Children.. not for the lazy

When you first hear the news that your child will be mentally slower than their peers, your first thought is for them. Their future. Will they perform independently as an adult? How will they cope if you died while they are still children? What will be for them?
As a Parent, your last thought is for yourself. It’s the greatest gift of being a parent with a child who has more needs than others. You immediately become selfless. All thoughts of how you will get through these years goes out the window and is replaced with a force from within to help your child.
Being gifted with a child with needs is a blessing. You learn so much as I’m sure all of you out there would agree, you learn to be strong. You develop this amazing patience, love, acceptance, consistency and the ability to function with little sleep.
My last child has Dyspraxia, which in her means, immaturity for her age. As her 11 year old body is growing into puberty, she is a happy six year old, horrified at the thoughts of growing up changes happening to her body and not ready to hear it!
She has lots of conditions inside that diagnosis, but one of them is ADHD. She is impulsive, excitable and hyper active. (She could have been badly behaved, but thankfully, I got some very good help with behavior when she was four and it worked really well. It’s really simple, it’s not accepting bad behavior from your little tots. Giving them consequences and not pushing them into situations that they are mentally not up to. And lots of praise for good behavior!)
As I got her first call (Mammy?) from her room this morning in the pitch dark, I looked to see it was 5.30am.
She’s awake. She can’t go back to sleep. There is a reason she awoke this morning an hour earlier than usual and it’s halloween dress up day in school. She is going to be a nerd. She finally has the so wished for braces to add to her nerdity. She can’t wait to dress up. And I have a lot of work ahead of me, so I may as well get up and get organized before she leaves for school.
As I was making my coffee, I thought, ‘You wouldn’t want to be a lazy Mum with a child like mine, nor an unfit one, nor too old.’ (It doesn’t mean I don’t feel all of these symptoms this morning!)
 My 11 year old also has sensory difficulties and this morning she’s all clogged up from a cold.  I begin a nasal wash with salt and water, to her dismay, but she knows it makes her feel better. She then has a good breakfast and we begin the task of washing her, hair brushing, plaiting, hair color spray, nail varnish, clothes, makeup. She needs me to help with all these things as she can’t do it by herself. I am pretty good at grooming and hygene as I was a hairdresser and beauty therapist in my day, so my skills aren’t lost.
In the meantime, she is so excited, she can’t sit down. At this point, I can’t really take my eyes off her, because anything could happen. Thankfully, it’s 9am and my 20 year old daughter is dropping her to school this morning as I am not dressed and my house is now a mess.
My 11 year old doesn’t need an SNA in school as she is really well behaved and they have her in a good routine, but they do watch her and keep an eye on her, so I know she’s safe. I will pick her up at 3pm and she will be exhausted and sometimes deflated, if the day didn’t go to plan.
As I sit here writing this with a thousands things to do today and a thousand things to worry about, all I’m feeling is blessed.
Jean xxx

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