Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quick Takes That Displays My Peculiar Brand of Crazy

I was fired by an OT this week. That may sound dramatic once I flesh out the story, but it's reality. Mae's in the early intervention public program that provides certain therapies to us until she is three. Her OT at Hope Haven suggested we increase OT to twice a week and perhaps see about doing that through Early Steps so that I wouldn't have to drag her to another therapy another day of the week. It's been over 6 months of exploring that option which resulted in parting ways with one OT who never touched Mariana once, and who would say things like, "Well, she's going to be delayed. She has Down syndrome." anytime I would ask about teaching her a new skill like, say, holding her own cup.

At last we had a new OT assigned and she came on Friday into the Mama bear den. In my defense, I felt it was necessary to come at her both barrels because Mae will be two soon and only has one year left of at-home therapy through this program. It's be eight months to get this particular service. We don't have this kind of time! So I gave it to her straight. I won't be remodeling my home to accommodate her. I won't be carving 15 minutes out 4 times a day for OT. I want to know what we are working toward. I want practical homework. I want you to push us both. I want you to treat her as a person rather than expect her to do things because she has a diagnosis. You have to actually do things with her.

It was a lot, but we have a life and we need our child to be able to function in it. She must drink from a cup, and so I give her one. She must eat with a spoon and fork and keep her plate on her tray, so we work on that. She must dress herself at some point, so we try to have her do as much as possible. She may be delayed, but that doesn't mean we don't work. You may have awesome therapy techniques, but if they can't translate into daily living, then they won't get used much. We don't spend tons of time playing in the play room. And guess what? That's normal. Life is therapy, so teach me to weave the therapy into our lives.

She was very receptive to everything I had to offer. Shortly after she left I received a text from my primary service provider that the OT couldn't find time to see us. Message received. Moving on.
Mae has a new, but familiar OT at Hope Haven, Mr. M. He's her hands-down favorite person there. She basks in his attention. We can not wait to start with him. This change allows her previous OT to attempt to see Mae through Early Steps. We really like Mrs. A, and have been gunning for this all along, but she is very ethical and said it presented a conflict of interest. If she recommends 2x a week, and then gets Mae through another program, it can be seen as double-dipping. Now that there is not conflict, we hope it all works out. It helps that Mrs. A is used to my brand of crazy and has already seen me cry.
My parents came to visit and my mother, God love her, did laundry non-stop. I mean, we are talking wash and fold. So I am trying to keep up. I used to love doing laundry. I am not sure when that changed, but it has. I also used to love to iron. If I had tons of money I would like to imagine that it would all go to the poor, but in reality some of it would go toward hiring a laundry service.
In our home I am known as somewhat of a stickler for doing things well. Good enough isn't. This is one of the reasons God wants me to have a big family. Good enough has to be good enough when there are so many humans whose existence demands they ruin all the things, leave all the lights on and sleep in one bed with all of their joints lodged into one or both parents. Thus this story is about me doing a project "well enough" only to have my father vindicate my usual stickler attitude with his own.

I painted the girls' room. I primed and painted the girls room in two colors, lavender and teal. I set up two lofted beds with desks. I also did this in three days time. When my parents came to visit the girls were very excited to show off their new digs. The next day my dad was making a shopping list and asked if we had masking tape.
"We have painters tape." I answered, wondering if that would do.
"You have painters tape?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's in the garage."
"Then why didn't you use it in the girls room?"
This caused me to crack up laughing because it was a perfect parent-dig. I still don't know if he meant it as a dig or if it was a real question. It was also a perfect mirror to a conversation that Scott and I may have possibly had in the past. Let's put it this way; Scott found that conversation explained a lot about me.

So, I'll be doing some trim work this weekend. (No, I won't. The girls don't care, so neither do I!)
Let's talk about 5 year old boys playing basketball. It is irritating to me that some of these boys are focused and intentional and my kid is lying on the floor pretending to have been blasted by the alien shaped like a basketball. It irritates me that my kid is normal and these freak athletic and focused children are making him look like the freak. Also, these parents that pay attention at practice annoy me as well. Who cares about practice? I've brought my kid, I've done my duty. I did not sign up to coach, I stay in case of emergency, and I noticed when he was absent from the court and had the presence of mind to ask the coach where he was. He was in the bathroom. There. Mission accomplished. My kid might be a great ball player and he might not. I sure can't tell at 5, and I don't care to plan his career at this point. I'd just be happy if he would stop break dancing on the court.

To be fair there are plenty of kids just like Paul on his team. The team has kids ranging in ages 3-6. It's crazy to think that this was a good idea, but that's what you get when you sign them up for a church league. Everyone gets a shot, even the weird kids.
I found a retreat I am hoping to attend. For this to happen LOTS of things have to fall into place. It's an impulsive decision, but I think a good one. It's not religious, it's for moms, and it's not for moms of special needs kids. It seems to be just one big fabulous girls' night out.

It is a little surprising to me that I do not feel the need to justify this. I told Scott about it and gave no reasons why I want to go. Of course he was supportive. I have actually begun to justify it to myself and made a conscience effort to stifle that. I don't want to justify why I need this. I don't want to list all of my responsibilities and my habits of not taking enough care of myself. It's the same old song for every parent in all of history. I want to go to this thing because it looks fun and it's not with anyone that I know. When I say I want a retreat, I mean from everything familiar. I want to have myself a little adventure, and it feels great not to have to bemoan this life I love in order to feel like I deserve it. I don't deserve it, I desire it.

Too often, probably because of the culture of entitlement that we live in, we feel that all of our desires are somehow too selfish to be satisfied without a litany of justifications. I don't think that it has to be that complicated. If you are a well adjusted person with a modicum amount of self awareness, finding something that ignites interest and won't place undue burdens on others is a great thing to explore. Fun is good for the soul y'all.
We have decided to homeschool Kate for next year. This is not a commitment we've made lightly, but the kiddo is excited. She's so adventurous and has a million things she wants to try. We've worked out her music and PE credits, well mostly. We want her to take martial arts, she's committed to tennis. Nothing is perfectly easy.

I informed the school, and I have to say that I was really happy with the conversation that the principal and I had. He's a good man and a great administrator. He has been very supportive of making sure that Kate's at least on par with the school just in case we decide to have her return. I think we may well do that, but I'm taking it one year at a time. He gave me great advice regarding her independence as a student. I feel very blessed to have this school in our lives. None of the other kids are interested in homeschooling and I'm good with that. One at a time seems just like my pace at this point. I'm excited and nervous to see where this next school year takes us, but we've got a few months to go with this one, so I'll be patient.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you for the following reasons.
    1) making sure everyone knows Mae kicks a@@ and should be treated that way.
    2) homeschooling kate. God give me the grace when and if one of my kids needs it.

    And, as a sidenote- i really wish i could come. in addition to not being certain about finances, Aaron has no vacation and we are at his family vacation the week before and mine the week after. that being said, I am still trying to find a way. but don't tell anyone ;)