Mom! Mum! Mummy! Mommy! Mom!...I about fell over when I first heard the Google commercial with the child standing by the mother saying Mommy! over and over. It was a script straight from my life. There are days my special needs son says the word Mommy, it seems, 500 times or more. A day home from a funny tummy meant I was the center of his activities. Where school fills him with stimulation, on days like this, it's all me. And if truth be told, I am not sure if it is my best day of being a mom or the worst.
When he goes to school, it is obvious he is filled up with interactions and stimulation to quietly play for awhile when he gets home. He doesn't need me to affirm every move. But when at home for a day, it is the non-stop M word: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. I have to look at this, touch that, move over, come here, and find the missing piece of the puzzle (literally). In addition, he often repeats the M word over and over again because he can't find any more words he can say (literally). I look right at him, and he'll say Mommy ten times. I answer "yes" clear as a bell, and he'll say Mommy eight times. I can be silent and ...
I often hear the phrase that special needs kids deserve to live up to their potential; special needs kids are special just the way they are. This is true in every sense. All of these phrases, ideas, and sentiments to raise our level of consciousness about the way we treat and see special needs kids is vital to the next step of consciousness and treatment.
We must remember daily life for these kids is pretty tough. Sidewalks might not have ramps. I can not leave my child at a regular day care. Elevators sometimes don't work. Kids can bully. Random roulette or karma, it doesn't matter. What is important is that society understands it takes a lot to take care of these kids. Caretaking for these kids is an enormous task. With approximately one in every 700 children born every year with Down Syndrome, someone near you will have a T21 child in their family. It is the most common defect in the world. Yet there's so much more. Down Syndrome is only one category.
Half way through the day, there was a quiet moment when we sat together in the garden, quietly. A bee buzzed from blooms and was hard at work. My son sat quietly and watched. The M word was never mentioned until we got back to the house.
I never know if I am managing these days well or not. Tired, I long to be done. I catch myself as night falls answering with a bit of tension in my voice. What I'd really like to do is throw the books against the wall, but I don't. What I'd really like to do at times is sit in a corner and read a good book and eat chocolate and drink coffee and.....But for today, I play Candyland instead.
"Mommy! Mommy!" he says as he holds up the gingerbread cookie. "Mommy!"
"Yes, I answer. "Yes."
More from parenting