Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Salt Shakers and Other Things I Am Keenly Aware Of

I have lived a strange life since becoming a mother. It does not seem that strange when I am living it. But, then something happens that will show me just how different my life has been the past several years.

Being the mother of a child with medical and special needs has changed me more than other moms with healthy and typically developing children. Some things have become ingrained in me without even knowing it. Time and time again I am reminded just how different my mothering experience has been and the super mommy senses that have developed as a result. Take these for example:

-I almost get a headache when multiple children talk at once. I know this sounds strange. But, I have 1 fairly quiet six year old boy and a minimally verbal 10 year old daughter. I am use to hearing only 1 voice most of the day. Compound that with the fact that my job as a speech-language pathologist is working 1-on-1 with toddlers with language delays. Most of these children do not say much either. Hearing several children talk at once makes my head spin. Having several children talk to me for an extended period of time makes me feel like I am in sensory overload. It is just a foreign experience for me, and I can't seem to focus on many voices at once.

-I want to panic when children refuse to hold my hand while crossing the street. I hardly ever walk anywhere in public without holding my daughter’s hand. She has been a runner for years forcing me to hold her wrist while crossing the street or walking through parking lots. While her running off has decreased over the years, I still hold her wrist or hand in preparation for those moments when she tries to challenge me to an unexpected sprint. When I had an outing with my nieces and nephews once, I instinctively grabbed the wrist of my niece who is the same age as my daughter as we crossed the street. She looked at me and asked, “What are you doing?” Embarrassed, I replied that I was keeping her safe. Ha! I got her across that crosswalk really safely and realized my norm is not her norm.

-I am always aware of all the possible ways to exit a building. Whenever we visit a home we have never been in before, I like to know where the doors leading out are. Sometimes, I ask the homeowners when I am afraid that I can't see all the doors from the layout. I need to know the possible ways that Jaycee might try to leave a location to explore. I try to perch in a spot in the house where I can see the possible exits and Jaycee's activity. One time, we were attending a Bible study in a home. I embarrassingly asked where the doors were because I knew this question would sound strange. I was told I can see all the doors from the living room except the door that leads to the garage. The woman assured me that Jaycee wouldn't go in there because it was dark. At some point that night, we heard the noise of Jaycee wandering in there. Trust me, I know my daughter, and I need to know the exits.

-I am also oddly aware of the locations of the salt and pepper shakers. Jaycee likes to pour these out on the table or in drinks (usually mine). Having small specks of salt all over my kitchen table and running to the floor bothers me more than it should. For this reason, the salt and pepper is never left on the table after a meal. It must always be put up away from Jaycee to prevent her from the temptation to tip it over.

So now you know some of my bizarre thoughts. If you see me exiting a building to cross the street with a few children all talking at once each holding a salt shaker instead of my hand, you will know that I am probably at my breaking point. Just walk away from me!   


  1. HAHAHA - I took me a long long time to get over the handholding and the salt.... we've talked about the salt before :)


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