- 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, November 07, 2014
Robby doesn't have school today because of teacher in-service meetings. In the absence of looming appointments, I decided to pack up the boys and head to my Mom's for the weekend. Robby was over-the-moon to be able to visit his Nana and play with his cousins for a few days. My Mom seemed happy to see him and Timmy, while I reveling in the anticipation of a solid night sleep.
I am not sure my Mom truly understands how much I appreciate her assuming nighttime Timmy duty when I visit. Sleeping for more than three hours feels like an absolute luxury. I no longer dream of going to a spa to relax. Since having the baby, my definition of relaxation has been redefined to mean not waking up every few hours to change diapers and prepare bottles.
The next few days will be spent running a few errands, but primarily just relaxing and talking. I have a long list of things that need to be done at home and, lacking the energy to tackle them, it seemed prudent to just leave for awhile so I don't stress and worry. I need a few days to just rest and recover from the ear infections and strep throat. I have no doubt that in another day or two I'll be back to my normal self. Until then, I think I just need my Mom.
at 5:57 AM
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Little Timmy has hit another milestone. In addition to being able to sit independently (with the help of his shell from the turtle costume), he is starting to eat some solid foods. Unlike Robby, who was a fabulous eater from the beginning, Timmy seems to be struggling with this new skill. While he doesn't cooperate when the spoon is coming towards his mouth, the jaw strength that he demonstrates by refusing to open his lips is impressive.
Timmy's first eating experience was a full blown event in our house. To my surprise Robby even paused his Xbox game so that he could participate. He asked to be the first one to feed Timmy and thinking it would help fortify the brotherly bond, we agreed.
It turns out that we were far more excited about Timmy's first spoonful than he. Oblivious to the monumental occasion, he cheerfully smiled in the bouncy seat while his big brother prepared to feed him. Actually, feed is probably not the best descriptor. Robby's vision of feeding his brother entailed simply shoving the spoon into his mouth when he cracked a smile.
Although Timmy seemed to love his first meal of smashed bananas, the other feedings have not been nearly as successful. He has begun clamping down his lips as soon as I place him in the chair for his meal. He refuses to open his little mouth and my working the spoon between his lips only results in the food being spit out with great prejudice. How could such a little baby spit pureed carrots 4 feet, squarely hitting the wall behind me? He is young, but certainly stubborn and doesn't shy away from demonstrating his wishes!
After an unsuccessful and incredibly messy battle over carrots, I broke down and called the pediatrician. I knew that mealtime should not be stressful, especially at this young age. She agreed that perhaps a break is in order, allowing him a little bit more time to mature and me an opportunity to regroup. Hopefully when we resume he will be a little more receptive to the meals. If not, I am going to need to buy a lot more bibs.
at 6:31 AM
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Despite opening my computer yesterday morning to be greeted by a busy schedule, I knew that most of the items on tap would be rescheduled. I have fought it for a week, but was finally rendered with little doubt that I was sick.
My sore throat, only a mild inconvenience, had morphed into being moderately painful. More of an annoyance than my sore throat, for some reason my uvula (the dangling thing in the back of the throat) had swollen to nearly three times its normal size turning each swallow into a deliberate and uncomfortable event. Although I didn't have a fever, my telltale sign for taking it easy, I am beginning to appreciate the other signals my body sends. I guess learning to listen to my body is a skill that comes with age. A physician's diagnosis of strep throat and double ear infection confirmed my fears: I was sick.
I cancelled my external meetings for the day with the intention of resting as much as Timmy would allow. Unfortunately, babies don't understand (or perhaps they simply don't care) if Momom needs a sick day. He was happy and active, demanding my full (albeit dwindling) energy. Yesterday was one of those days where I wish I had friends or family who lived close enough for me to call for help. Lacking any extra hands, I began to feel not only sick but also very much alone.
I don't live on a street lined with neighbors and friends. While I'm on friendly terms with the few individuals with whom we share our little road, especially Mr. Bill, I'm not able to call them for help when I'm sick. Mr. Bill, who has helped us immensely over the years, has made it clear that he does not feel comfortable caring for babies. I will always respect his wishes by never asking him to help with Timmy.
I have a lot of friends, but none of them live in my geographical area. It's strange. They never feel far away until I am in a situation where I could benefit from proximity. Sometimes, talking on the phone or communicating via internet isn't enough. Yesterday, in addition to feeling yucky, I began to really miss my friends!
Feeling sick and lonely, I surrendered myself to a "feel bad" day. I entertained Timmy when possible, and allowed him to play by himself when I needed to rest. We did a lot of sitting and rocking, but he didn't complain. I streamed Christmas movies and tried to put the feelings of isolation out of my mind. I only managed to achieve a festively depressed state.
Although I didn't want to spend the day resting and feeling sad, I think it was necessary. My body was crying out for a break, and perhaps my psyche was just as needy. Either way, my little sick day pity party was just what I needed. Some more rest, additional fluids and a few more doses of antibiotics should bring me back to my normally exhausted self.
at 5:32 AM
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
My favorite Halloween memory this year will probably not be Robby's Halloween bash, nor will it be the impromptu school party or Trick-or-Treating. I will always remember this Halloween as the year my duo became a trio with the inclusion of Timmy in the festivities. I will also cherish the memories of Robby's gracious inclusion of his little brother.
To be honest I wasn't convinced that Robby would willingly include his brother in the traditions. I was preparing myself for a mini-rebellion which thankfully never materialized. He has certainly come a long way towards accepting his little brother. I know that the adjustment hasn't been easy, but Timmy starting to smile and interact has certainly helped the cause.
Halloween night, as the boys were readying themselves to conquer the neighborhood, my job was dressing Timmy. His one piece turtle costume was easy to don, but made it cumbersome to carry him. His shell added bulk around his back, making balancing him precarious. He wouldn't fit in his Jumper-roo because of the costume, and laying him on the ground just caused him to roll to the side. Although adorable, the littlest Koopa was not happy with his costume predicament.
I finally sat on the floor with him, balancing him between my legs. Robby was about to slip into his turtle costume when sat next to me and explained that he had an idea. "Momom, I think Hamlet can sit by himself." I explained that Timmy isn't quite ready to sit by himself, Robby persisted. He scrunched behind his baby brother, pulled the shell out on the costume and helped him balance.
"See! My baby brother can sit by himself because his shell is acting like a seat." I'm not sure who was more surprised by the newly discovered sitting position, me or Timmy. To my amazement, Robby was correct. With the shell flared out on the seat of his costume, Timmy was sitting and utterly delighted.
Robby crawled right next to his brother and started lauding compliments upon him. As Robby was talking, Timmy was looking at him with complete and utter adoration. I am so happy that Scott happened to walk into the room during this sweet exchange and snapped a photo. With all of the parties and costume fun, this is my favorite photo of the season. I think the looks on both boys faces capture the exchange and mood perfectly!
at 5:29 AM
Monday, November 03, 2014
After much discussion, Robby and I decided only to provide cupcakes for his class Halloween party. His feelings were still raw from the party no-shows, and he didn't feel obligated to bring the party to his friends. Although he was firm in his decision as I was driving him to school on Friday morning, I wasn't completely surprised when I received a near frantic, pleading phone call from him an hour later.
"Momom, I've been thinking. It isn't my friend's fault that they couldn't make it to my party. I mean, we're only kids and we can't drive yet! Please Momom, pleeeaasee! Can we do more than just cupcakes for the party? Pleeeaassee??? It isn't their fault that their parents didn't bring them, and this might be the only Halloween party that they get."
Although I was still nursing a few hurt feelings of my own, I knew that my little Koopa was correct. How could I say no to him when he was demonstrated such mature empathy towards his friends. I closed the laptop, put the reports on hold for a few hours and scurried around the house trying to throw together another Halloween party.
While I didn't have a lot of prep time, I did manage to find a few Halloween games from past parties. I also found a handful of boxed tattoos and stickers that would be perfect prizes. Food and treats was going to be more complicated, because I had no time to cook. After staring at my pantry for a few seconds, trying to find something to take besides cookies, I had an epiphany. I grabbed my party bag, put Timmy in his car seat and headed to McDonald's.
Trust me, walking into a classroom with two large McDonald's bags instantly propels you to hero status. It is amazing how excited the class became when they realized that they were going to be treated to some Chicken McNuggets and a few fries. For less than $20 I fed the entire class and saved the dismal Halloween party. In retrospect, they didn't even need the games (although they did have fun playing.)
After spending two hours coordinating the party I swore I wouldn't provide, it was time to pack up and head home. Robby was smiling from ear to ear, making it all worthwhile. I am proud of his ability to give up a grudge. Perhaps I should take a lesson from my little guy!
Despite not eating candy (with the exception of cherry lollipops), Robby loved Trick-or-Treating Friday night. All three boys were dressed and chomping at the bit to canvas the neighborhood 30 minutes before the designated start time. Okay, in all fairness Timmy was oblivious but did seem to enjoy wearing his costume and being involved in the excitement. Timmy went to one house (Mr. Bill's) where we stayed until the older two took off to conquer the neighborhood on the scooter.
Robby couldn't wait to show me his candy haul. He proudly proclaimed that he picked Snickers whenever there was a choice and was in awe of the number of full size bars he scored. I have taught him well!
at 5:56 AM