Like most of you our house is busy wrapping up summer & running around crazy trying to snag up the last package of manilla paper in town. I thought I was finally free from the manilla paper monster until somehow it made a surprise return on my sons JUNIOR HIGH supply list! JUNIOR HIGH people…C’mon! How many triangles are they going to color orange to cut & paste into the shape of a pumpkin?! ZILCH.
Anyway, I was sitting here reflecting on my first summer as a stay at home mom with the kids. Now that my kids are a little older I couldn’t wait for summer to start so we could have a little fun together while soaking up some sun. I imagined finally being to take them to the pool, or maybe even a water park. Only that’s not really how this summer went down. We did make it to the pool once for about an hour until Thing 3 tried to drown Thing 2. When I tried to correct her I was screamed at. Then, as I was trying to hold her hand to walk to the car I lost count of how many times she took a swat at me while screaming “NO…. PLEASE LET GO OF ME!”
Adventuring out to a water park would mean we would have to leave the house early. For many years time didn’t matter because we did almost everything without Thing 3. We would take turns alternating which adult got to leave the house & which adult would stay home with Thing 3. This was easier on her. Less chance of embarrassment for the older two. Plus, we would get more quality time with the kids doing something fun. I think we looked forward to that time even though our family was divided because Thing 3 is always more relaxed when there is less going on. My older two don’t have to stand by in Walmart as I’m wrestling on the floor with their screaming sister or sit in the car waiting patiently until I’m finished chasing her down in the parking lot. It worked for us. This was our way to divide & conquer. This is not the way we imagined it or wanted it but, it worked. Then, we discovered that some acquaintances from the baseball park that had known our family for 3 years easily thought my husband & I were divorced.
We have always seemed to get better compliance from Thing 3 in the morning hours so, we pushed for entire family togetherness and were actually quite successful for a while until we decided to start getting a little ballsy and start sneaking into the time zone known as the afternoon. Always walking on eggshells of course. Mainly because it’s not as easy as it used to be (when she was 40 lbs.) to throw her over my shoulder if she decided to refuse to walk and drop to the ground. At 5’1 and 80+ lbs. if Thing 3 wants to throw down I never turn out quite as strong as I thought I was here lately. Battles can turn to bribery real quick around here and it doesn’t embarrass me one bit to admit that! Bribery seems to be making an appearance here more and more these days as I’m trying to treat the long list of medical issues that are causing these behaviors.
So, back to the morning. Remember… Thing 3′s happiest time of day. Our most optimal time for a successful family outing…..
So far this summer we have survived 68 mornings.
The very first of which Thing 3 participated in a Cheer Camp. When everything went great things were looking up for summer!
Two of those mornings Thing 1 helped run a softball clinic. Then, she knocked another one out daydreaming at a college prep course.
Four mornings were spent taking Thing 2 to baseball camp. Four more went to a day camp to see his buddies.
Five mornings were spent driving Thing 1 to work. (Yes, still!)
Twelve mornings were so generously given to Thing 3 for summer school.
Then, three mornings were wasted driving 80 miles (back & forth) to the closest hospital equipped to “fit our needs” for a lousy ambulatory EEG. The same EEG that we have to repeat next week due to “technical difficulties” with the machine.
Eight more mornings were spent in a Doctor’s office with at least one child.
I believe that leaves 28 mornings.
One was taken up by us adults being SUCKERED! We adopted a puppy that we would NEVER have to lift a finger with!
Three mornings were spent begging, bribing, or eventually helping a child “stay still” while they filled up more vials with their blood than some adults will in their lifetime.
Then, I spent two mornings begging Thing 3 to “pee in the hat already!!” Collecting urine at home has been easier on the entire city but, yes that means I’ve been the lucky one to fill vials before storing it on the freezer shelf next to my outrageously expensive grass fed beef!
I believe that left me with 22 opportunities to rush everyone to the car for a surprise trip to Sea World! NOT that easy. Not in this house anyway!
I can assure you I spent EVERY 22 of those care free mornings with a scrub brush, mop, or steam cleaner in my hand. I’ve cleaned more human feces and urine this summer than all my years of combined history changing 3 toddlers dirty diapers. (Two of those toddlers at the same time.)
My poor daughter. My poor kids. All three of them. This diagnosis. This Injury. This assault to my daughters immune system is stealing their childhood. The only chance in their life they will have to live care free….
While my youngest suffers in pain through her childhood my older two are forced to sacrifice theirs to sit and watch her. Not one family member gets away clean here. Everyone takes a stroll through the mud. We are all affected. Since Thing 3 is my youngest my older two have witnessed all the damage. They have watched this medical madness attempt to rip apart my family. They have witnessed their own Mother permanently change from heart break before turning callus.
Thing 3 WILL recover one day. When she does she might be so happy that she might choose not to retaliate. It’s slow and it’s painful but, possible. You’ll see. When I get her healthy I will throw her that slumber party I’ve promised that she’s been begging for. That might be all she needs!
Thing 1 & 2. Now that’s a different story. I’m thinking forgiveness isn’t going to come that easy. I know one thing… I can only hope they NEVER truly forget. Every one of us suffered from the damage caused to our family. I pray one day they get pissed enough to become really kick ass malpractice attorneys. Who knows..maybe we’ll get a little family practice going.
This is not something you EVER forget.
All you can do is fight to RECOVER.
So, if you happen to run into me anytime soon I won’t be able to brag about our trip to the water park this summer. I can, however, show you the bruises & scars I acquired from the summer I got my ass kicked as full time Mother!
The summer I pray 2/3 of my kids will NEVER forget.