Sunday, May 6, 2018


Let's see if I remember how to use this contraption.  I don't know if anyone blogs much anymore. Or if they do it's usually as a "social media influencer" and promoting some product or program. I'm just here to dump a bunch of feels on the internet and walk away for everyone to feel uncomfortable. Or relate. Or just judge. I dunno. LET'S FIND OUT FRIENDS. ;)

A very brief catch-up for anyone actually reading that doesn't know our daily life: Zach 13, Lilly 8, Callie 6. We made it fam! Out of the toddler years, and the diapers, and the tantrums, and life is smooth sailing!

PSSSYYYCH. got em! (Side note: had to google sike or psych. Internet says psych. Looks weird though. so SIIIKKKEEEE!) ONWARD.

Real life: Callie has delays. Significant delays. Speech delays, motor delays, cognitive delays. She's 6 but in so many ways she's 2. We've been in that non-stop-busy-toddler stage for 4 years. As I sit typing this she just came in to admire herself in the mirror after changing clothes for the 4th time today. I could tell her to stop, but she doesn't have a 'stop'. She is delightfully happy...MOST of the time. We have definitely hit some tantrums when she can't communicate what she wants or we tell her no, and she doesn't really grasp no. Or wait. More on all of that another time maybe. I'm already off track.

Today is Sunday, it's like 80 degrees, sunny, wonderfully welcome weather after a long, long, gray winter. Callie has been antsy the last few days now that it's nicer and we've been outside a bit and the girl wants to GO OUTSIDE. We should go to the park! And normally, the park would be perfect. You go, you hope some other kids are there to play with your kids and you sit down, and read a book, or play on your phone, throw a bag of goldfish crackers at them and absentmindedly yell "I'm watching!" every few minutes while they burn off energy before bed. Maybe break up a squabble about who's turn is next on the slide or who is swinging the highest. It's amazing!

Except for us it's stressful, and hard, and usually ends with carrying a 50lb kid screaming to the car.  You HOPE the park is empty, or at least only has older kids. Callie LOVES, but she loves HARD. Like tackling, choke hold, hair pulling, clothes pulling, SO EXCITED, hard. Other kids...don't love it so much. Huh, weird.

Older kids don't always get tackled for some reason, or at least they're sturdier. Anyone under 5 doesn't fare as well. And so at the park, we're hyper aware, and hovering. We're not over-protective, we've just learned. We're dreading the 3 year old who just walked over, and was sweet enough to share her stuffed animal. And now it's the ever present inner conversation of "How do I put Callie in kid terms? Do I? She's starting to look confused because she's asking questions and Callie is just smiling and shaking with excitement. Aw shit she's gonna---" and I reach out and grab her arm as fast as she shoots it forward to try to grab this poor kid and squeeze her arm and pull her into a bear hug. Sometimes I'm fast enough. But not always. And the not always usually ends in tears from a stranger's child, and me trying to apologize and give a meager "she gets too excited and doesn't understand" and wanting to crawl into a hole because as much as I can explain and apologize, I know the mama bear feeling of it being your kid that was hurt. "It's ok" but it's not ok.

And then I'm stuck between "I hope no one is there." and feeling bad because I want her to PLAY. And have fun. It's easier to stay home. But that's not fair to her. But it's not fair to kids who get grabbed by the hair by little girl who is just SO HAPPY TO BE NEAR THEM.

Keep your kid at home if she can't behave in public.
She has to be around other kids or she'll never learn how to act appropriately.
Explain her diagnosis.
We don't even have an OFFICIAL diagnosis.
We have a pending "intellectual disability".
But no one makes tshirts for that.
People just assume she's autistic.
And it's easier than correcting, or thinking we'd somehow be offended at that diagnosis.
But also don't label her. She's more than a diagnosis. Respect her as an individual.
Wait, did the psychologist ever send her report?
She said she'd send a copy and it would take two weeks.
That was more than a month ago.
Shit, did Iowa City get a copy?
I should check her mychart.
But that password has to be so secure I forget it every time and have to reset it.
I still need to take over that PT eval I was supposed to do in January.
What kind of parent slacks at this stuff like this?
It's ok, she's making progress. We'll get there.
She'd be so much further if I was more on top of things.
Celebrate her accomplishments.
But don't post too much online or it looks like you're making her a social sympathy piece.
The other kids are getting ignored.
The other kids have to help too much.
But it will make them more compassionate towards others.
Or bitter later in life that they had to play second to a special needs sibling.
Or that their mom was always so stressed.
I should be less stressed.
If I was better at keeping the house picked up I'd be less stressed.
If I was more disciplined.
But sweet Jesus it's never ending.
I'm just trying to tread.
She just learned to climb the baby gates we used to keep her out of certain rooms.
You need to teach her not to get into things and make such a mess.
You need to make her help clean it up. (She does.)
You need to embrace this because they're ONLY LITTLE ONCE.
And I'm acutely aware that through it all, I'm grateful that she's overall healthy. Every day I'm aware.

But this shit is just hard. And will probably stay hard for a while. And ALL OF THAT I needed to get out of my head just because...I thought it was nice out and we should go to the park.

How's that for a blog comeback? ;)

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