There's a lovely little thing that happens every month in the 'Future of Downs' Facebook group.
We celebrate our children's milestones and share what's made us proud. We do this on the 21st to represent the three copies of chromosome 21 present in Down's syndrome.And there's no such thing as an achievement too small.
There's a whole lot of love and pride bursting from the members every month - and quite rightly!
Proud moments happen everyday. I'll be sharing ours on the 21st of each month.
We've talked about Ella and Lucy sharing a room since before Lucy was even born. The question has always been when will it be the right time??... Well I finally realised that there probably was never going to be a 'right time' and that it should just be done and we'll see what happens once the change has been made.
So, with it being half term and me being off work for the week (sleep disturbance less of an issue when I don't have to work!) I made the snap decision to just do it. So, Monday morning I moved Ella's bed into her little sisters room before I could talk/think myself out of it. I talked it through with Ella first, then she 'helped' me to move her bed, mattress, duvet and all her things down the hallway into her new shared room. Lots of talking about sharing, signing and reassurance along the way. Once we had everything set up, she immediately climbed into her bed and asked me to turn the 'light off' (at 10am) which was more than reassuring. Lucy was taking an interest in proceedings too and was mainly busy twirling round in circles giggling to herself - which I took to be a sign of her approval at her sisters sudden arrival in her room.
Having never done this before, I wasn't sure how to play bedtime... Put them to bed at the same time or follow the normal routine of Lucy first, then Ella about half an hour later? As it happened, Lucy was still awake at Ella's bedtime but Ella was tired so I put them both in together. Big fail... Lucy just stood at the end of her cot peering over at Ella in her bed - lots of 'Hallo Ella', squeals and giggles from both of them - not very conducive to a successful bedtime ending in sleep. They are both so good at going to bed and going to sleep, the last thing I wanted to do was create more problems. So Monday night Ella ended up going to sleep in my bed and I moved her once they were both asleep. Tuesday onwards bedtime has remained the same as always and there have been no further problems. Ella has been really understanding and super quiet when I take her into her bed after doing her book in my room.
The other worry I had was would Ella wake Lucy when she gets up in the night? Ella wakes pretty much every night and pads along the hallway to my room, cat and snuggle tucked under her arm. If I'm working the next day I take her back to her bed so my alarm wont disturb her in the morning but if I don't have to go to work and with Ian being away I generally just snuggle her in with me. Lucy's had a night time cough this week too (she always gets one when she's teething) so she has ended up in with me a couple of times too - between them both they've probably shared their sleep more with me than each other so far, which wasn't quite the aim!
I am really proud of how well they (and semi-single parent me!) have adapted to this change. Lucy has taken it all in her stride and Ella has been really grown up about it all and very quiet when she knows Lucy is asleep. So far, so good and part of me wishes we had done it sooner.
Now I have to decide what to do with Ella's old room - you know we love a project so watch this space!