Some people think I am neurotic, some people think that I am pedantic and some people don’t see the bigger picture as to why I say, do and insist on the things I do. So Im going to open the door a little and let you see the reasoning behind some of my madness.
Ladybug has been going for lessons since she was 9 months old, basically from the moment she could walk. Before that I was teaching her myself that she is fine underwater and she can come up for air. Swimming lessons have taught her to look for the side of the pool; they have also given her confidence in the water to the extent that she will happily jump into the pool on her own and swim with armbands. I want her swimming without armbands by the end of the year and I know during the winter months, this is going to involve me getting into a costume and getting into the pool myself – just the thought of it makes me shiver. But it will be done.
Car Seat –
It is not negotiable that Ladybug sits in her car seat. That her car seat is in the back of the car and she is strapped in. She has been reprimanded and punished in the past for taking her arms out of her straps, to the extent that I have pulled the car over and stopped until she has put her arms back into the straps. She will be in the back of the car until she is well into double digits and she will be in a car seat/booster seat for many years to come, whether she likes it or not. She can be sick, happy, grumpy, whatever, she goes in the car seat, there is no negotiations about it. It has been this way since she was 2 days old.
Ladybug has had to fend for herself when it comes to stairs from a very young age. She knew how to climb stairs before she knew how to walk. She had to, we live upstairs. I took the time to show her how to get up and down the stairs so that I knew she would never be at risk of falling down the stairs. As soon as she was steady on her feet, I stopped picking her up and carrying her up and down the stairs, she had to learn to do it herself. She knows to look for a handrail but is also knows how to go up and down flights of stairs on her own, even without holding an adults hand. Of course, she has now discovered she can jump from one stair to the other much to my hearts dismay, but I need her to be confident on stairs so I have to let her explore.
Ladybug knows they are hot – she is so aware of heat and hot things that she doesn’t even like her food hot. I need to slowly introduce warm food into her diet, but I rather have her over cautious than the alternative
I work in a Physical Rehabilitation Hospital. I have seen, not just heard stories. I have seen the aged, the adults; I have also seen the children and it’s them that affect me the most. The victims of car accidents, accidents at home, near drowning, burns, I’ve seen these children. I have seen what they go through, how they won’t lead a normal life like you and I know. I have seen what the parents go through; I have seen the hours/days/months these children spend away from their families laying in a hospital ward. I have seen how heart breaking it is. I have experienced the emotional drain it puts on people. The Paediatric Ward is the hardest ward for me to go into, I hate going in there because my heart breaks into a million pieces each time I do. I then feel a sense of guilt because I have a normal child. I feel guilty because I can go home and hold my child in my arms, because I can fall asleep with her in my arms and I can get kicked awake during the night, or even be woken up with kisses. I feel guilty because I get frustrated with her and her tantrums or stubbornness. I feel guilty because the rules and regulations I have put into place to ultimately protect her are sometimes not enough.
I then count my blessings because I feel guilty about Ladybug being Ladybug and I count my blessings every day because she is a fully self-functioning child. I count my blessings because she is (dare I say it) normal. I count my blessing because she can throw tantrums because she can’t get her way, and not because she doesn’t understand what is happening to her.
This morning my blood ran ice cold through my veins when there was resuscitation in the Paeds Ward. I can’t describe to you the feelings I had, and the child wasn’t even mine. So tonight when I get home, Im counting my blessing a million times over, and a million times more because I have never had to go through any of the trials, obstacles and hurdles that the parents of the children in our Paeds ward have gone through, are going through and will have to go through in the future.