Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer "break"

We are on week three of summer break and this is the first week of the three that we don't have appointments every day.  See, the reality of life with Tera is that days off means appointments with specialists that would otherwise require taking time off of work.  Most of the our winter, spring, and summer breaks have at least a few these appointments and while I'm lucky that I have the opportunity to schedule things during these times, it's hard to look forward to my time off with Tera when we spend so much of our time in offices.  Last week was the worst I think; dentist and blood draw on Monday, the DS clinic on Tuesday, therapy on Wednesday and Thursday, and literacy on Friday.  Fortunately, I think the worst of it is over and we can move on to more important parts of our summer like playing, running around like a lunatic, and snuggling; okay, maybe that last one is just wishful thinking on my part, but crazier things have happened.

One of the things I'm most focused on this summer is making sure we don't waste our time together.  While it is inevitable that things have to get done, like laundry, grocery shopping and other errands, house cleaning, and yard work, I'm trying to make sure we spend some time doing the things we've wanted to do.  So far since the weather has been nicer we've made it to the Botanic Gardens, parks, a wildlife conservatory, the Jelly Belly Factory (not our favorite adventure), and Monday, the Kohl Children's Museum.  Tera has played in her sandbox, yesterday we experimented with the sprinkler, and I made a few (two failed) sensory activities.

Surprisingly, while these things have been on my "list" since last summer, somehow the summer that I have the least energy is when I've checked the most things off.  With my current condition, I'm not sure how long I'll be able to do some of these things so I'm kind of the mindset to get whatever we can done before the possibility of my doctor telling me I really have to take it easy; which I don't do well with.

It's really hard to find a balance between fitting in things that I know will benefit her, and just trying to relax and have fun.  This is what a day with Tera is like: we're either out running errands or trying to do something fun, which is exhausting because she has to be supervised/strapped in every second or she takes off, or we're home and she's testing every limit, breaking new records as to how many times she can say no to whatever I'm asking her to do, or reaching for and throwing everything in sight.  She can have a day with no time outs, or we can have a day, like this morning, when she has two in twenty minutes and still shows no sign of cooperation.  I can try and suggest or try something new or fun at home and she loves it and does great, or within ten minutes I'm questioning my sanity.  Today my brilliant idea was to try and kill two birds with one stone and let her play outside which she always wants to do, and try and get some of the ten bags of mulch I have sitting in front of our house spread.  I was going to try and have her help, which is usually a great way to keep her engaged and usually helps with her behavior, but every time I told her we needed to get dressed she said no and I wasn't about to reward that with then letting her go outside.  Which then also meant she didn't get to play and I didn't get my mulch done.  On the plus side, I was able to start a load of laundry and put away two other loads while she was in a time out and confined to her room.

I found this a few weeks ago on Facebook:

I feel like this sums up many of my days at home with Tera.  I start off with these great things I think she'll love and memories we'll have when she gets older, and instead it turns into her throwing a tantrum and me feeling like I have no control of my child, or really, my life in general.  Which then in turn, makes me question how the hell I'm going to handle anything when there are two of them and one of me.

I can be so incredibly frustrated with her and then out of the blue she'll come up to me and look at me with those big beautiful eyes, and I'll try and remember for a minute how I could possibly have been so angry or frustrated with her.  And then usually within twenty minutes or so she reminds me once again.  This truly has been the most frustrating, exhausting job I have ever loved more than anything.  That kid's face, eyes, hands, hugs, kisses, curiosity, and accomplishments have forever changed me.  She is my biggest challenge, and so far, my greatest reward.



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