Summer has been insane so far. I remember the kid-free days of getting a zillion library books and devouring as many as I could throughout the time off school (which was also my work for nearly a decade). This summer, we are filled with appointments, therapy, camp, swimming, parks, and family time. I filled up my gas tank 4 days ago and have driven over 150 miles just shuttling between camp, therapy, and appointments.
With all this busyness going on, we have started to feel concerned that we are putting too much on a child who is barely over 5 years old. He is exhausted, we are exhausted, and there is still so much that needs to be accomplished. We tacked on therapy sessions after camp hours all this week and next. So, all week, we have sent our son to special needs summer camp from 9-3, picked him up and gotten to him therapy by 3:30 to stay til 5. Camp has been amazing. Therapy this week has been ROUGH. Sleep has also been a little off. When he is so worn down, his sleep patterns tend to be more erratic. So, how much is too much?
There’s also all the time he is away. He gets dropped off and I feel so happy for him to be in a place he’s happy to go to, and I think of all the fun things he will do that day. Then the guilt creeps in. I feel horrible guilt that the other 2 kids and I have been able to do fun activities while he’s been gone at camp or therapy. Yes, he has fun at both of those places (for the most part), but I wish I were able to just have all of my kids home and do fun things together. He doesn’t want to go to the pool we joined, so we do that while he’s away. His diet is gluten free, so the rest of us went to a strawberry festival and got shortcakes because he wasn’t around. We went to the zoo and didn’t have to stand and watch the fish for a million minutes. I miss him in those fun moments and feel guilty that he isn’t getting a regular summer. But, truth be told, it is certainly easier to go places (whether fun or errands) when there are only 2 tiny bodies to worry about. There’s 6 weeks til school starts and I keep telling myself this will be worth it.
I know that exhaustion is more of a physical feeling…but honestly, some days it’s totally normal to feel both physically and emotionally/mentally drained. Maybe it’s the frigid, gloomy wintry weather, maybe it’s potty training that some days clicks so well and others is a complete struggle, or maybe it’s the fact that the little Mr. finally learned how to open his tricky bedroom door.
The door thing might be the most exhausting as it has resulted in less sleep for us at night and now no quiet time or anywhere for him to stay and “cool down” if he needs it. Sadly, he’s smarter than the kid-proof door handles. That gem of a solution bought a whole 2 minutes during yesterday’s quiet time.
The potty stuff was going SO SO well, aside from pooping (which I have read many places takes so much longer anyway). But, then we had some germs, which messed with his system, and then we went on vacation where he was in a swim suit 95% of every day, and then we came home and got more germs. Overall, I do feel happy with our 2 month progress, but anytime he’s ready to just use a toilet full time, we will all be thrilled!
Sometimes it can be so exhausting to not get many words out of him. The funniest part is that he knows how to speak and knows how to ask for stuff. But, his brain works in a way that he also knows how little vocabulary he can use to get what he wants. I’m not sure how they do it at school, but I make him rephrase pretty much every request in the form of a full sentence (ex: “Milk.” from him has to become “Can/May I have some milk please?”). And he can do it with no problem…..but chooses not to on his own.
If we think about these little hiccups in our daily life, they might sometimes be big to us, but are still relatively minor in the grand scheme of what could be. Our son does typically sleep decently at night (and he’s almost 4 so maybe I need to just let go of the nap/quiet time thing anyway…). He does use a toilet sometimes. He went up over 40% in success on his speech goals during the 2nd 9 weeks of school. That’s HUGE. It also means they do see what we see when we push him to use his words. It’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong or hard, but we are very thankful for the things that he is able to accomplish and that’s he’s got so many people working with him right now…..but we do still feel pretty tired….a LOT. 🙂