- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Arrgghh! Ahoy there me hearties, and a happy Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yes, it is a real holiday and one which I full embrace.
I love Talk Like a Pirate Day for one reason only: because it is fun. I first learned about the designation a few years ago while Robby was in the middle of his pirate loving phase. Let's face it, being an amputee is a huge coup when dressing like a pirate. I instantly transform into the cool Mom by only adding a Buccaneers hat and red striped shirt.
Thankfully Robby has inherited my love of celebration, and he is fully on board with the piratical themed day. His school teachers have come to expect the unusual from us, so they were not surprised when I suggested that today be Pirate Day. From treasure maps and scavenger hunts during recess to reading about adventures on the seven seas, Robby and his classmates will be fully immersed in the theme. This is a great opportunity to kick off my reign as Room Mom!
Lunch, which has been changed to fish and chips for the occasion, will be followed with a pirate themed cake. I accidentally ordered an entire sheet cake for his class (there are only 9 students) so there will be enough of the sweet treasure to share with the entire student body. I have no doubt that my little Jolly Robby will be strutting like Captain Hook all day when his friends discover their surprises.
I love that Robby still enjoys having me participate in his classroom. I worried that he might be near the age where my presence embarrasses him, but he remains insistent that he wants me to be there. A recent conversation reminded me that he has learned to accept and embrace my eccentricities.
Every day I pack a little note card in his lunchbox. (I found the lunchbox cards online and thought that they would be fun.) The front has a message for him, while the back has a fun trivia fact. A few days ago Robby told me that a friend questioned why he puts the card in his lunchbox everyday. Robby, in a matter-of-fact manner, declared that he doesn't pack his lunch, his Momom does. When his friend rephrased the question and asked why I put the cards in his lunchbox everyday, Robby answered without missing a beat. "You know my Momom. She is always doing stuff like this. She's a master at special stuff because she is a bit Kooky."
I am sure the day will come when he asks me to keep my Pirate costume hanging in the closet. Thankfully, that day is not today. Today, my prosthetic will be transformed into a peg leg and I'll enthrall his friends by spinning tales of my piratical adventures.
at 6:30 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
On the way to school yesterday Robby was being particularly charming. His jovial mood surprised me because I had to wake him up so that we could make it to his school on time. He was grumpy getting started, but apparently the Eggo waffles I made him were enough both to satiate his appetite and lift his mood.
Chatting in the back of the car nonstop about anything that popped into his mind, Robby paused to wipe Timmy's mouth. It was during this exchange that I knew, for certain, that Robby has accepted his little brother. It wasn't the helpful gesture of wiping his mouth, although I was impressed that he did so unprompted. During this simple act, Robby called his brother Timmy Turtle.
Ever since Timmy was born, Robby has refused to refer to him as a Koopa. The family consisted of Momom Koopa, Daddy Koopa, Robby Koopa, Charlie Koopa-Cat and Timmy. He was not dubbed a Koopa and Robby was adamant that he wouldn't be one until after his first birthday. Any suggestion that Hamlet join the Koopa ranks was quickly shot down. Not wanting to increase jealousy or resentment, Scott and I were apt to simply change the subject rather than argue the virtues of anointing Timmy with the term.
I had hoped that, left without pressure, Robby would decide on his own to bring Timmy into the Koopa family. After calling him Timmy Turtle, Robby said in a nonchalant manner, "Well, I guess Hamlet is going to stay so he might as well be a Koopa, too." I just smiled and said okay, but inside I felt like dancing and screaming for joy. I know that we will continue to have hurdles as he adjusts to sharing our attention and lives, but this is a big step in the right direction.
at 7:14 AM
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Not surprisingly, Timmy survived his first daycare experience completely unscathed. I, on the other hand, dropped him off and proceeded to cry as I drove to my meeting. My eyes were red and puffy when I arrived, and although I tried to pass it off as allergies, I'm fairly certain that nobody believed me.
I felt silly having such a visceral reaction to leaving my little guy in the care of others. I have left Timmy with both my Mom and my neighbor, and each time he was happy and playful. It just feels different leaving him in another building, even though I completely trust the staff and consider them to be friends.
Despite my strong emotional reaction to leaving Timmy at the school, I am so happy that I have worked out a solution to our daycare dilemma. I never left Robby when he was young, but I have to remind myself that also I wasn't working. This is a different child, and we are at different stages in our lives. I adore being home with him, but there are times when I have to attend to some professional responsibilities. I think I sound as if I am trying to convince myself!
I don't really understand the guilt that I feel about daycare, but I do know that it is strong. Logically I know that allowing somebody else to watch him for a few hours a week, freeing me to work uninterrupted, is not evil. I wasn't a working Mom with Robby. With Timmy I am, and that is okay. It doesn't mean that I am less attentive or loving. I spend as much time with him as possible, and he is certainly not starving for love or affection. I am doing what is best for everybody in the family, and that includes my working. Again, I feel like I am trying to convince myself!
at 5:35 AM
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
It has been three weeks since my surgery, and I'm delighted to report that I am healing beautifully. The pain has waned considerably during the past few days. The "I don't want to move because it feels like my stomach is being ripped apart" pain has morphed into a manageable soreness. I have no doubt that I wouldn't be feeling this strong if I had not precisely followed the doctor's directives.
During the waking hours I still wear the abdomen binding which provides comforting compression. I am still utilizing the heating pad whenever I am sitting, although right now it is probably more out of habit than necessity. I've avoided bending over and I haven't picked up anything heavier than Timmy since the surgery. So far, the only little mishap I have experienced has happened in the middle of the night.
I have been sleeping on the pull-out sofa in the living room. This was decided for two reasons: I don't trust Scott to not kick or roll on me when he is sleeping and also because the head of the mattress can be elevated so that I can stay at the recommended angle. The bed isn't the most comfortable, but it is doable for short periods of time. While I can adapt to the springs sticking in my back, I don't think I'll ever truly get used to the noises that come from our living room in the middle of the night.
Charlie Cat is extremely active, hunting and stalking all kinds of creatures that he sees through our living room windows. I was woken with a startle when I heard him bounce off the window pane. He had apparently been hunting and leaped from the kitchen table directly into the window, breaking the silence of the night by landing on the floor with a loud splat. I have concluded that I have a high-instinct, low-intellect feline.
After I finally calmed down and fell asleep after the hunting mishap, I was awoken by an itching under my nose. I instinctively rubbed my nose with my hand, discovering something unnervingly wiggly. I sat up quickly, only to be reminded by pain that I should still move deliberately and slowly. My nose started to run, and then the sneezing started.
Sneezing after abdominal surgery is akin to torture. I alternated between sneezing because of the nostril itch and yelping because of the pain for several torturous minutes. By the time everything calmed down, the pain had sky rocketed.
Once I recovered from the pain, an entirely new ordeal began when I discovered the source. An earwig, one of those fuzzy multi-legged bugs, had crawled up my nose. Needless to say, sleep was elusive the rest of the night. Every time I closed my eyes I conjured images of bugs and critters crawling all over me. I predict a visit from the exterminator in the near future, but thankfully the tummy pain caused by the commotion was short lived.
at 6:27 AM
Monday, September 15, 2014
Friday afternoon, desperate for a respite, I picked up Robby from school and headed north to visit my Mom. Scott will never admit it publicly, but I know that he was happy with my impromptu visit. He enjoys his bachelor weekends in the fall where he is able to watch football for hours on end while eating pizza in his boxer shorts. Adjusting to the school schedule has been stressful for all of us, so the weekend away was a welcome break.
Timmy was the only person not delighted with my plans. He cried from the time I left the school parking lot until we pulled into my Mom's driveway. Actually, cried is not the correct term. It would be more accurate to describe it as uncontrolled screaming. In spite of all of the effort he put into vocalizing his disagreement with our plans, he stopped crying and met my Mom with the largest gummy smile ever.
I had a great weekend doing as little as possible. My mom took the night shift with Timmy allowing me two nights of uninterrupted sleep. I left on Sunday afternoon feeling refreshed and ready to take on the week. It's amazing that no matter how old I become, I still benefit from a visit with my Mom!
This week marks a huge milestone, and to be completely honest I'm feeling unnerved and anxious. Today I will put Timmy into the daycare program at Robby's school. I trust them implicitly, and I have no qualms about his safety and well-being. That being said, I still feel guilty about sending him.
Timmy is not, and will never be, enrolled in full-time daycare. However, sometimes meetings pop up and I have to have a safe place for him to go. I have worked out a deal with Robby's school which has a small infant and daycare program. I am now responsible for developing their social media platforms and in return they will watch Timmy when I need the help. No money exchanges hands, and it feels like the perfect situation for all involved. Perfect, of course, only if I can bring myself to actually go through with leaving him this morning. The success of the day care venture has yet to be determined.
at 6:33 AM