Monday, November 7, 2011

Feelin' the "Special" in Special Needs

So my parents did come up yesterday, but not until late afternoon. Which meant that we all went shopping together, rather than leaving my Dad and Sofia home, and then out to dinner.

My mother likes to shop. It is her favorite activity, and she is very, very good at it. Which means she is not fast. She is thorough. She searches for the correct size, she weighs the options, she considers.

And did I mention we had Sofia with us?

So that was NOT MUCH FUN. Sofia has about as much patience as...uh, ok, Sofia has NO patience.

We did put her in a shopping cart - gave her the option of holding my hand, Pop's hand, or the cart, she chose the cart - but she wanted Mama, not Pop, to wheel.

The store we were in has very narrow aisles, which means my daughter could engage in octopus behavior, and grab just about EVERYTHING. And then throw it into the cart.

Once she finally climbed out of the cart (being the little monkey that she is), she wanted to push the cart.


And fast.

And far.

Meanwhile, my parents and Sam are agonizing over sweatshirts, and Micah is trying to help me keep Sofia from running people over.

And then she got HUNGRY.

At the top of her lungs.

So while they were paying, I took her over to the card store, which thankfully also has food (gift items), and I found a yummy bag of chocolate caramel corn.

A bit longer to shop... and then off to a restaurant.

On the Sunday night after the clocks have changed. Which means 6pm still felt like 7pm.

Which means at 7pm (when our internal clocks said 8pm, half an hour past her bed time), we were still in the restaurant.

Fortunately, we were in a large corner booth, with a solid wall behind, so Sofia could stand and stretch and point and move around mostly without escaping. Her brothers flanked her on either side.

Until she climbed over Micah to get to me and Pop (who were sitting in chairs at the end of the table).

And once done eating (thank HEAVENS Legal Seafood has gluten-free roles!), Sofia insisted on three visits to the potty. Which you just can't ignore, in case she really has to go.

I hit a wall. It was so stressful. And all the while, my folks are being themselves, having a leisurely dinner and discussing the various merits of the food and service - at great length.

We survived, but I was so conscious of how "different" Sofia really is. My parents would expect a 6 year old to sit still. Not an option here. My parents would expect Micah to be happy. Not an option here (he feels very much a second-class citizen, because my folks really spoil Sam, and Sam knows how to play along. Micah refuses to play along, and gets into arguments with my mother.)


And in the middle of the night, there was a mouse in my closet. Which means that this afternoon I will be emptying the closet - a walk-in, 17' long - so the pest guy can get in there tomorrow and remove the critter and plug the hole!


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