Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Archive for March 2011

Paper Cuts (at Hopeful Parents)

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This essay was originally posted at Hopeful Parents.


Hopeful Parents

Some say the child’s diagnosis is like a stab to the parent’s heart.  A shock, a blow that stops the heart from pumping, the world from turning, life from living.

I’m not sure it was entirely like that for me.  If it was, the wound wasn’t mortal.  Rather it was closer to the cut of a surgeon’s knife.  I anticipated the diagnosis, and knew it was necessary, prepared for it.  It was the recovery that took a long time.

I’d wanted to stop the bleeding quickly, put a Band-Aid on it, and heal.  But you can’t rush grief, it takes its own time.  I needed the stitches that came with experience.  I needed the tender care of those who had gone before me, applying balm to the wound.  First I felt numb, then I was sore, but it got better every day.

I healed up.  I dutifully worked through all the stages.  I wasn’t in Denial for long, though you could say I’d been in denial all along.  I was Angry for quite some time.  I Bargained better than the canniest of salesmen.  There was the Depression.  Short-lived, but miserable depression, anemia from the blood loss.  And then Acceptance.  Text book.  Glorious, wonderful, acceptance.  All the while I’d known that our baby was no different, no diagnosis would change my feelings.  But I’d changed, my life was changed irrevocably.  I’d formed a scar.  That needed Acceptance.

Only the thing they never tell you about grief, is that it comes around again.  Not so bad.  Not bleeding so profusely.  More like little paper cuts.

The sting reminds you of the bigger pain, as though you were ever likely to forget. I’m cut when my daughter refuses to hug her father, and only my cuddles will do.  I smarted when she spurned my parent’s attentions when they came to visit.  The nick when my younger child surpasses her development, or an overseas school refuses to include her.

Just little griefs; they sting, but they aren’t fatal.  Paper cuts.

I can dress my own wounds, and even when I can’t, they heal up on their own.  Give her time, she’ll get there.  Bandage.  She has come so far.  Ointment.  She is amazing in her own way.  Balm.  The paper that cuts me is a masterpiece still being written.  Salve.

Acceptance isn’t just getting through Grief.  It is learning that I’ll go through many griefs, and just as many acceptances.  No use in denying it.  Acknowledging that I’ll smart through every one of those paper cuts.  It is okay to be angry about it.  I can even try to bargain that one day my skin will be thicker, eventually dulled to the pain.  I can get depressed about it, but sooner or later I’ll accept that they will come as part of parenting.

Love hurts.  Sometimes a lot, more often a little.  If I can recover from a stab wound, I can get through these too.  Love heals too.

After all, nobody ever bled to death from a paper cut.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 19, 2011 at 6:21 am

Yes Day

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One of Pudding’s favourite story books right now is called “Yes Day.”  The protagonist enjoys one day a year when his parents grant his every request.  No wonder she likes it.  I get it.  I say no a lot.  Too much.  Don’t.  No.  Can’t.  Hardly inspiring and empowering.  Hardly the kind of mother I want to be.

So many things I make the kid do for her own good.  She has to go to school when she’d rather be with me.  She can’t eat her favourite foods because of her allergies.  She can’t wear light summer dresses because it is too cold.  She has to go to her therapies and appointments, week in, week out.  Reasonable nos.

But there are so many nos that aren’t for her, they’re for me.  I don’t have time.  It makes a mess.  We have to be somewhere.  This week has been tough for Pudding.  With Cubby sick and taking all my attention, she has had to find her own entertainment.  When she does, I get mad at the mess she makes.  She needed a Yes Day.

I couldn’t grant every request, but I could make some things happen.  She could have whatever she wanted for breakfast, so I fulfilled all three requests.  She dressed as she pleased, and was allowed subsequent costume changes.  I let her drink juice instead of water.  She could play Sesame Street games on the computer.  She could watch an Ernie DVD.  She wanted a morning bath, and I let her stay in until she wanted out,  45 minutes later.  Then she wanted to do water more water play inside, so we did.

Cubby, now fully recovered took advantage of Mummy’s positive mood, and ripped some books.  I really didn’t feel like saying no to him, but we don’t hurt books or people in this house.  You want to rip?  I’ll give you rip.  I found some construction paper, and we sat on the floor together and ripped.  It was so deliciously naughty that the kids lapped it up, I didn’t mention that it is a good activity for their fine motor skills.  Originally my intention was to make a picture with the torn pieces, but I’ll save that for another day.

We just had fun throwing it in the air like confetti, then pulling it out of each others’ hair.  We made a game of cleaning it up (who can find me a green one?  Three blue ones?) in a ziploc bag.  Then I hid small objects in there and the kids had to find them with their fingers.  Tactile seeking Pudding loved this, though she wasn’t able to discriminate what each object is.  Cubby liked it less, but he got a small exposure to a sensory experience he doesn’t normally like.

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When I put her to bed, can you guess which book she gravitated towards?  I asked her if she’d had a good day.  She answered with the word of the day: yes.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 18, 2011 at 6:40 am

Sick to Death

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I’d been looking to going out for my husband’s birthday for…..well, since whenever the last time was I got out of the house without the kids.  The fact that I can’t remember when that was speaks volumes.  This has just been a rough winter for our family.  So on Friday when Cubby seemed even clingier than usual, I hoped for the best.  I took his temperature and it read 103F.  Of course.

I stayed home.  Again.  There are now calls for my husband to take a photo of me with today’s newspaper to prove I’m still alive.  After all, anyone could update a Facebook or Twitter status, or write a blog post with the words “centre” and “colour” deliberately misspelled to look authentically British.  I mean, when was the last time you spoke to me?!  Of course, things aren’t that bad, but I do kind of miss the outside.

Apart from waking up a little extra in the night, he wasn’t so bad.  And on Saturday and Sunday he was just fine.  Perhaps a little off his food, perhaps a little cranky, but that is hard to detect in a toddler who delights in being both picky and cranky.  We stuck close to home just in case, and I got some spring cleaning done, like cleaning our very sticky dining room carpet.

On Monday I was getting Pudding ready for school, when he was suddenly violently sick.  Of course, on the dining room carpet.  It just looked too fresh and clean to belong in our house, I suppose.  I took him upstairs, and he was sick all over our bed.  I asked him if he was sick, but he replied that no, he was sad.  Poor boy.  I cleaned him up, sent Pudding off to school.  He took a nap, and woke up in time for a quick snack before we left to collect Pudding to take her for her speech therapy session.  I debated canceling, but we’d missed the previous two sessions.  Besides, he seemed fine after the nap.

He wasn’t.  He was sick in spectacular fashion on the way there, to Pudding’s fascinated horror, and then again on the way home.  I removed his clothes in the kitchen, and as I went to get a cloth to clean him up, he vomited again.  And then slipped in it and banged his head in it.  Sigh.  I gathered him up, and he transferred the whole mess to me and my hair.

He was the kind of clingy that meant even the briefest of showers had a background of screaming.  Only after I got out did I realize I hadn’t washed my hair.  Sigh.  In all this time, Pudding had precisely none of my attention, a circumstance that she was determined to rectify.  I poured a bath for Cubby, and she immediately stripped all her clothes off to join him.  I told her that there would be no bath for her.  Cubby was sick, and needed to get clean.

Pudding– PUDDING’S SICK!!!

Me– Oh really, Pudding?  You’re sick too?

Pudding– Yes, I’m sick.  I need some medicine.  You take medicine when you’re sick.

Well, she got me on that one, but I still denied the bath.

***

The next day I was still dealing with a sickly boy, when I got the call from the school to collect Pudding.  She was listless and asking to lie down.  I got her into the car, and asked if she was sick.  And this time, this time she replies:

-No, I’m NOT sick!!!  Cubby’s sick.  Cubby’s wearing pyjamas.  I don’t want to wear pyjamas, I want to wear a dress.  I don’t want to go to bed.  I’m NOT sick.

And then the rest of the day did a very good demonstration of how she was not sick, but extremely out of sync.  Eventually she developed a fever, so she is still home.  She is off her food too, which is most un-Puddinglike.  Perhaps this is the incubation period before things get messy.

***

Having observed my kids this winter, I think illness magnifies their sensory tendencies.  Cubby, my sensitive avoider, wants everything to be calm and quiet.  He is content to lie down (as long as I’m there with him) and read books.  He loses his ability to tolerate his sister’s closeness and noise-making.  Pudding, my underresponsive seeker, seems to be looking for yet more input to regulate herself.  As much of a struggle as it can be for them to be together when they’re well, it is so much worse when they are ill.  I’m right in the middle, trying to keep both of them happy, and not doing such a stellar job of it.  I just need to avoid catching it myself.

So that is where we are this week.  If I go quiet on the social media, you’ll know why.  But if a short post about colour centres hits your inbox, ask my husband about that picture with today’s newspaper, would you?

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 17, 2011 at 6:54 am

Wordless Wednesday 16 Mar 11

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Sensory Integration- my girl can never get too much at once. Right after this she went for a swing.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

Making the Leap

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The following story is unbelievable, but true.   As you’ll see, I didn’t have any eye-witnesses, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Pudding and I were cuddling in bed.  Two days earlier I’d taken a pregnancy test, and it was positive.  She was 20 months old, and had a lot of energy.  I knew the pregnancy would be at risk for the first trimester due to complications following Pudding’s birth, so I was trying to take it easy.  Spectrummy Daddy brought some tea for me, and milk for Pudding, then kissed us both goodbye as he headed for work.  She and I had a play date with a friend later that morning, but we were in no hurry, so I planned on lounging in bed for a little while.

That wasn’t to be, because after a few minutes she got bored and ran out of the room.  I put my tea down and went to chase after her, but she slammed the door, and I heard the tell-tale click of a key being turned.  We often locked our bedroom door as Pudding had a penchant for going into our room while I was in the bathroom, and pulling everything out of the drawers.  The lock was pretty stiff though, and we’d thought she was unable to turn it. That day I learned we were wrong.

I ran to the door anyway and tried it, but of course, it wouldn’t budge.   I asked Pudding to turn the key, but she was unable to do it, though she tried.   She started pulling on the door handle, and when she couldn’t open it she got upset, and began calling my name.   I tried to reassure her, even though I was panicking myself.  It was before 8 am, and Spectrummy Daddy wouldn’t return until almost 6 pm. I didn’t have my phone with me.  My friend would probably just text if I didn’t show up at the park, she wouldn’t have been too concerned by a no-show.   I looked at the door, and there were no visible hinges, even if I’d had a screwdriver in the bedroom, which I didn’t.   There was no room under the door even if I could get the key out.

I was trapped.

I decided to get dressed.  At least I was locked in my own bedroom, it could have been worse.  I sang songs to Pudding to keep her entertained, and close to the door. The safety gate wasn’t closed, and she had access to the entire house, and all the dangers contained in it.   The thought of Pudding falling down the stairs, or getting the sharp knives from the kitchen filled me with dread.  Staying in the room was not an option.

I had to get out.

I opened the windows and looked for help.   There wasn’t a soul in sight.  A few minutes passed and I saw a car.  I leaned out as far as I could, and waved and screamed…..but the car drove on.   I waited a few more minutes, but there was nothing.   Pudding was very much in the throes of separation anxiety at the time, and she kept grappling with the door, but every once in a while she’d wander away, and I’d have to beg her to come back to where I could hear that she was safe, even if I couldn’t see it.

Lux before you leap!

I returned to the window.  I don’t have a photograph of that side of the house, but we were on the top floor, there was a level below that, and the basement/garage below that.  The yellow arrow shows the height of the window, but I’m unable to show you the actual drop.  Three floors.  I knew that was the only way out, but I felt sick every time I looked at the drop.  I’m not scared of heights, but I was pretty sure that leaping out there would mean the end of the pregnancy, and probably a few broken bones too.

The windows were full length, but had a safety rail across, almost like a balcony, but with no room to stand.  I put my hands on the bar and willed myself over.  I couldn’t do it, I stepped back.  Maybe we could wait for somebody to come by, I’d be no use to Pudding anyway if I was hurt and we still had no way of getting back inside.  She moved away from the door again, oblivious to my pleas.  The street was still empty.  I cursed again the logic of housing us in such a quiet place, with nothing but wasteland to the side of us.  I knew I’d have to make the leap, but I had to find a way to do it as safely as possible.

I had a brainwave.

I remembered those escape movies, where the prisoner manages to flee from his cell by tying sheets together- I would do that.  I put on some shoes, stripped the bed, and knotted the duvet cover to the sheet, then tied it to the bars of the safety rail.  It reached down to the ground.  It wasn’t much, but it was the best I could muster.  There was no way of knowing if it could take my weight.  I told Pudding that Mummy was coming, and hoped rather than believed I was telling her the truth.

Then I used the sheets as a rope to abseil down the side of the house!

The sheets held my weight.  I still can’t believe that they did (they probably wouldn’t know!).  I jumped the last bit, and landed on my feet.  There was no time to revel in the safety of solid ground.  I raced around to the other side of the basement where there was a small window.  I pushed it with force I didn’t know I had, and it swung open.  I climbed inside, and ran up to my last hurdle: the door between the basement and the entry level.  We usually kept it locked, but we’d forgotten.  I almost screamed in relief.

I ran upstairs calling Pudding’s name, and found her still on the other side of the door.  We hugged, and I didn’t let go until the pounding of my heart abated.  I called Spectrummy Daddy and regaled him with my adventures.  Then I had a cup of tea, pulled the sheets back in, removed the key, and got ready for our play date.  In spite of a few twists and turns, a healthy Cubby was born 9 months later.

I’m not surprised that he is my cautious child.

Sometimes I feel just as scared that I can’t get to my girl.  I have to leap to reach her over, and over again.  I haven’t felt solid ground yet, but somehow the sheets are holding me.

********

If you haven’t seen it already, one of my posts is up today on the SPD Blogger Network.  Check it out here.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

Lux Housing

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Our home in Luxembourg

Last week I completely missed a call for Foreign Service bloggers to dish the dirt on overseas housing.  I’ll do it now, because I want to tell a story soon that takes place there, so I get to set the scene.  Given the issues we had with the house, it is no longer rented by the Embassy, so I have no qualms about showing it on the internet.  I thought some of you on the outside might be interested in what our homes are like when overseas.

This was our house in Luxembourg.  When we first arrived, we thought it was pretty great.  It was certainly much bigger than the apartment in Washington, DC we lived in for the first few months of our married life.  It was in a suburb, and in a country as tiny as Lux, we’d have much preferred being in the city.  When we arrived in August and went for a walk around, it was silent.  All the businesses were closed, and we never encountered another pedestrian as we walked around.  It was eerie!  No other foreign service families were housed in the area (at that time) so it was pretty lonely at first. The neighbourhood was so quiet that most days I would hear no other sound than planes flying above.

Pudding reclining on the couch. No, we don't get to pick it!

The Embassy provides the furniture in our houses, so many other Foreign Service will recognize our couch.  Nobody likes them, we don’t know who picks them, but somebody’s Aunt Edith has been suggested.  We made no attempts to disguise it, and embraced the ugliness by painting our walls to match.  It is really hard to live with all white walls for three years, particularly if you’re home a lot with young children.  That often goes against housing guidelines though, so I don’t recommend it, unless you happen to be sleeping with the Management Officer.  Totally worth it ;-).

I know we took more photos, but I just can’t find them.  In a way, it is okay having this furniture.  It really wasn’t to our taste, but you learn to live with it.  I just wish the edges weren’t so sharp.  Pudding almost always had bruises.  It didn’t help that all the ground level had the same slippy tile.  We didn’t know about her balance problems back then, we just blamed that furniture.  Much as we dislike it, we still had to keep Pudding from destroying it, as we are obliged to pay for any damage.  I was pretty determined not to have to buy anything that ugly!

It was a quirky little house, but we were (are) a quirky couple, so that suited us.  There was no attic, so in the roof that you can see were the bedrooms.  Due to the angle of the roof, you couldn’t stand up on one side of all the bedrooms.  There were no closets, so the Embassy bought wardrobes which lined the side of the tallest wall, making even less space.  When you added in beds and other furniture, there was very little room left in the bedrooms, so you frequently found yourself bumping your head.

It was a nice house with a nice garden, but it seemed like they’d run out of money when it came to the finishing details, and a lot of finishing details were cheap and of low quality.  There were a lot of problems with the plumbing in the house, and as the proprietor lived overseas, it was hard to get her to take action quickly.  This meant that minor issues became big problems.  We were without the shower for a few weeks when it caused a flood due to faulty pipework.

It rains a lot in Luxembourg, so we weren’t too surprised when our basement flooded.  Tree roots had grown into the pipes and it became an on-again, off-again issue for the rest of time there.  We didn’t use the basement much, but the laundry was down there, and the damage to the floors made it perilously slippy.  When I was heavily pregnant with Cubby, I had a bad fall down there, and that turned me off the house altogether.  I wouldn’t want to live there again.

On the whole though, we have good memories.  The best thing about that house was that it was detached, and we didn’t have to share our walls with anyone else.  From our current vantage point, that was a definite advantage.  Still, being so isolated can have drawbacks too, as you’ll discover in tomorrow’s story

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

The Tracks of my Tears

with 31 comments

So what I didn’t refer to in yesterday’s post were the tears.  At one point in the afternoon, I was a little puddle.  I’d been holding on for a few days.  I’d wanted to cry when I locked Cubby in the car, but that would have only made the situation worse.  I’d wanted to cry when I felt ill the next day, but there didn’t seem much point by then.  I’d wanted to shed tears of forcing a claustrophobic Pudding to stay inside, but I held back.  And I really wanted to cry upon hearing about the 16 hour flight, but somehow managed not to.

I pride myself on my stiff upper lip from my English heritage.  I felt that I’d cried too many tears when Pudding was first diagnosed.  I vowed not to waste any more on something I couldn’t change.  A useless, self-indulgent act.

I’m stressed to the point of tears, and I don’t let myself…because it is self-indulgent?  How else am I going to indulge myself?  When am I going to indulge myself?  And at what point do I let myself break?  So I reclined on the sofa, and let the tears fall.  My inner Englishwoman did chide me for being so ridiculous, but I just gave in to it.

After a few minutes, Pudding came to find me.  “I want wheels on the bus song.”

I ignored her.

I don’t want to admit this, but I was waiting to see if she’d notice.  She didn’t.  She wasn’t looking.  Her mind was on hearing the song she wanted, my feelings not relevant right then.  I wasn’t feeling like making it a teaching moment.  There will be other opportunities to demonstrate how to show concern.  I cried some more, I was being indulgent anyway, why not gratify myself with a few more tears?  I let them flow.

She asked again, a few times, until I asked her to leave through my sobs.  I’m not proud.  Hardly my best parenting moment, but I justified that she needs to see emotions if she is ever to understand them.  I know, my inner Englishwoman is rolling her eyes too.

Once Pudding had made her retreat, Cubby entered.  He saw me crying and stopped.  His face contorted into a sob, but somehow he held himself in check, and didn’t make a sound.  It was a look of…concern.  Something I’d never seen him do before.  Previously when I’d hurt myself, or Pudding cried, his reaction had been to cry too.  I fell down the stairs some weeks ago, and he cried for 20 minutes after, even though it was my ankle that was hurt, and he was just a witness.

“Mummy’s crying…..Mummy’s sad.”

We label emotions a lot, so I wasn’t surprised he had detected this one.  But I was surprised by what he did next.  He crawled up on the couch next to me, and grabbed a lock of my hair.  He just sat there, his head resting on mine, stroking my hair.  Trying to comfort me in the way that works for him.  I took it.  Before long the tears stopped flowing, and I dried my face.  I gave my little guy a hug.

He looked at me and asked, “Mummy happy?”

I told him I was, and we left to join his sister for wheels on the bus.  I gave Pudding a squeeze, though she hadn’t solicited it, and didn’t particularly welcome it.

As Cubby nears two, I can really see the different developmental tracks they are taking.  Different, not less.  Pudding will get there, at her own pace.  She is still in the race, and there is no prize for winning.  What comes naturally and easily to her brother is an arduous task for her to master.  Though Cubby has some challenges too, they pale into comparison with those of his sister.
Some kids get to sprint, others must face a marathon.  I’m proud of her, and all her efforts.  Truly, her determination takes my breath away.  Her spirit keeps her on track, instead of sitting on the bench.

But I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt at times as I watch her get overtaken.  Those tears will have to fall too, useless and indulgent as they may be.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 11, 2011 at 7:24 am

House of Cards

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You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, United Artists, 1978

I’d woken up to an email with the news that a school we’d wanted for Pudding had declined her admission. Really it shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’d sent them all her reports and evaluations, and I’d been very explicit about her needs. I’d made sure they’d seen the worst of her.  Wherever she ends up going to school, they have to be able to accommodate her at her very worst. Even if most of the time she performs well, I need to have the confidence that she can be supported at all times, or I just can’t let her go.  I can’t.  The preschool was part of a regular international school, it would have been a stretch for them, and for Pudding too.

I’d thought they’d get to see her at her best, but they won’t get a chance now.  They folded.  Their loss.

I’d let myself hope that with an aide, and outside therapies, it could work. I’d let myself hope for inclusion, and much needed socialization with typically developing peers.  Her friends and classmates would be other families like us.

But more than that.

I’d pictured a scenario where she went to the local international school on the bus, rather than driving several miles day in, day out, to a special school.  Not only would she be like the other kids, but I’d get to be like the other parents.  I’d be able to consider returning to work.  I imagined a life with two incomes, less money stresses, being able to provide for both kids’ needs.  I don’t know when this started to matter, but somehow I’d stacked up a house of cards, and it had to come crashing down.  My loss.

The rest of my day was busy, but my mind didn’t wander far from the email.  I returned home from Pudding’s occupational therapy, and set back to work on my quest for the elusive perfect school.  We have options, and some of them are very good, but they aren’t very convenient.  And they won’t involve an inclusive setting.  Her loss?  Perhaps, perhaps not.

It would have been a gamble, to see if she could handle it.  We weren’t trying it because she was ready, because it was time.  My gamble, not hers.  My high-roller could have come out winning, but she could just have easily gone bust.  I was playing my hand, not hers.  It is for the best.  The stakes were too high.

Now we are dealt another hand.  I don’t know if there is a pit boss, but I do know the house always wins.  Whichever school is lucky enough to get my girl will hit the jackpot.  And as for socialization with typical peers, I’ll find some aces to stash up my sleeve.

These cards we have been dealt aren’t so bad.  We needed a shuffle, to learn how to play properly.  Every hand can be a winner.  I have to believe that.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

Spectrummy Daddy

with 8 comments

Today is my wonderful husband’s birthday.  I could write about how every day he demonstrates the strength of unconditional love, but I can show you instead.  And I’ll show you how he never stops trying to connect with our girl, even when it is hard going.  I’d tell you that the world is a better place for every day he is on the planet, but you can see that for yourself.  Read on for the first guest post he wrote, and please join me in wishing him a very happy birthday.

……………

Hello, everyone.  Spectrummy Mummy asked me if I would like to do a guest blog, and I reluctantly agreed.  I’m kidding, I jumped at the chance.  Please don’t go visit another blog, I promise Spectrummy Mummy will return tomorrow.

When she asked me what I was going to blog, I had to think about it for a bit.  Do I talk about one of the greatest days of my life, when I became a father?  (And the German nurse in the delivery room that still makes us laugh.  Great story.  Really.)  Or, do I talk about how I cried when my pudding said “I love you Daddy” after she was diagnosed, because I was afraid she’d lose the ability to say it later on?  I wasn’t as well informed then as I am now.  She still says I love you daddy.  And then I realized what I wanted to talk about.

A daddy’s link to his little girl is always strong.  Usually there is something that is special between the two of them.  Ours was actually two things: weekend breakfasts and ice cream.  I come from a southern family that likes to eat.  We can all cook, and we like to eat good food.  Our love of ice cream and breakfast, particularly American biscuits, is passed down from generations like a good family history.  Proving that she was my daughter, pudding took to both of these items with zeal.  Every weekend I would ask pudding “What do you want for breakfast?”  She would always reply, “Biscuits and honey.  Bees make honey.”  I would smile, and make buttermilk biscuits for her.  We’d smile at each other, and I’d get a kiss from her with a thank you.  When we were out, if she was good, she was always promised ice cream.  It was always a treat from daddy for her.  “Pudding, what kind of ice cream do you want?”  “Strawberry with sprinkles” was the inevitable reply.  It was the pink ice cream, you see.  It was Pudding and daddy’s special thing, and something we bonded over.

When Pudding kept waking in the middle of the night screaming, we knew there was a problem.  When we took her to Dr. P, she suggested that perhaps we should take her to an allergist, just to rule that out as a cause.  When we received the results, my heart sank.  There it was: milk, oats, wheat, and all the others.  There’s your ice cream and your biscuits gone.  There was weekend breakfasts, ice cream treats, and the bonding I had with my little girl.  How was I going to connect to her now?  It was like starting over again 3 years later.

However, Spectrummy Mummy came to my aid when she caught me crying.  (That is also passed down in my family from generation to generation.)  With the wisdom of Solomon and the looks of a young Grace Kelly, she explained that this could be viewed as a good thing.  While we had previously connected by eating, a potentially unhealthy and dangerous activity if overindulged, we could now find something else to connect with.  So, three years after I first became a dad, I started over with my daughter.

Now, we swim together, and she does dog-pile on daddy.  When I get home, she asks to be put on daddy’s shoulders.  We have a variety of things we do to help with her vestibular issues.  Things like whip-saw where I throw her over my shoulders and spin around.   And, I am proud to say, she can point at my t-shirt with the Justice League of America on it and correctly point out Green Lantern, Batman, Aquaman and Superman.  She also likes playing with the DVD player (to my consternation) and with mummy’s iPod, just like her daddy.  Maybe one day she’ll be able to eat ice cream and biscuits again.  Right now, I’ll settle for fruit sorbet and gluten-free pancakes and hearing my daughter laugh when I tickle her, and holding her tight when she asks for a squeeze.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 10, 2011 at 6:36 am

Wordless Wednesday 09 Mar 11

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

Posted in wordless wednesday

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