Tag Archives: laughter

Why would He do this to me?

1 Feb

“We love the things we love for what they are.”

― Robert Frost

HPIM0597

I really should have put this picture at the beginning of my story. This is Kekoa and me in the background. Yes, I was about to cry when it was taken. The picture accurately emphasizes and portrays everything that is me. When I look at it I see someone who looks absolutely terrified of the reality that has just come out of her body. Why God would choose to give someone like this a special needs child is beyond me.

I mean look at me.

I was a wreck and he was fine.

When we got home from the hospital my husband loaded the pictures from the delivery onto the computer. He pulled up this one and burst out laughing. “Look at your face! You look like you are convinced that the nurse is really a child predator and is about to run off with your baby.”

I came over and looked down at the computer screen. Yep. That is exactly what I was thinking. “Don’t laugh. I just love him so much.” I try to explain very near the brink of tears. How can he not understand? I mean this little person just came OUT OF MY BODY! I made this little guy and he is perfect. It all just became so real. When they’re in your body it’s just a faint idea. Especially when it’s your first. Once they actually come out it’s a whole new ball game.

I think I look the way I do here for a couple of reasons.

First of all, I was totally mortified by the whole child bearing experience. The gush of body fluids, squishy stuff and baby from my body was beyond embarrassing.

How would my husband ever look at me the same?

Second, I really hadn’t given the whole idea of baby = with you the rest of your life, a sufficient amount of contemplation. I just wanted a baby. But once I looked into his eyes and felt a kind of love that I had never experienced before, I knew that I was in trouble. My heart felt like it was bursting with love and breaking with fear all at the same time and either way I looked at it I was in danger of literally loving this little guy to death.

Once the nurse placed him on my chest, cleaned him off, and then took him away to the warmer to wrap him up and snap this picture I was totally and completely smitten.

I also started feeling other things that I had never felt before. A fierce protection of my little boy that was almost crushing when the nurse took him from my arms.

In the picture I am looking at the nurse like “OMG you are totally going to break him. I do not trust you at all. Give him back. Give him back before I cry.”

In what world does it make sense for Life to give this kind of mom a special needs child? I couldn’t handle the thought of raising this little guy, who was completely normal.

Can you imagine the picture of me after I found out that Oli was blind?

Or maybe this picture explains completely why I was given a special needs child…

25 Reasons You Know You’re A Special Needs Parent

31 Jan

I recently read a post on the Scary Mommy blog entitled 25 reasons why you know you’re a parent.

I would to like to add a list of 25 reasons you know you’re a special needs parent:

1.You invite random strangers (new therapists) into your house and before they get there, tell your children to quickly throw their crap around the room so it doesn’t appear “too clean” because you don’t want the therapists to expect a clean house every time they visit.

2.Meeting a great therapist is like a 12 year old girl meeting a celebrity. There are tears, lots of hugs and phrases spoken like “you’re so cool”. You also make sure you to tell them multiple times throughout a session how amazing they are and you are thrilled to have finally met one.

3.Racing through the grocery store, hollering please stop biting my face, pushing a big stroller and a little cart, shoving gluten free snacks in your child’s hands, while you watch them slowly go from quiet whining to total combustion, still managing to remember to grab deodorant (since you’ve been out for two days and have been using your husbands), and NOT cry when the checkout lady insists on talking to you about her grandson and how well behaved he is.

4.Sitting in a doctor’s office for 3 hours at least a few times a month doesn’t seem abnormal at all and now you just remember to pack every single portable electronic device in your house, a picnic basket full of snacks and also a full meal because you never know when 3 hours may turn into 5 or 6.

5.When you have to wait anywhere else with your other kids they are always the best behaved.

6.The sentence “Her eye is crooked again” is not spoken by the sci-fi character in the TV.

7.The sentence “Her eye fell out” is not from the horror movie.

8.A diaper bag is required for at least 5 years. It’s probably the same bag purchased when your child was born.

9.The medicine cabinet in your house full of syringes, liquids, and pills does not belong to a drug addict or your 90 year old grandmother.

10.You have strange swinging contraptions hanging from the ceiling and huge jungle gym equipment in your living room.

11.You go to the gym not to get fit, but simply to get out of the house. Then spend the entire time you are there checking your Facebook and bursting into fits of crazed laughter because you have “escaped”.

12.You believe that all baby items should come super-sized so you don’t have to spend a gazillion dollars on special order items that are the same ones they sell at Walmart only bigger.

13.Driving an hour and a half for a 25 minute appointment does not seem like a waste of time.

14.An hour and a half drive is actually like a mini vacation.

15.You start to actually love driving because when your kids are crying you can say “Sorry can’t get to you. Mommy’s driving” and not feel bad.

16.You celebrate pooping on the potty and reward it with high fives, good jobs, kisses, and candy. (Oh wait. That was also my 2 year old)

17.You don’t even bat an eye anymore when you check out at the pharmacy and the bill is $400. You just smile sweetly at the cashier and say “Of course. Do you accept credit?”

18.The wrong look from a stranger in the direction of your child causes you to snort, snarl, and foam at the mouth. You have the world’s best stink eye.

19.Sometimes punching people in the face just makes sense to you.

20.If someone overheard your conversation with your husband while on a dinner date they would think you were from the CIA and speaking in code. blah blah… IEP. . . blah blah. . .ARD. . .blah blah… MMHR. . .blah blah. . . DARS. . .

21.LOL! That last one was a joke. You don’t go to restaurants!! And you definitely don’t go there with your husband!

22.Dates include wearing your best flannel pajamas, renting a movie on TV and falling asleep during the opening credits.

23.Poop on the walls is not an emergency.

24.You are somewhat proud of the title “that mom”.

25.You absolutely hate it when people ask you “what is your child’s diagnosis?” and are thinking of just handing out laminated business cards because it would just be so much easier than explaining it. And you forget how to spell the damn word half the time so having it written down would be nice. Plus they’d be handy in those time when someone has the nerve to look at your child wrong. While snarling, spitting and growling you could also hand them a business card.

My booger awards.

30 Jan

“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.”

― Veronica Roth, Divergent

So since I’ve recently been entered into the top 25 blog contestant on Circle of Moms (for my other blog. I am in the process of transferring all of the content from there to here.) I have been reading some of the top blogs. Seriously, there is a reason why the number one blog on there has like 8 million votes. It is hilarious!! I have absolutely no chance when it comes to these women and their humor.

But, I still really appreciate everyone who has voted for me. Keep voting!!! You never know, I could get 8 million votes too 🙂 Plus, I just like the thought of winning something other than the booger off my 2 year olds finger. Seriously…she presents it to me like an award. “Here mommy! Look what I have for you!” She hands it to me like it’s one of her prized possessions.

These mom blogs are about how funny it is raising kids. How, ultimately, you do get a little crazy and find yourself doing things that you never thought you’d do. Like responding “Thank you” when someone hands you a booger.

I find it interesting that there are not many funny blogs about raising a special needs child. Oh, they’re out there I’m sure and if you know of one please list it in the comments below or on facebook because I would love to read it.

I wonder if it is because no one wants to associate humor with special needs.

There is nothing funny about a child or an adult that has a disability.

And it’s really not funny in the beginning when you can’t even seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning because the very thought of the weight now on your shoulders seems like it will crush you.

I don’t think I really truly laughed until about a year ago. I was so caught up in all that I couldn’t do and all that she wouldn’t do that I forgot to laugh and ultimately I forgot to live.

Now I see that those thoughts and sorrow were slowly killing me and if I kept on the path that I was on I was going to die a slow and agonizing death.

Now I see that I just took it all for granted and was so deeply entrenched in self pity that I couldn’t appreciate the wonderful life that I had been given.

Now I see that it is possible to move past all of those things and learn to live again and subsequently learn to laugh again.

I’ve missed that.

I’ve missed being able to laugh at myself.

It really can be funny.

Having children in and of itself is a funny journey, but having a child with special needs has it’s own unique humor. One of my friends on facebook, Jill, posts about the funny things her 6 year old daughter says.

Ella has anophthalmia and makes jokes about her blindness and prosthetic eyes. Her mom posts stories about the humor in their life. Like her whole family panicking in a power outage at night, but little Ella remaining calm and leading her younger brother to the bathroom in the darkness grumbling under her breath that she “doesn’t see what the big deal is?” I love stories like that!! (Jill, I hope you don’t mind me using you and Ella as an example.)

Yes, it can be sad sometimes, but it can also be hilarious and crazy in a good way.

Sometimes it’s okay to laugh and it’s okay to talk about the funny parts. I’m glad I realize that now and I’m glad that I remembered what it’s like to be funny.

Really all that I want to accomplish with this blog is to help the me’s from 5 years ago out there in the world stumbling along in pain trying to figure this whole mess out. If I can reach just one person who knows what I’m talking about and make them feel just a little bit less alone, then I have done the job that I set out to do.

Oh…and somehow writing about my craziness in all it’s glory amuses me.

If you want to share my blog and you feel that it may reach someone and help them, please share it. Or if you just like it and want to share it, please do.

It’s not about the amount of followers I get, or how many likes I get on Facebook or winning any awards (although all of those things are very nice and I do really appreciate them) (Vote for me!:)

It’s just about telling my story, healing through telling it, and maybe helping somebody else.

10 Things my mother forgot to tell me about being a mom

30 Jan

1. I will never eat a hot meal again.

2. Strike that. I will never eat a meal again. I will be forced to eat random snacks I find at the bottom of my purse or in the car because I will continually be too busy and forget to eat.

3. I will be expected to be available at all times during my child’s shower to adjust the temperature with the faucet because it is always too hot or too cold and can change multiple times during a 10 minute shower. (Seriously when do they learn to adjust the temperature themselves?)

4. The main sentences in my house will be the following:

• Stop picking your nose.
• Don’t stick your toy in that.
• You need to poop INSIDE the potty.
• No you can’t build a rocket ship out of crap in the random crap drawer.
• Stop picking your nose. (I say that one a lot)
• Eat your dinner.
• Sit down and eat your dinner.
• Stop crying and eat your dinner.
• No I did not make that to torture you.

6. If I get rid of the one toy that they haven’t play with in 2 years that is the one toy they will ask me about the day after I get rid of it. And then I will have to go to the store and spend $50 replacing it because I crumble like gluten-free bread under my children’s guilt trips.

7. Bedtime is actually hours after I put them in bed.

8. “Go to bed and stay there” means absolutely nothing in my children’s language. I may as well be speaking Chinese after they hear the words “It’s bedtime”

9. There are such days as Pee on the floor day. Where everyone in my house somehow manages to pee on the floor. Including the cat.

10. I will never pee or shower alone again. Someone will always barge in, bring their drama, expect me to referee from the shower stall, find a toy behind the toilet, need juice, a snack, fall down, cry, have to pee, or have a poop emergency while I am using the bathroom. Including the cat.

8 things I wish I would have known when Oli was born.

26 Jan

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” Eric Schmidt

1. I am my child’s parent 1st.

I am not her therapist, or teacher. I am definitely not her drill sergeant. It’s okay to just be her mom sometimes. Of course, I still have to work with her at home. But, I no longer have that tremendous amount of guilt when I just cuddle her instead of doing physical therapy exercises. I don’t feel guilty when I carry her up the stairs once in a while instead of forcing her to walk up them when she doesn’t want to.

A woman from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired told me this when Oli was 4 years old. It was the first time anyone ever gave me permission to “just be her mom”. I will never forget that because it was the gift that I had been aching to receive since the day she was born.

2. Think about today.

Boy, does this one catch me up sometimes… I don’t need to worry about the things that Oli will or won’t do 10 years from now. (I really like to do this!) It just weighs me down when I do. I have realized that she can do what she can do today and that is just fine. I really can’t tell you what her future will look like but, for right now, what she is doing is perfect.

3. Don’t be afraid to be Donald Trump

If a doctor talks about Oli while she’s in the room like she is not even there, I fire them.

If a doctor is not compassionate and does not realize the he/she is treating my whole family and not just my little girl, I fire them.

If a doctor or therapist seems annoyed that my 2 year old is crying and my 7 year old keeps interrupting because he wants me to look at his latest accomplishment on his Nintendo DS game, I fire them.

These doctors and therapists have no idea how many times I have dragged my other children to these appointments. How many hours of their short lives have been spent in waiting rooms and in the car driving to different appointments. If they cannot respect the fact that my other children are also affected by Oli’s disabilities, we find someone who does.

4. Google is my friend.

5. Laughter is an even better friend.

6. I probably have Post Traumatic Stress

Oli’s wonderful pediatrician in Las Vegas, Dr. Hyun, told Seth and I this while we were sitting in her office one day.

It could have been our red swollen eyes, lack of matching clothes,all around disheveled appearance and the “Holy shit! What just happened?” look on our faces that tipped her off.

It was the first validation I received that all the craziness in my head had a diagnosis.

7. Functional not Perfect

So many therapists would spend hours trying to get Oli to do things perfectly. She was never successful because the reality is, no child does things perfectly when they are just learning to do something. Special needs or not.

Oli’s new physical therapist, Cathrine, was working on trying to get Oli to stand up from the middle of the floor. (We had been working on this for a couple of years with different therapists.)

She told me on her first visit, “I don’t care how she does it. I just want her to be able to do it. It doesn’t have to look pretty.”

And guess what….Oli did it!

8. Special = Expensive

Having a special needs child is very very expensive. I had to claim bankruptcy when Oli was 6 months old because of the mounting medical bills, co-pays, and things our insurance didn’t cover.

Very Special = Very expensive

(It’s okay. I’ll still take very special, even though it means I’m broke all the time.)

Laughter

23 Jan

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” -E.E. Cummings

So I couldn’t help but write a little note about my husband’s reaction to my last few posts. And then our subsequent laughter. Proving once again, you really can laugh at terribly sad things.

Seth was out when I wrote and published the last post. I couldn’t wait for him to get home so he could read it. This one even made me tear up. I’m not a big crier so I was shocked when I re-read the post and felt tears pooling in my eyes.

(How silly considering I wrote the thing!)

I was curious to see his reaction. He is a crier so I knew he probably would. (Sorry honey but, you know you are.) But I was surprised at our reaction afterwards. This is how it goes…

Seth reads the post. I am sitting there staring at his face as he reads it. I am trying not to be obvious about it so I am pretending to clean up the kitchen.

(Shhh. I’m sneaky like that.)

He finishes. Looks up at me with tears rolling down his face and says, “That’s horrible!”

For a second I’m offended. What? Then I realize he’s talking about that time in our life, not my writing.

I look at him with tears in my own eyes as that memory breaks the surface again and tries to taunt me. Reminding me of how incredibly sad and helpless I felt then.

It only stays for a moment though and then retreats back into the cave where I have sentenced it to live in the back of my mind. Those memories of complete sadness are not allowed out very often.

Then I look back up at Seth and our eyes meet. We both burst into uncontrollable laughter.

ME- “That sucked!”

SETH- “It did suck didn’t it!”

And then we laugh some more. Because that’s what we can do now. I never want to go back to that place of grief but, sometimes it’s a good reminder of how sweet the laughter can be.

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