Apparently, one of the characteristics of Down syndrome that medical literature fails to acknowledge is the ability to execute extensive and almost inconceivable amounts of mischievous wrongdoing.
Yesterday I left Jack upstairs at the computer, happily playing Elmo's "Keyboard-O-Rama" while I made a phone call downstairs. When I hung up the phone, I heard the ominous hissing of water running through the upstairs pipes. I ran upstairs and found Jack in the bathroom. He had turned the water to the sink on full blast, plugged the sink, and flooded the entire bathroom floor.
About an hour, two rugs, eight bath towels, and half a roll of paper towels later, I realized my bedroom ceiling was dripping. I wonder if there is a supplement to home owner's insurance that protects against unnatural acts of preschoolers...
Later in the evening, I heard Noel shrieking in the kitchen. Jack had somehow managed to explode a plastic gallon of milk that was almost entirely full, all over the kitchen floor.
I heaved a massive sigh of relief upon turning Jack in for bed. We slipped on his footy-pajamas and fastened a safety pin at the zipper (necessitated by the fact that Jack had been stripping himself and decorating his room with the contents of his diapers, in weeks past.) I went in to give the little monster a quick check sometime later, and found him asleep buck naked. He had removed the diaper pin, flung it up on top of his dresser, and removed all his clothing again. How a boy who cannot pull up his own pants or get a shoe on by himself can perform the intricate fine motor skills involved in unfastening a diaper pin is beyond my comprehension.
On a side note, Nathaniel informed me that while he could not remember the specifics of the conversation, Sophie had accurately employed the phrase, "touche, Dad" in a recent discussion with him. Yesterday she came home from school decrying the unjustness of the fact that on her "D" worksheet, the teacher made her write the letter D in pencil, then trace over it with marker.
She felt that tracing over the letters a second time was overkill and "was a waste of my time!" Clearly, public school kindergarten teachers are not aware of the time constraints and pressing matters plaguing five-year-old girls.
Noel continues to amaze me. Last night he offered to do bathroom duty with Jack, which entailed him sitting on the edge of the tub for a considerable length of time and entertaining his little brother, while waiting to see if he would pee (which most often, he doesn't.) He also used his own money to buy Sophie a toy from the school store, helped her clean her room, and expounded at length upon how "cute and adorable" his teacher's preschool-age daughter is and how much he wants to "just hug her!" I don't know how he's become such a good human being, but I hope it's an enduring trait. If his predominant accomplishment in life is his own profound sense of humanity, I will be infinitely proud of him.