November 14, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

There is no place like home, but I sure wish there was.  I wish there was some place with the familiarity, quiet and comforts that allow Bridger to feel at ease and allow us to be in public without all the stresses and angst that such appearances cause.
There is a reason that you don't see very many children with special needs out in public.  It is because there are so few places to go that are worth the trouble and challenge it is to be there (not to mention the incredible hassle just to get out the door.)  I keep testing that theory and have proven myself wrong nearly every time.  But for the sake of the other four and trying to keep their childhood normal, I keep trying.
Alan is away with Lance on the annual deer hunt [insert audible sickening sigh from me as my sweet, innocent first born excitedly donned the blaze orange and jumped in the suburban with the rest of the whiskered men for his first hunt].  My signature recitation to the children remaining is that 'When the cats are away, the mice play.'  So off went the mice to get some frozen yogurt this evening.  Off in our normal slug-like speed, that is.  After I change Bridger because he doesn't like to sit in a wet diaper, put his pants and shoes back on which might surprise you how long that takes [I invite you to come over and try to shimmy his long grasshopper legs through some jeans as he thrashes and wiggles], load him back into his wheelchair, wheel him out, load him in the lift of the van and then proceed to bend over his chair trying to hook all four tie downs as he yanks my scarf and suffocates me.  We arrive at the froyo shop and repeat the last few steps in reverse.  We go in and the girls get their treats. Bridger insists on sitting on the bench with the rest of us (and will scccccreeeeeam if he doesn't) so I lift him up and into the bench.  Then he spots the ipads mounted on the few tables.  Broken ipads that is.  Does he understand the concept of broken? No. So he proceeds to sccccreeeeeaam and there is no calming, convincing or redirecting with him.  I quietly declare, "abort mission" to the others who, pathetically, know what that means.  I put Bridger back in his chair - even more difficult this time as he is thrashing and doing his best ironing board imitation and going for the choke hold on my scarf again (why do I even bother with accessories??)  I am trying to wrangle both of his arms while I push him out.  Shoes are flying, he is practically frothing at the mouth, grabbing everything in his path - we are a site for the entire restaurant.  My girls nonchalantly walk out with their yogurt cups not phased in the least.  Repeat the above steps of lift, loading, tie downs - this time while dodging his kicking feet and whacking hands.  I wisely removed the scarf before leaning over to fasten the tie downs this time.  He continued his full blown tantrum as the girls and I sat in the car enjoying our ice cream while talking about their day.
3 hours have past since this latest incident and my left eye has finally stopped twitching.
It is not fun to feel trapped in my house.  It is even less fun to have experiences like that in public.  This is just a day in the life of our new normal and I could just cut and paste this blog entry into a new post every day and change the location.  Yet, I am determined that our family life will continue, and when we do things as a family - that he will continue to be part of it.  Just please refrain from public staring and gawking while we work out these *kinks*.
Until then, the mice will continue to play while the cats are away -- even though it feels more like a mouse trap and I am not sure the next time won't be the end of me.