Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Accepting Help: Laziness or Good Sense?

Today we had a busy morning. We went to Story Time at 10 against my better judgment, I just knew it was a mistake because Alex had been a whiney little sleep deprived monster for 3 days now. But, it's Wednesday. We go to Story Time on Wednesday and that's just the way it is. His ENT appointment wasn't until 11:30 so we had time.

I packed his sippy cup and an extra 1/2 gallon of water to keep him hydrated (probably, no one ever dehydrated on an hour or two's journey but better safe than sorry), his Fruit Loops to calm the need for vocal stimming,  his teething rings to keep his hands to himself, his stroller to keep him from bolting, and his backpack draped across the back to contain all of his things and we headed out.

The whole drive, I prayed... Lord Jesus, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease...

We pull into our spot, I set our things up just the way we need them and put the boy in his seat. We go in and it was so easy. so easy. He was so good. He sat, he listened, he observed and when the Story Teller requested wiggling... he. wiggled. and giggled! awesome. We got a few looks, of course. Some pitying, some understanding and a few I couldn't decipher. My initial reaction was annoyance. What the hell are they staring at? we didn't do anything! We're quiet. calm. happy. not disruptive. so... what? I shrugged it off because it's just as likely that they were curious and considering as judgmental and censoring. We went, got our books and headed for the doctor.

On the drive, I started to consider those looks and looking at us from an outsider point of view when I started wondering if I'm just being lazy. He can walk. Why would I put him in a stroller if he can walk? Lazy. Hand him Fruit Loops to shut him up? Lazy. Hand him toys just so I don't have to watch his hands? Lazy. and I'm starting to feel like a lousy parent when I realize I have no clue where the Goofy Child is. don't worry, I didn't lose him, I just thought I did. He's actually at school and I already made the arrangements for him to get home without me. and then I think... I could have made Alex's appointment at a time that I could get my own child off of the bus. Then I wouldn't need the neighbor dad to save my ass by bringing him home and watching him until I can do my own job. Laziness.

The thing is, I'm not used to having help. Not even the help of Fruit Loops and strollers, definitely not the help of people. Alex's Mommy called me last night, I was telling her about today's appointment and she asked if I needed help. No. I don't. It's just Alex and Little D. Simple. I started reminiscing about past doctor's visits, most notably, the ones that inspired Pour me and Is this it? and she's all... oh. my. gawd. I would never even attempt it. but... It's not like I have a choice. I don't have help. I never did.

Thinking of those days and thinking of this day, there is a big difference. The difference is perfectly clear as soon as we set up, unload and head into the building. Alex was perfectly safe, awesomely content. We walked (he rolled) into the building and went straight to the bathroom. I rolled him into the stall with me and he sat quietly. No screaming, no unlocking the door, no running off, no pacing... he was calm. I washed my hands and he sat quietly. No screaming, no stimming on the light switch, no pacing, no running out the door.

We go in to the waiting room and I'm signing him in when I see something caught his attention. A picture is worth 1,000 words so here...

In case you can't tell why this moment is HUGE, that is him, in his seat, happily watching cartoons... all. the. way. across. the. room. This has never happened before. I've always had to hold him with one hand and sign him in with the other, my attention spit between the receptionist, him, and whatever kids were with us. Never being able to focus.

Accepting help, asking for help, using things that help... It's hard because I've never had it so easy. I've always done it on my own, the hard way. Not working hard makes me feel lazy, like I should be able to do more, I know that I am able to do more, I just don't want to.

Then I look at Alex and just as easy as this was on me today, as hard as it was on me before... it's the same for him. Today, for the first time, it was not traumatizing for him. He was not overwhelmed, overstimulated, and needing release. Every shred of help I accepted today, including a babysitter for the Goofy one, made this easier on him. and that is when laziness is just good sense.


  1. Not laziness, accommodation and efficiency. You have a system, figured out the best methods, and both of you were calm and happy at the end of it all. Win!

  2. I love it!! I always call myself lazy, and I used to mean it in an ugly way. But over the years I've meant it in a lovely way. I am able to relax, to slow down and enjoy movies with my boys, a weekend with my friend (okay...that was fun but stretching it!!), and help from family--who are not only happy to do it, but totally deserve a little special time with my boys!

    This morning my mom called me saying that she's finally ready to learn from my example. It doesn't always have to be hard, there doesn't always have to be a story with forever escalating challenges and antagonists... it can be easy. Forward motion is important to both of us, but I just don't feel a need to rush. It seems my smarty-pants international mental health mom is learning a little from me and my laziness! Sweet!

    I lift my coffee cup to you Mac! Cheers to our laziness and the fantastic lessons we take the time (and accept the help!) to learn!! Huge hugs!!!!

  3. Awesome! The older my son got the easier it got too and I really am lazy. When I was single we lived off fast food and only used paper plates and cups so the kitchen wouldn't get dirty and then I just might have to clean something. :)

  4. Happy children are healthier children who grow to be wonderful people all in their own way. All those things you do to avoid meltdown status are a lot harder to keep up with than you give yourself credit for. It will get easier, I know.

  5. So glad he had a peaceful day with lots of transitions it could have been wild! Good that the stroller calms him. My motto is "Whatever it takes!" James wishes I had a stroller for him!!

  6. you sound like a hero to me... not lazy at all.
    may God give lots of strengtht so you can be there for your boys.
    i thought i had a rough life till i read your story.