child at stake, I closed my ears and dug in my heels.
I read many things that address the issues concerning ‘Special Needs’ families, some offering information and advice, some offering moral support and information. Many of the latter use phrases like ‘Warrior Mom’ and ‘Momma Bear’; they talk in highly emotive tones about the day-in-day-out struggle to meet their child’s needs and battle the prejudice of others. They are uplifting and inspiring; they make you sob into your morning coffee. While I have no doubt that many parents out there will find their experinces reflected in these articles, they do not reflect the experiences of all ‘Special Needs’ families. They do not reflect mine.
So, I wanted to offer an alternative view. I hope it will be a reassuring one. Because so far, life with an extra chromosome has been pretty ordinary.