January 18, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
We’re going on a date tonight. And honest-to-goodness real date! Like, we get to act like adults! We get to do grown-up stuff! Like, I’m getting all dolled up and maybe even putting on makeup and wearing jewelry. Well, we’ll see about the makeup. I don’t want him to think something’s up or anything…
Anyways, the last time we went out as a couple was our anniversary in November. The weekend? The fancy dinner? Three days of no children? HEAVEN! You have no idea how much I long for that weekend all year. It is the only time I get a twenty-four hour break from Bugaboo. Perhaps you DO know how much I love that weekend! I’ve only gushed about it a million times.
The thing is, it is extremely difficult to leave Bugaboo with anyone. We have dedicated family members who are always willing to help out but they also lead their own lives and we do not like taking advantage of them. We have applied for respite care but it is taking MONTHS because they have to have someone certified to take care of their medical needs (even though we would never ask them to give the meds, they still have to be certified). And babysitters? Well, we’ve used mother’s helpers in the past, but the only way we could use a babysitter is to have them come AFTER Bugaboo goes to bed. I just do not feel comfortable leaving him with a young lady or gentleman who would have to deal with his poo issues, his stimming, his streaking, etc. I’d be broke because I would have to heavily compensate them for their troubles. I wish someone would pay me for mine.
I really, really, really, really (REALLY!) want to go on more dates with my husband. We need more time to chat, plan, talk, gaze at each other, hold hands and just let our guards down. We need time to snuggle (AHEM!) and enjoy being around each other. We just do not get that kind of time. It is just the nature of having children like ours, they take TONS of attention and care. I know typical children require copious amounts of attention, but times that by ten and you will get an idea of what an hour is like with my children. Even Bug Boy, who is much higher functioning in terms of Autism (whatever that means) needs CONSTANT CONVERSATION AND REASSURANCE. I mean, he can’t take a bite of food without being all, “LOOK! I’m taking a bite! I took two bites! I’m chewing it now, see? This one was a super-duper bite! You know, I have twenty teeth. Some are going to fall out. I brushed them this morning but I didn’t comb my hair. I didn’t wash my hands either. Do they look dirty? They don’t smell. I didn’t pick my nose today because I used a tissue! See? I used a tissue! Can you tell?” And the random thoughts just spill forth from there. And forty-five minutes later he is still flapping his gums and has still only taken two bites. And then he wants his plate reheated. And then he starts talking again. Meanwhile I’m asleep at the table drooling waiting for him to finish. There are cobwebs formed by my feet…
You can see why we need a break. Between the running commentary from Bug Boy (he’s an EXTERNAL processor!) and Bugaboo’s…well…running, it is like watching a tennis match. With a really noisy, obnoxious spectator sitting next to you that tells you about every breath he takes and tells you about the drop of snot dripping from his nose and makes sure you know about HIS! FAVORITE! THING! AT!THE! SCHOOL! CAFETERIA! (Breakfast for lunch) and that he DOES NOT LIKE THE NOISE THE HEATER MAKES BECAUSE IT MAKES HIM FREAK OUT (his words, honest) and that he DOES NOT LIKE HOW LOUD I AM TODAY! IT HURTS HIS EARS!
And I WANT Bugaboo to begin speaking? Can’t I just realize the blessing in having a NON-VERBAL child? Because, honestly? Bug Boy can talk well enough for five children, thankyouverymuch! And, he is my child. Which means, no one will ever use the words “Bug Boy” and “reticent” in the same sentence, because y’all that know me in real life know I have the gift of gab. Yes, it IS a gift! SO THERE!
So. Date night. DG and Darling. Seven O’clock. No kids. Just adults. I might even wear PERFUME (if I have any) and I might even SHAVE (Now we KNOW she means serious business!). And might wear something tight. Or wear something with heels. Or something that doesn’t have stains, holes or snot on it from my kids. Which means that once I am dressed I will come downstairs in a hazmat suit before I leave so they don’t get their greasy paws on me.