I decided I’d like to share a couple of media clips with you to help provide some context. In The Little Professor, I talked about some of the difficulties involved in raising a child with special needs. Here’s an example…
TLP used to have a hard time with grocery shopping. I’ve pretty much resigned to letting him ride in the shopping basket (he’s much too big to ride in the front seat of the cart), which I know is against the rules. It also pushes me to think creatively about how I place items in the cart.
This past weekend, at the beginning of our weekly family grocery shopping trip, Karin pointed out that TLP was soon going to be too big/heavy to ride in the shopping cart, and suggested that it might be good to push him to walk at the store. She’s right, of course, but I knew exactly what would happen: blood-curdling screams of fear and dissent; disapproving, uncomfortable, judgmental looks from other shoppers; my fear of having someone try to intervene or call the police because I must have kidnapped this child; etc. But rather than letting that fear determine my actions, I said, “you’re right. He’s going to scream, but let’s just try it for a few minutes.”
In the cart corral area at the front of the store, I asked TLP if he could please be my helper for a few minutes at the store and then ride in the cart. No. “Do you want to ride in the cart?” Yeah. “Well, help first, then ride. OK?” Yeah. He obviously doesn’t understand the first-then clause I’ve presented. “OK, come help.” No. Starting to whine-yell now. “F, be my helper for a minute, then ride.” Louder yelling accompanied by the shaking of head and arms. “Come on, F.” Yelling now accompanied by stomping. I grab his hand and pull him into the store. It’s already escalated to the point where I’m basically dragging a screaming child through the front of the store. I lead the family to the produce section just to get away from the check-out lanes. This goes on for a few minutes. This video is a clip of the last 30 seconds before we convinced TLP to pick out some bananas–his favorite fruit. (Kinda loud… you might want to turn your volume down a bit.)
That’s an example of the downside.
The other clip is a mobile recording of TLP and Yours Truly singing his bedtime songs. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before (other than on my Facebook page), but almost every night at the end of his ever-so-important bedtime routine we sing two songs: “Godspeed” by the Dixie Chicks and TLP’s goodnight song that I’ve sung to him since he was a baby. There’s no video, and the sound quality stinks, but you get the idea:
You have to balance the downs with the ups. These few minutes alone with TLP every night save me. It’s one of the things I do to fill myself up again, and I know he benefits from it, too.