Friday, December 4, 2009

In a word...

"Lets not quibble! I'm the foe of moderation, the champion of excess. If I may lift a line from a die-hard whose identity is lost in the shuffle, I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right."


Tallulah Bankhead




Does anyone ever notice how much paperwork is involved in having a child? From permission slips and insurance forms to notes to teachers, notes from teachers and everything you can think of in between. There is a lot of paper involved. When you have a child with special needs, who requires services, the amount is overwhelming. I think that my family alone is probably responsible for at least a redwood tree worth of paper.




We have recently been going through diagnosis with our youngest, Zoe. Filling out the necessary forms..answering the necessary questions...When did she first sit up? Roll over? speak her first word? Crawl, walk, potty train, do complicated math? It is endless..and it makes me feel like I'm a failure. Ten years ago, when we were doing all of this for Sammy-I could answer every question. In fact, I could answer it with incredible detail. When did he take his first steps they asked? "September twentieth, 1999, at exactly 11:02 a.m." "Eastern time." I answered with smug authority. Now, three more kids and a decade later..I'm not so confident. Sigh..I have had four kids in seven years..and I seem to be losing my memory. (Along with my mind on some days.) I know that Zoe did indeed learn to walk...and she does talk..she even has a fondness for on-line poker! When these things happened-well, your guess is as good as mine. I don't keep baby books, or records..hell, I don't even always remember to brush my hair every day! Isn't knowing that they happened enough?




In truth, it isn't all bad..There are a few questions that I do enjoy answering. "Describe your child to us" and "Tell us what it is you like about your child" The only problem I have with these questions, is that there is never enough room to answer. I couldn't pick just one adjective. How could anyone describe a child in one word? What one word or sentence could possibly encompass all that they are?



Three of the herd have an A.S.D., and although that may explain some of their behaviors, it is far from describing them. All of my kids are joyful, energetic, overwhelming, happy, stubborn, strong willed, lovely,strong, inquisitive, wonderful,curious, talkative, not talkative, tenacious, eager, did I mention energetic? I guess that if I had to pick one word, I would say "human." Beautiful and complex-and as equally entitled to respect and acceptance as anyone else.



nI have to admit, when my kids ask me when they had hit certain milestones-I fake it. "Oh you were about a year old..." "But that's what you said about Oscar!" "He's your brother..uuhhh, families tend to figure out certain things at around the same time..yeah that's it..uhhh...do you want some cookies?"But when it comes to telling them all the reasons I think that they are wonderful, I am never at a loss for words. As for those forms...I guess I'll just have to fake it there as well-AND learn how to write smaller.

5 comments:

KWombles said...

Funny and heartwarming as always. :-)

kathleen said...

Thanks Kim :) I hope I'm not losing my edge though...

Life as the mother of 4 said...

I do think your life is quite similar to mine. The youngest does seem to get less time don't they. I assigned an older sibling the job of reading to her and it didn't go well. But all mine are in school now and I have a breather in the middle of the day.

Good luck with Zoe! I hope you get good services for her.

kathleen said...

Hi mother of 4! I'm so glad you came by. I can't wait to get a breather-tell me what is it like? Do you get anything done? Or do you just relish the quiet..I have made so many plans as to what I want to do when they are all in school..but I think that I will need some time just to recover! :)

Life as the mother of 4 said...

I joke that I need twelve years to recover. I paid for full day kindergarten for my youngest and it was the best decision!!!! I've had two and a half years of all my kids in school and I'm barely starting to feel normal, or not stretched to thin, again. It's great. I had all my kids quite close together so I had some intense years. It absolutely gets easier.