Appreciating, allowing and accepting the differences of motherhood when children have special needs.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain...by Vivian Greene.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
What Time Is It?
What Time Is It?
I often don't know what time it is in my
own house. That is because I live with Matthew, who has a special talent
for pushing buttons on the microwave clock to change it. He also unplugs
the digital clock in his room then plugs it in again (I know, unsafe) so he can
watch it flash 12:00 over and over. Recently, he has begun climbing on a
shelf in our kitchen to reach the large wall clock so he can rearrange the
hands on that. I look from clock to clock, wondering, what time is it? While I am fixing the wall clock,
he is changing the time on the oven clock!
Matthew is literally pushing my buttons
(on my clocks, phone and on my dwindling patience) every moment of the day.
We try to distract him from doing so by hiding iPhones and iPads in the
tallest cabinet in the kitchen - hoping and praying he won't drag a chair over
to that cabinet when I am in the bathroom, and double checking, triple checking
the digital clock in his bedroom before kissing him good night to make sure
that it has the correct time but more importantly that the alarm is not going
to go off at midnight because he has pressed THAT button.
It's hard to "recharge"
ourselves living in this environment. I can't recharge my house phone, or
leave my cell out to charge while Matthew is home...but most important, it's
hard to recharge ME when I live in anticipation of Matthew's next move.
Will he interrupt the washing cycle on our washing machine? Those
buttons are fun to push because they "beep". While I am in the
laundry room, what will he get into? Let's see, I remembered to hide the
phones, the computer is in a good hiding place, I think I have my bases
covered. Nope! He found the TV remote and is deleting my favorite
show, Parenthood, as I exit the laundry room.
As a mom of a child with special needs, I
always have to be "on". Remember back when your child was 18 months
old and you were exhausted because you had to be "on" all the time -
you could not take your eyes off your child because who knew what he would get
into next? What would he put in his mouth? What would he touch? An
electrical outlet? Poop? That is what it is like living with
Matthew. No, he is not 18 months old, he is 8. While his peers are
out there skateboarding and learning to snowboard...creating with Legos and
going to indoor lacrosse practice, Matthew is...pushing buttons.
On the bright side, all this button
pushing is getting him ready for a future in electronics. Last week, he
found my old laptop hidden away in the mudroom closet. It had not been
used in 2 years. He asked if he could use it. Why not, I
thought? I plugged it in, got it charging and discovered there was no
icon for the Internet, so I told him it was just for typing words. Within
20 seconds he said, "Look, Mommy, I'm on Yahoo...how do I get to Starfall
from here?" (his favorite website).
If you met Matthew for the first time, he
would engage you with his warm smile and ask you his repertoire of
questions.While you answered him,
he would reach in your pocket for your phone or keys and in a split second, he
would delete an app or push the panic button on your car keys. Watch out,
next time he might change your clock somehow and you won't know what
time it is!