Sunday, April 29
Friday, April 27
Little Chic enthusiastically participates in the Spirit Days at school and today was the big thrill of Crazy Hair day. She decided to wear her hair in a ponytail smack in the middle of her forehead.
Brainy Boy, on the other hand, resolutely determined not to go to the trouble, proudly calling himself the "King of Party Poopiness." However as I began the hated ritual of coming his rooster tails this morning, Muh Main Main suggested that he keep the bedhead look in honor of special theme. Brainy Boy thought that was a great idea, giving him the chance to skip the hair wetting and combing, but not enough effort going in to it to be able to accuse him of actually joining the fun.
He insists that he doesn't enjoy any type of silliness whatsoever. Of course, that's only true unless he's the inventor of the silliness. He did have a brief moment of panic when the first kid we saw had totally normal-looking hair. He sighed a big one once he got a look at a few others who really got into being creative with their tresses and realized we had the right day after all.
Thursday, April 26
Brainy Boy had a banner morning, leaving home without his crutch and braving the school halls on his own. I figured it was about time as he was doing more phantom point & shoot with the thing than he was leaning on it for support. It may turn out that he is entirely tuckered out once physical therapy comes around at 3pm, but so far, so good.
Little Chic is heavily into the plans for Crazy Hair Day tomorrow so at this point, I'm not sure what styling techniques that will employ on my part, but we'll post a picture tomorrow.
For myself, I'm good and ready for the disability situation to be over around here as I seem to have taken on everybody else's chores. Brainy Boy got a much deserved reprieve from his normal duties, of course, but as you can imagine, it has seeped into every possible area and I'm doing all sorts of picking up after everybody now. The jail warden is about to rear her ugly head, so everybody beware....
Tuesday, April 24
I realize I haven't been here. Well, I've been here, but not HERE. I've been recovering from quite the intense emotional mom-experience that can only be had when something's not quite right with one's kid. Thankfully everything's fine, but it's not all right the way I like it to be all right - you know, completely back to normal. Quite a bit has happened in the last week starting with Brainy Boy's casts coming off (with Muh Main Man out of town and therefore unable to assure me that there was no reason to panic at the sight of Brainy Boy wobbling around). I watched Brainy Boy graduate from wheelchair, to crutches to one crutch. It's all been advancing smoothly but slower than I originally anticipated, which caused an initial reaction of self-doubt about the decision to have the surgery and immense heartache at seeing my boy struggle to do everything on his own. This included one heart-wrenching day watching him wheeling his own chair down the sidewalk with his backpack on his lap and trying to open the heavy doors of the school insisting that he needed no help from anybody. The biggest challenge was my determination to portray a relaxed composure and assure both the short people that everything was completely normal and that mom wasn't on the edge of freaking out with worry. That was coupled with a week scheduled to the point that the calendar nearly imploded on itself. So I gave y'all a break from having me sniveling every day and settled instead for one bit of a whine session now that I've gotten myself pulled back together.
Thankfully some good and exciting things happened while I was treading water to maintain my sanity -
1) Brainy Boy is quite thrilled with his crutches. He abruptly stops and gets into a bent-over stance while he aims a crutch at some imaginary enemy and breaks into loud machine-gun noises. I think he'll be a little disappointed when he has no excuse left to take them to school.
2) Little Chic and Brainy Boy's DI team placed fourth in NY state in their division. This was quite an accomplishment for a team of seven 9 and 10 year old kids who had to plan and implement their challenge with no adult help allowed.
3) My girlfriends from the PTA took me to lunch for my birthday (it's early yet). Oh, and I'm getting a pedicure on Monday....so the world actually is going to be all right.
Thursday, April 19
Brainy Boy has enjoyed inventing new efficient ways to get around the house sans feet. We have also seen some milestones yesterday & today with him getting his casts off and standing for the first time in two weeks. He's a little wobbly and his feet feel a bit tender, but he's able to walk for short periods of time before he has to sit for a rest. He'll be taking the wheelchair to school for the next few days so he doesn't get stranded halfway some place with no way to get back! This was before the doctor visit......and this was after.
Posted by JenLo at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, April 17
Today was a milestone day, the first that I've been alone for more than two weeks. I am a mom who definitely likes the company of her kids, but make no mistake. I'm also a person who desperately needs some regular alone time - even if it's just running to the gas station for a quick trip to fill the van with gas. With Muh Main Man out of town for six days, I was beside myself when they declared a snow day at the end of Easter Break yesterday.
You've never seen somebody haul a wheelchair and piggyback a kid into the van as quickly as I did this morning! He was ready too, and thoroughly enjoyed the extra attention he got while sporting his "pimped out wheelchair" as a classmate put it. He feigned annoyance at having to give the same answer a zillion times to "What happened to you?!" but he's more than happy to be going back to school tomorrow.
Tomorrow will also be a milestone day as he gets the casts off both legs and he'll be much more mobile, even if he does need the wheelchair or crutches a bit longer. At least he'll be able to brush his teeth without have to spit and rinse into the barf container we got at the hospital. That thing's going into the can the minute he rinses his mouth in the morning.
This is one of the funnier scenes we've seen during the past two weeks....seems more than just Brainy Boy who was enthralled with The Chair. I even caught Muh Main Man plopped in it once or twice. My good deed for the day was to entertain the elderly drycleaning delivery man with a cup of coffee while he waited for his boss to come tow him out of my snowed in driveway. Muh Main Man went out of town before the worst of the snowfall, so my driveway remained unplowed. I cleared what I could but the snow was entirely too heavy to shovel. Delivery guy didn't follow my van tracks well enough and slid off into the ditch. Rather than make him wait in his tipped-sideways van, I brought him in for a cup 'a joe. It always irks Muh Main Man when I do that, and believe it or not, it happens quite regularly. Weird too, as I'm not generally the entertaining type. Must be something about that "stranded along the wayside stranger" type that softens me up a bit. Besides, I always mention that I'm a kickboxer to make 'em think twice about trying anything funny ;)
Monday, April 16
I had planned to indulge in a little bellyaching about this...(Little Chic is a teeny, tiny dark blob peering from under the branches) ...Until I heard about this. Kids we know attend this school.
Besides, how exciting is it to end Spring Break with a snow day on the day school stars back?! And Little Chic wouldn't have had time to build this all by herself. She says it wasn't nearly as much fun as if Brainy Boy had been able to help. Mean Mom put the brakes on and declined all pleas to figure out a way to get him outside covered adequately. The leg casts are just too wide to get snow pants on, or even a sock over those exposed toes. Besides, we've seen a little too much of this stuff for me to be sympathetic.
In the grand scheme of things, it's just the weather. Nothing to get upset about. Even on April 16. When it's supposed to be spring-like. What's a little snow among weather patterns? Especially when families are experiencing heartbreak today.
Saturday, April 14
The local sheriff's office got a phone call from an elderly couple demanding that the "Deer Crossing" sign be moved down the road several hundred yards. Their reason? They didn't want the deer crossing in front of their house! Seriously?!
I'm not a particularly regimented person - I totally love lists, plans and agendas but as I get older, I'm realizing that the allure for me is more in the planning, not the following through ;) But there is one routine that I do always follow, and that is going grocery shopping on Fridays. I scare myself sometimes when I realize that I have a set-in-stone routine that I break only in emergency. But the way I shop and cook, if I leave that task until later, we quickly become "food poor", as a girlfriend of mine says. I'm not a big stocker-upper, instead preferring to buy as I need each week.
Yesterday was no different and we were beginning to see the bottom of the cereal boxes, milk jug and bread loaf. However the Short People are off school and I'm generally accustomed to doing my shopping alone. I decided to forgo my morning trip and go during an afternoon team meeting they both had. This left me with a shorter-than-normal allotment of time, but I figured I could make it. I got the bare essentials and was scurrying across the very pot-holed parking lot when my organic, free-range brown eggs bounced out of the cart and completely smashed the eggs. Lucky for me, the nice cashier had bagged them in their own bag. And lucky for me, it was a $2.50/doz organic eggs that I've just converted to and not the $7.50/3 package of energy smart light bulbs I've just started buying. Don't tell me, but I think I'm going a little bit green. And that's not like me either. I'm scaring myself again.
Friday, April 13
This week has proved to be a revolving door at our house due to the fact that Easter break combined with immobility is causing the days to drag on a bit. Grandma left on Tuesday and the kiddos have had friends over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Little Chic also tried her hand at a splatter paint workshop put on by our local paint-your-own-pottery place in town and they've had a couple of meetings with their Destination Imagination team since the competition day is rapidly approaching.
Needless to say, I've not gotten much marked off my To-Do list which is always a cause of consternation for me, but the flurry of taxiing small people to and fro, providing an assortment of snacks and generally overseeing the fun has been worthwhile nonetheless.
All the visitors were duly impressed with Brainy Boy's prowess at navigating and manipulating his wheelchair around and all were a bit disappointed that he didn't need their pushing power to help get him where he was going. It seems to be the goal of every kid who comes to visit to try their hand at pushing an occupied wheelchair but Brainy Boy prefers to provide his own power.
We end the week with softball practice for Little Chic as well as helping Muh Main Man get ready for an out-of-town trip. It's going to be interesting not having him here for the final days of Brainy Boy's encasement, but I've managed during the workday, so I'm sure I'll survive. It will be an interesting excursion into the doctor's office on Wednesday to get the casts off, but dad will just have to see Brainy Boy's new feet when he gets back in town.
Here's hoping that all you readers are in a much more balmy, spring-like environment than we are around here. We are expecting our last Hoorah! of winter this weekend with a storm bringing snow and sleet. And if you've never tried it, it is impossible to stretch any type of socks over the exposed toes of a kid wearing casts! So Brainy Boy's toes are going to be freezing...
Tuesday, April 10
We had our first major outing today, much to Brainy Boy's chagrin. We ventured out to dinner last night, but he felt a little conspicuous and didn't really enjoy it. But today, we needed to take Grandma to the airport and Little Chic was dying to try her new Heelies at the mall, which is right near the airport.
Once we dropped Grandma off, Brainy Boy decided he would at least like to try one trip down the wheelchair ramp and he declared that double foot surgery isn't so bad when the airport is this much fun! Apparently he didn't feel the stares of many spectators and we even took the elevator up to the tower to see the view from above.
At the mall, the floor was very smooth and allowed for lots of speed-gaining down the ramps. The wheelchair didn't seem to be faring too well at times, as the tiny front wheels developed quite a vibration. We only had one instance of dumpage when reloading Brainy Boy into the van as he got in a hurry and went over the curb instead of down the handicap ramp (he gets very insulted at any insinuation that he might in any way be, even temporarily, handicapped).
I've gotten very proficient at getting him in and out of the house, finding that piggyback riding a 100-lb kid is infinitely easier than trying to either shove or pull a loaded wheelchair up the porch steps.
Little Chic, for her part, takes any and all opportunities to latch on to the handles of Brainy Boy's wheelchair while he wheels himself around, dragging her along behind on her Heelies. He's getting quite the set of pecs, that boy.
Monday, April 9
It actually seemed like a clever idea at the time. Lure Brainy Boy out to the yard in his wheelchair to engage in a war of Silly String with Little Chic. The bottles of blue and yellow string had lasted longer than 5 minutes in the Easter baskets as the stuff is only fun to play with if you have a partner.
We had to get Brainy Boy outside before Muh Main Man came home from work because he's already had experience getting the wheelchair up the porch stairs and he would have put the kibosh on the idea. I wheeled him out, had to make him crawl down the porch stairs so I could get the chair down and we successfully clamored back into the chair so we could go out into the yard.
A few lessons we learned while there -
1) Dog poo makes great wheel lubricant.
2) Silly string wars are most easily won when the wheelchair dumps its contents on the ground.
3) It is impossible to push a loaded wheelchair up the incline, so it has to be pulled.
4) Crawling up and down the porch stairs is much less risky than trying to wheel the boy and the chair up or down the steps.
I will say that when I was helping Brainy Boy get back into his chair after the rollover, he commented on how much stronger I am than Dad! Har-har.
Friday, April 6
Brainy Boy has adjusted to his wheelchair well. Too well. He parked his 10-year-old hiney in it on Wednesday afternoon at 2pm and has barely moved since. He has totally and completely mastered the art of maneuvering around our house (which is in no way disability-friendly) and has had only banged up one piece of moulding on our very narrow bathroom doorway. I have cajoled and nagged him to get out of the chair to no avail. I have to insist that he use the bathroom for fear of an emergency and a wet carpet. And then he gets right back in that darned chair. Apparently he thinks it's comfortable. He's also mastered the art of getting in and out of it on his own. Even from the toilet.
I did go and spend $58 on two very effective cast protectors so he could take a shower (he sits on the floor of it). He was really looking forward to 14 days of no bath, but nothing doing in this house. I can barely stand the thought of him skipping even a day, but the hassle it takes to get him all set up will probably dictate an every other day schedule, especially when Muh Main Man travels next week.
I also laid down the law and said that he can continue to be a recluse until Monday (he has refused any and all offers to take him out to restaurants, which is amazing for him) but after that, he is getting out. He is in absolutely no pain and is going to start getting grumpy from XBox overload pretty soon - oh wait, that's me. Anyway, we're getting him out of here wearing one of his three pair of snap-up-the-leg wind pants that I bought right before his surgery.
And one more thing - no more candy sundae deliveries needed from the florist. Easter is coming, Ya'll. He's going to need oral surgery after this ordeal is over if he gets any more sugar.
Wednesday, April 4
Fleet feet is hopefully what Brainy Boy will have after his bilateral foot surgery today. Due to his pain-inducing flat feet, he had spacer implants put into the arch area of both feet and is now in a double cast for 2 weeks. After that, he'll start physical therapy for Achilles stretching of his insanely tight tendons.
Surgery went well-better than expected actually. Other than a brief bout of nausea from the anesthesia, he's felt almost back to normal and is enjoying his choice seating with wheels immensely. He has declared over and over "Man, this wheelchair is just SO COM-fortable!" He's been sitting in it for 7 straight hours now, foregoing the comfort of the couch or his bed. I can see that X-box is going to play a primary role in his recovery process. The highlight of the experience was that the anesthesiologist let Muh Main Man put in the IV for Brainy Boy's medication, which Brainy Boy loved.
Muh Main Man is particularly glad that the surgery is done and over with as evidenced by the statement he made this morning as we were readying to make the trek to the hospital. "I hope after this is over, you'll be in a better mood," he dared quip. "Muwah?!" I was shocked. "Whatever do you mean?" I asked. He came back with "Well, you've been a total crab for the whole last week." Hey, I'm a mom, worried about her kid. I've got my reasons.
Now I can stop worrying over the surgery and start fretting about how tough the physical therapy is going to be with stretching out that Achilles and all. It's my job. I'm a planner. What else can I say?