11. Sophia is independent. She likes to be held and cuddled and loved on like a baby from time to time, but overall Sophia is all about doing EVERYTHING by. her. self! I swear she is a 4 year old little girl going on 14. The only problem is, there is still so much that this little girl can't really do independently and she needs a little grown up help from time to time. But don't try to tell her that! It goes in one ear and right out the other :)
12. Sophia is unpredictable. One minute she'll be all nice and lovey and then out of nowhere, BAM! she gets ya! For instance, you'll be laying on the floor just hanging out and she'll approach you with this warm smile like she's about to lean in for a little hello kiss and BAM! she smacks you right in the face. Or she'll be outside playing with our Shelby dog, petting her and whispering sweet nothings into her ear and then BAM! she's smacked the dog on the head, practically gouged her eye out and pulled her tail all in one swift motion. Or when we spot something small moving around on the ground and stop to get a closer look and observe. We will just be standing there looking and all of a sudden BAM! Sophia has either stepped on the poor creature or squished the poor thing with her bare hands. Seriously, you always have to be on guard with this one, because in a flash she will turn on everyone!
13. Sophia loves to play outside. She isn't big on toys, unless it involves destroying her big sisters toys, but being outside, is her sanctuary. She can run and jump and play and scream pretty freely. She loves to swing and go down the slide and hang upside down on the monkey bars. She likes to play any sport with a ball. She enjoys riding her bike, which she is getting better and better at riding all by herself. She likes to go on walks and terrorize our very tolerant dog. She likes blowing, or trying to eat, bubbles and playing chalk in the driveway. She loves to swim, which is a task that she thinks she can do independently and no matter what I say she just won't believe me that she doesn't know how to swim solo yet. She just enjoys the outdoors, which is perfect for us because there is less crap outside that she can destroy and less mess that I have to pick up when she makes them. Win/Win :)
14. Sophia loves books. Besides Barney, books are another go to where she will sit and listen to you read for more than 5 seconds. We will snuggle up in her bed together and read and read and read, until someone comes in (cough, Jayden) and interrupts us and than she is distracted by what is going on outside her room and all bets are off after that. Some of her favorite books right now are: Hey! Wake up! by Sandra Boynton; A Hug for Maggie by Olivia Barham; Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown; Five Little Pumpkins by Harper Collins Publishers; Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow; Do You Want a Hug Honey Bunny by Rachael O'Neill and of course all her small Barney board books that her grandma gave her :)
15. Sophia is a social butterfly. She loves people. She enjoys being around others rather than being by herself. She thrives off of people around her. She wants to imitate what she sees others doing. She learns best from her peers. She is rarely ever afraid or shy to approach anyone and start up a "conversation." She makes friends wherever she goes, and if you don't want to be her friends with Sophia....well she doesn't take the answer "no" very well :)
16. Sophia is a little sister, and is about to be a big sister. She plays her role as the little sister, very well! She has it down to a science in fact. She destroys things that belong to her big sister. She interrupts play dates between her sister and her friends. She always wants to tag along and do whatever her big sissy is doing. She tries to break into her big sisters room, all the time. She likes to borrow her big sisters clothes and shoes. She fights with her big sister, and yells and screams and hits and kicks and swipes things that don't belong to her. She also looks up to and admires her big sister. She loves her fiercely and will take her side any day of the week. She teams up with her big sister in order to try and out number her Dad and myself. She is easily manipulated by her big sister to do works of good and evil. As well as she plays the little sister role, I have no doubt that the big sister role will come just as easily :)
17. Sophia adapts well to new surroundings. Sophia is definitely a character of habit. She thrives on structure and routine and does best when she knows what to expect next. But, when things get twisted around and fall out of place from time to time, she can adjust and move on pretty easily.
18. Sophia's favorite word is "mom." She can say it as plain as day. In fact, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, sits up in her bed still half asleep, I get woken up from the voice from her monitor yelling, "Mom!" It brings a smile to my face every time :) Of course I think it drives her Dad a little nuts that she will never call him by name, and that too brings a little grin to my face :)
19. Sophia loves music. She's not real big into nursery rhymes, even though Itsy Bitsy Spider does hold a special place in her heart. She likes dance, aka club, music :) One of her favorites right now is Gangnam Syle. But her absolute favorite at the moment, which is a little different from what she normally prefers is, Tooty Ta :)
20. Sophia likes to play hide-n-seek. She has to be the seeker, always. She will sit in a corner, pretend to cover her eyes, you have to count to 10 for her, and as soon as you leave her sight, she is up and running to come and find you! So in order to actually hide from Sophia, you have to be super fast and sneaky :)
21. Finally, the most important thing to know about Sophia is, she is just like you! She has a wide range of emotions, just like anybody else. She is capable of doing anything, just like anybody else. She wants to be accepted and included by the people around her, just like anybody else. She wants to be treated with respect, just like anybody else. Yes it's true that because of Sophia's diagnosis, it takes her a little longer to learn new things, BUT she can learn! She does learn! The fact that Sophia has Down syndrome is only a small part of her story. All I ask is that you are open to learn the rest of her story too.