Bartik Krulik on raising his daughter with Down syndrome: “Everything requires more patience and time, but thanks to this she lives here and now”

Since the birth of Josiah, his youngest daughter with Down syndrome, he has begun to live very differently. Before he was selfish, he was now full of sacrifice. Family and children come first. In an interview with Krystyna Pytlakowska for the magazine “VIVA! Mama”, Bartik Krulik admitted that being a father requires responsibility and … courage.

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Bartik Krulik in an interview with “VIVA! Mama”

– You are the father of two daughters – seven and five years. What does it mean to be a father?
This means that I have a responsibility to shape the young man. You have to put it into practice, give it the best possible model, but for now, most of all, just live and spend time together. This is important because thanks to presence and play, children develop well and we can enjoy life together.
But there is a difference between being a dad who works full time and away from home eight or nine hours, and being an artist dad.
It’s hard for me to answer because I’m only an artist and I’m not a chief accountant, for example. But perhaps the main difference is that I have irregular working hours, and oftentimes I can pay more for my family. Although this could be different. A creative vein can come unexpectedly and separate a person from the family for a long time. Man is somewhat absent. It’s a bit like a form of addiction, but luckily some nice things do as a result. Moreover, artists are like all people. It arose differently and has different dates and different priorities.
How has being a father changed your life? Especially since the youngest daughter was born with Down syndrome?
Parenting takes up my free time. I had to give up my solo lifestyle. When I started a family and changed my perspective, I became more self-conscious and less superficial. Relationships and communication came to the fore. Family is the study of home psychology and a constant tug of war. Before, I was living my life. I chased for survival, for money, for not caring about myself and not getting into relationships. The moment Josiah appeared in our lives and introduced us to the world of “fairytales”, she changed even more.
When was the diagnosis and your life collapsed too early during prenatal checkups?
For a while, we had to go through what’s called mourning the loss of a healthy baby and getting ready for life with a man with Down syndrome. We never thought we would face such a challenge before. Everyone is afraid to step into something they don’t know. In hindsight, I can tell that fear has big eyes. People with Down syndrome, under favorable conditions, lead a truly normal life and, most importantly, bring the missing element of gratitude, grace and love in its purest form into our lives. Of course, there are many health problems, sometimes they are very unpleasant and difficult, but our whole life is like this – difficult.
It’s hard to think of how this kid will cope when we’re no longer there.
This is perhaps the most difficult thinking that accompanies all parents with disabled children. However, the problem of Down syndrome has been around for a long time, and times are in many ways changing for the better. Today we know a lot more than we used to, so I’m optimistic.
Before Josiah was born, did she allow the idea of ​​an abortion?
Unfortunately, in my opinion, I failed as head of the family, because instead of providing for my wife, I was fighting with myself and my thoughts. At times like these, you learn things about yourself that you wouldn’t expect. I have learned that words can be of little value. Actions are most important. Carolina had no doubts. In fact, it has kept us upright. From the start, it was combat oriented and mission oriented.
– You did not enter into alcoholism? It is said that Polish artists drink a lot because they are not happy in the pursuit of their career. However, you had a more serious problem.
no. I think it depends on the person. For many people, alcohol is a way to get around problems. And with each passing day, there are more of these problems. It is no different in our industry. Three years ago, along with the pandemic and the introduction of restrictions, the world of artists was shattered to pieces. And I still can’t get out of it. Now there is also the tragic subject of war, which affects all areas of our lives.
– However, it should not affect family relationships.
I just never looked into a cup to deal with my problems. I’m one of those people who go outside through sports, get tired and reset themselves that way. I had to deal with it and it lasted a long time. But when Josiah appeared in the world, over time she deprived me of fear and doubts.
– She’s gorgeous and beautiful.
completely. She has so much grace. But Down syndrome is all a paradox. On the one hand, it can make life very difficult, and on the other hand, it highlights all that we parents love in our children. These are the most beautiful children in the world. Grace, gratitude, kindness and honesty.
Does he have trouble speaking?
We’re still yes, but we’re taking speech therapy classes at our favorite aunt Ionka from Talking Up, in an effort to freshen up her talk. We know we’re not going to skip certain things, but we try to make it as little hassle as possible. Gucia is very promising. In general, wherever he goes, he wins people’s hearts. She is very mobile, social, curious, has her own sense of humor and is very emotional. When I come home or pick her up from kindergarten, she greets me with open arms. Her joy is immeasurable.
– You love her so much.
I love both daughters equally, and what I love the most is the fact that they also love each other very much. Once she wondered if Kalinka would accept the last of her sister. Today I know that the taboo no longer exists the moment I get to know it. Children do not have prejudices because they act intuitively and without restrictions. They treat reality and people spontaneously and naturally.
How do people react to a child with Down syndrome?
Nothing disturbed us. We always meet with human kindness. I treat casual glances and whispers like curiosity. I guess you really have to be insensitive not to notice the light of a star like her ;).

Instagram photo: BARTEKKROLIK

What do your daughters do when they sing at home?
The big room in our house is a theater and a fashion show. They both change clothes, one imitating the other. They know all of their YouTube videos and choreographies by heart.
Two artists are growing.
Yes, we have two stars ready. Meanwhile, today Jagódka goes to a private campus dedicated to “bands”, where she will develop her skills.
– Got Josiah what she’s being told?
He understands everything, but he has problems with speaking and expressing some needs. It can be messy and sometimes it’s hard to guess what it needs. A lot of times she can’t express it and that is probably the biggest obstacle for her at the moment. Besides, she is in good health, which is okay. Speech problems arise from the peculiarity of Down syndrome and are related to heredity. In practice, such children have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, and they learn to speak English faster, for example, because it is easier for them. Jagódka is better in English than in Polish.
– Well, both daughters have talent after you.
To my ear, Jagoda cares more about music than Kalinka, whose passion is towards acting and theater, but everything can change.
– Now it is said that the epidemic is over. You will have more work.
I hope, although the market situation is very difficult. Big companies only, big names don’t change much, and I’m still a 40-year-old newbie who has taken everything he’s been working towards in the past few years.
– Can you change your profession?
I can, but I have to start completely from scratch, which is a tough prospect for someone who has to keep a home.
– Why don’t you do your own thing?
I’m working on my second album now, although it’s not easy for a 40-year-old with a story. The younger generation attracts everyone’s attention. Radio stations selectively support artists and according to specific criteria, and without media support a lesser known artist dies in the depths of the Internet. I’m glad that as a performer I’m not a league, I do what I want, and I’m completely different.
“Tell me honestly, what is the real problem with raising a child with Down syndrome?”
If a child with Down syndrome does not have comorbidities, then he leads a normal life. The main obstacles are related to communication and memory. It all takes more patience and time, which can be frustrating and tiring, but makes you live more in the here and now.
– You had health problems too.
Yeah. In short, I am after two misdiagnosed strokes. Recently, a nice doctor from Łomianki looked at my thick file with tests after many years and made an accurate diagnosis, thanks to which I was finally able to get these things under control.
– Are you worried about your health?
no. I take care of myself. I know what’s wrong with me, so I exercise regularly, follow my diet, and enjoy life. You think I am indestructible. But now I know I have to live as long as possible, because I have someone.

The interviewer was Kristina Petlakoska

Have you just become a mother, or are you just waiting for your baby? Be sure to check out the new issue of VIVA! Mama. In the stalls of May 25th!

Maja Hezzy Viva!  Mom session 6

Picture of Krzysztof Opaliński

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