August 26, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
Someone once asked me how I do “it.” I am assuming she was referring to my life with my special boys and not my marital relations. Because that would be really awkward and stuff. So I answered in the standard way.
It’s not so bad.
It’s my normal.
I do it because I have to.
It’s the only life I know.
And that’s totally true. While It’s never easy, I have ups and downs like everyone else. I have good days and bad days,triumphs and tears, laughter and sadness. There are moments I honestly wouldn’t trade for anything in the whole, wide world and moments I consider running far, far away.
Doesn’t everyone feel that way? Isn’t that how everyone’s life is?
Now, I will admit that my life is vastly different, and sometimes more difficult, than those with “normal” children. I don’t think the “normals” would be up at all hours of the night, attempting to their child from waking the rest of the house, while he climbs the walls (literally), bangs his plastic wine glasses together (don’t ask) and sprinkles crumbs in every room. They probably wouldn’t have a lock on every door and cabinet in the house to keep their child from getting into medications, cleaning products (I use only non toxic stuff, but STILL) and dog food (which he loves to eat. Hooray).
They probably wouldn’t be trying to coax him to sleep at 9, falling to sleep exhausted at 10, waking up to pee at 11, tossing and turning because they have so much on their mind at 12, sleeping from 1 to 4 and then waking for good at 5 because SOMEONE was hungry in the middle of the night and SOMEONE wet the bed again and then SOMEONE decided to take off his pants and pee on the floor next to the bed twelve hours after his mother steam-cleaned the carpets. Ahem.
The probably aren’t hyper vigilant, to the point where they’ve trained themselves to be light sleepers, in case he wakes at night and wanders and to the point where their hearing is so acute they can hear the gate outside open and close over the sound of a video game, dogs barking and a whistling tea kettle (See, The Guy I Live With? I AM NOT THE ONE LOSING HER HEARING).
No, “Normal” people don’t have to spend countless hours in waiting rooms with their children, go through stacks and stacks of paperwork every day, put their babies on the bus the minute they turn three or spend hours of time on phones attempting to reapply for denied services.
But this is OUR “normal”. This is how we do IT. Yes, I’m exhausted most of the time. Yes, I have a tad bit more stress than the average person. No, it isn’t all sunshine and daisies.
So how do I do IT?
Step by step, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
***disclaimer: Bugaboo is off for the next eleven days. I may or may not be thinking about how I will survive this break with him. Just sayin’.