How this Blog Came to Fruition
A recent perusal of my Twitter feed threw up the following comment; "My son is better than yours!" Now, I'm no boy racer, but there's nothing like a comment like that to catch one's eye.
I replied "Thank goodness I've got girls."
His retort? "My son is better than your girls too!"
OK, so the gauntlet had been well and truely tossed down. I could not refuse his challenge.
Next step, actually read his blog. So I clicked the link to a lovely, lighthearted blog, written by a very proud Dad of a beautiful (typically developing) 9 month old boy called Dylan.
A Small Note Before We Begin
I am not one too boast about either of my children, their capabilities or achievements. I am immensely proud of both of them, but I see wonder and potential in all children around me. I support and encourage families with children who have Down's Syndrome, all of whom are unique individuals.
So, I write this for all parents of a child with a disability of additional need, in order to show the world that our kids are 100% perfect too...
Natty in a Nutshell
Special Talents and Behaviour
As just a spec of a person-to-be, Natty was lucky/clever enough to pick parents who chose to allow her to actually have a chance at life. With a 90% termination rate for babies like her, that's really quite a talent. (Thank you for choosing us Natty!)
Natty has been a fighter and a winner from birth, working extra hard to achieve everything she is and does. She overcame dangerously low SATS, and 2 holes in her heart. She magically closed one by herself, then survived heart surgery to correct the other. Oh, and was blowing raspberries at the surgeon within hours... She has bravely fought off pneumonia and a raft of upper respiratory infections that have caused hospitalisation, given more blood samples that most adults can imagine in their lifetimes, always with a smile and a hug for those helping her.
Natty is one of life's ice-breakers and more importantly an ambassador. She enters a room and people are immediately engaged, and focussed on her. She melts even the hardest of hearts, smashes stereotypes and stamps all over people's preconceptions of Down's Syndrome, usually with a rendition of a Mary Poppins Song followed by a fake burp and a gift of an imaginary chocolate cake.
She is also highly tuned to the feelings of others. Her radar is immediately activated if she hears another child cry, and her work is not done until they are comforted.
She is also attuned to the delicate beauties of the world that we all miss. We smile each time she stops to sniff a humble daisy, exclaiming 'ooooh, pretty!' for example. How much we all miss around us. We all need a Natty to remind us.
But by far and away the most import trait that Natty has is the ability to make people reasses their priorities in life. Since her arrival, all who know her have realised that these priorities are friendship, love, great food, music, dance and the ability to live in the moment and adore that moment exclusively before moving on. Nothing else really matters.
We all know that the most precious gifts come in tiny packages, and Natty is that. Petite and cute, with delicate features that would befit the most perfect doll. Doe eyes, long lashes, perfect skin. She has a kind of endearing, angelic beauty that radiates from her innocence within. It is a new yet ancient, true beauty, and one that is challenging the world to reasses what it sees around it.
Natty is one of the first children with Down's Syndrome in the world to become a model. She is working for clothing companies and holiday companies, promoting their brands. People are sitting up and looking and saying 'Yes! It's about time we saw the face of disability in this light!' She is living proof that beauty takes many forms.
Her story has clearly touched a nerve, because it has been featured in The Sun, The Mail Online, Bella Magazine, AOL, The Paediatric Nursing Journal, BBC Radio and, of course, she was invited on ITV's Daybreak. Need I say more? She's bloomin' gorgeous.
Natty worked at least 100% harder than her sister to learnt to sit, crawl and walk. Physio, daily exercise and additional support were built into her routine in a fun way. Let me tell you, the pride when she reasched those milestones is unmatchable, the feeling that they have done what you feared they may never be able to do, indescribable.
Natty has worked even harder at learning to talk and read. Our house is adorned with flashcards, visual timetables and special books that we dip into at every opportunity. She speaks with clarity and fabulous intonation, but only after constant practice, something her easily chattering peers would find hard to compute.
Value for Money
Natty is priceless!
As you can see Natty is 100% perfect in every way.
But, Dylan's Dad, my child has more chromosomes than yours!
I have enjoyed our duell.
Read the opposing blog at