The kid is alright

All this  last week I have been adjusting to my new role of housewife, super PTA mom and work-from-home  employee. I’ve been failing miserably! Thus no blogging this week. And before this blog post turns into a whine fest about how much I miss my normal job and boohoo I have to do dishes now, I’ll start talking about Laelia.  :) People  have been  asking about  the kid  to see if she’s doing okay after surgery. She’s doing so well I forget she had surgery last week. This was what she was like right after surgery.

Last  Saturday she was begging to do some weight bearing on her knees. Since physical therapy for the first week is Laelia-directed, I let her do it.  I was still a little  afraid I’d break her, but she was harder on herself than I would have been. With a little   help from Dora the Explorer, Lali logged  over an hour of weight bearing! She’s very independent and nothing will hold her back.

I cringed thinking of her sore hips, but she wanted to hear daddy’s story while holding her toes.

Laelia’s school: Last  Monday  I had a school meeting to determine if Laelia could go back to school. It was going to be with a nurse or health person of some kind. Anyway when we landed in San Diego and I  listened to my messages I had  missed two calls from the school saying that the health person was not available for another week! I thought, “Oh no! No school for a week and me with a new job on Monday!” Well thankfully Sunday night our SEEC (Special Education… something something) coordinator, Sue,  called and after I explained that the surgery went really well and was even technically “an outpatient procedure”  (Laelia didn’t stay at the hospital overnight… and she didn’t really need to stay very long at all) then  Sue suggested I email the school to tell them since I couldn’t call on a Sunday night.  So I emailed the director and hoped for the best. I worried about it all  that night despite trying not to think about it.  The next morning I showed up for school and once people saw Laelia and that she wasn’t in pain or in casts, and she didn’t need any medication of any kind, they let her stay at school that day! When the director said, “Okay sign her in,” my brain didn’t register the words and I was all, “Sign her in for what?”  :) Before  I had been told  she would  definitely  not be allowed  to go back to  school on Monday, but since she was fine they let her! They are saving our big meeting with the health person for after her bigger surgery this spring.

Laelia’s bus: Tuesday morning after the bus didn’t show up I fought with the  bus people  over the phone for 40 minutes. A weird thing happened–they  put me on hold at one point  but without actually putting me on hold. That meant I could hear them dealing with another parent who was very upset. I also could hear them dealing with her in the way they deal with me: with the tough talk, “I’m sorry ma’am, next time call at least two weeks ahead of time… uh huh… well then you should have stood in a more visible spot… uh huh… well it’s our procedure to…” and so forth. When they hung up with that parent I heard them say something like, “Well she’s right. We didn’t do our job and now her job is in jeopardy. I feel for her.” Then they got back on the phone with me!!! And at this point everyone just seemed more human, and I felt more confident in what to say. Long story short, a bus came that morning (very late) for my daughter, and after that her regular bus drivers (whom I adore) have showed up every morning and afternoon since!

Mommy works from home: The great thing about this shift in my job is that I’m able to attend every school meeting. Like Thursday night I went to a Community Advisory Committee  meeting for parents and staff who support  students with disabilities. It was boring as heck, but I ended up meeting people. In fact  I met someone who would be able to assist me when  we return back to school after Laelia’s next surgery!  My goal is to go to EVERY school meeting in any way related to my daughter’s needs or education from now on. It’s really confusing, but I’m learning stuff! Like there’s something called SELPA and it stands for “Special Education… El… Pa.”

One of the perks of working  from home is that I no longer panic when Laelia gets kicked out of school. Like for example  we were told  Thursday that there was no school on Friday for  Veteran’s Day. (We had missed the reminders since we were in Philly.) In my former life that would have meant some mad scrambling and most likely a day of Laelia and Chelsea bonding while Mommy went to work. This time it meant working from home while my daughter was home! That was exciting for all of three minutes. I was looking forward to this new dynamic of working while parenting. I now know this is impossible. Utterly, miserably impossible. I’m never trying it again. It doesn’t work. No good. Nope.

Next time I will parent during the day, and then start work at 3:00 a.m.  when work  can actually get done.

Laelia’s shots: So Laelia was driving me crazy-go-nuts on Friday since I was trying to work from home at my computer while answering her incessant calls every five seconds followed by the whining and crying of an only  child who is being  ignored. Laelia had a doctor’s visit that day, the school reminded me, because even though our lives are surrounded with doctors, they don’t count! Without a physical from a local doctor Laelia would not be allowed to return to school. In the waiting room a nice couple holding a newborn picked my brain about pediatricians while they offered my little angel a mini Hershey bar. She ate half before her name was called.  After her name was called (Lala or Layla or Layloni, they were close) evil Mommy took. her. candy.  *gasp* Mommy mentioned something  dastardly about “eating it later.” This led to screaming the likes of which has never before been heard. Her first two attempts at the eardrum-piercing scream were too breathy, but the third attempt nailed it. She  had people on the other side of the office poking their heads out from behind their paperwork to stare. Telling her that because she screamed she was now getting no more chocolate did not help matters. Threatening her with a time out got the response of, “You can’t give me a timeout, there’s no timeout place here.” Wow. Let’s just say it takes a lot to make me laugh hysterically in public, but I did. Then I said in a sing-song voice to my precious little daughter who I was not strangling (so, WINNING), I said,  “I hope you get lots and lots of shots today!”

Okay the truth was that I honestly did not know she was getting any shots that day. I never would have  said that if I had known she was getting shots that day.  I thought she was just in for a physical where they checked her tummy and stuff. But she was also in for four shots. Four.  And when the nurse told me this in response to my sing-song statement, well that sobered me up real quick. I immediately said, “Oh honey you are getting shots today, but I didn’t know! It’s not because you didn’t behave correctly. Shots are good for you and they make you healthy. They are not a punishment.”

Nothing I said mattered. For the next half hour everyone within the building heard the loud wales of, “Iiiiiiiiiiiii Doooooooooon’t Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike Shots! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! I doooooooooooon’t waaaaaaaaaaaaaaant!!!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!” I told her that if I could I would take one for her. She got hopeful and said between sobs, “I wish you  could take all  my shots!” Stinker.

After the pokes they gave her a treasure box toy for being so… um, loud? She happily strolled out of the office cheerfully playing with her tiny plastic camera. I didn’t strangle her once.  Where’s my parenting trophy?

More parenting stuff: In other news, I’m starting to regret telling my daughter about the time I found a horse outside. He had escaped from the fair and was wandering the Carl’s Jr parking lot all done up like a faerie tale. It was probably the most exciting thing that ever happened to little kid me. I ran up to him and held his reins. I had no idea what to do next, but was grinning my head off. My sister had to tell my mom that I had a horse when she showed up. Her facial expression was priceless. It was a great memory. I told  Lali about my horse during our bedtime story. (A quick aside about our bedtime stories, in the beginning it was all  Bible stories and great works of literature. It didn’t take long to devolve into Disney princesses. Now I’ve started telling her  stories about my childhood and how her daddy and I met and married. I lost my mom when I was nineteen and I regret not knowing more about her precious memories. So now I make an effort to share mine.)

But now  I’m constantly hearing in my daughter’s overly excited voice, “The next time you see a horse outside get me!” Then her tone drops to a  serious one. “I want to ride him. I will ride on him. On the horse.”


Tonight I taught Laelia how to play Uno. We take out the wild cards for now, but leave in all the other ones. She beat me three out of three games! I only helped her the first game! She’s really good at this even though the box says ages 7 and up. Because of the arthrogryposis in her hands we hold something (in this case the Candyland game box) between us  so she can lay her cards out without having to hold them. And that way I can’t see her cards. Well not that I’d need to since every time she  has a turn she starts out by  announcing every card she has.  (It makes the game take ten billion years to finish. “Oh that’s a green seven. That means I need a green card or a  seven card.  This card in my pile is red and it’s a six. This card is blue and it’s a zero. This card…”) The discard pile and deck are to the right of the Candyland lid so we can both see them  and get to them. It works really well!  Well until she has to reach over to grab a card. Then I catch her starting to poke her little nose over the lid to see my cards.  She says, “I’m just counting them!” Or, “I’m just seeing if you have a four!” So, you know, it’s totally justified. :) Still I don’t know how she’s beating me. I’m not letting her win! Maybe I need to start enforcing the rule where you have to  say “Uno” when you have one card left. Instead she does a little dance and sings, “I have one card left! I have one card left! I’m gonna wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin. You’re gonna loooooooooooooooooose.”

I respectfully reply, “You mean ‘Uno’ dear.”



Leave a Reply