As I age, I’m learning to go with the flow. This is very, very hard for me. Many-a-fight has taken place between Dave and I because I didn’t go with the flow and he did.
Today I had myself all in a tizzy because plans to hang out at a friend’s house on a hot day turned into plans to play in the sprinkler (Hi, friends from the playdate who are reading this…love ya!). Through only fault of my own, I didn’t know of this plan until both kids were loaded into the car…with the engine on…without any provisions to play in water or sun of any kind. And when I read the text, I freaked a bit.
I stormed into the house. I grabbed Ben’s bathing suit and some sandals because he had his braces and sneakers and socks on. If I had planned ahead, to make life easier, I would have made him wear said sandals, swim trunks and a t-shirt to avoid the wardrobe change. While he can totally dress himself. And while he’s even mastered (just this summer!) taking his shoes and braces off, he cannot, yet, put the braces and shoes back on. He can do sandals, and velcro shoes without braces, but his everyday shoes are a feat for the feet (and hand dexterity) he’s yet to accomplish.
So I had a whole (probably way-exaggerated) picture of cranky Kelsey crying while Ben was in need of help getting wet clothes off, and shoes and braces to be put back on. I purposely didn’t grab Kelsey’s suit or swim diaper because there was no point. She would hate it all, I was sure. And since she’s not walking…crawling through the sprinkler doesn’t sound appealing, anyway. I could feel my blood pressure escalating and someone whispering in my ear–“Relax. It will be fine. He will love the sprinkler. She will be a mess, but you will survive like every other day. And a day spent with your besties will put you in a better place, no matter what. Relax!” But it took the 45 minute drive to get to that place…of relaxation and our destination.
With special needs, well, things are different. Things aren’t always more difficult, but they do take a lot more planning. I am good at planning. Very good. So good that it sometimes it is a TAD difficult for me to adjust the plan on the fly. ‘Hence the arguments with Dave I mentioned earlier. And the escalating blood pressure in the car.
BUT, all went “well.” Both kids were happy at our beloved friend’s house. There were toys and cats and snacks to make everyone happy. When the sprinkler portion of the day took place, Ben opted to stay inside alone to play with the cute cats he was suddenly in love with. No need for braces removal of any kind. My always-thinking-about-others-friend mentioned they had their baby swing in storage that she could hook up to their playset for Kelsey while the others played in the water. Ben was happy. Kelsey was happy. I was happy. All because I went with the flow…
**Disclaimer–To keep things “real,” there was also a lot of pleading for Ben to try the sprinkler (we’ve avoided it all summer), Kelsey whined through the whole lunch and didn’t eat anything, parents were exasperated with car companies on the phone, and a child may have gotten their finger stuck in a rotating sprinkler blade which led to a hurried and subbed-in lunch making with a lot of medics on the scene for the crying kiddo. But…even still…we all were better-off for the visit. Thank goodness for friends and plans.**