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Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

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Well, what of their families then?

Cuts to local councils make our lives ever more challenging. Here is a simple story to help illustrate this. One, I think, even Tory ministers can understand.

Several months ago, we applied for a disabled parking spot to be placed outside our flat. Our road is one of the few ones near the shops that isn’t permit parking only. It crowds very quickly with cars.

May is 2 1/2 now. She is heavy and can’t support her own weight. Most days, I have to park far down the road and carry her across the street and into our house. Along the way, I have to fiddle in my bag for the keys, open the door and climb a couple of flights of stairs, all while holding her.

We received a letter about a month after we applied saying that due to financial constraints, they wouldn’t be able to investigate our request until September and put in the space before December.

That was bad enough. Today I opened a new letter. It’s worse:

Unfortunately due to the delays caused by the financial diffculties the Council has recently faced the estimated timeframe for the installation of your Disabled Parking Place has had to be adjusted… we are due to begin work on this batch in December 2011… it takes a minimum of 3 months to introduce a Disabled Parking Place and we estimate that the eariliest date the installation of the Diasbled Parking Place you have applied for shall be March 2012.

Almost a year before someone paints some lines on the road outside our house?

And, that’s the “earliest” that Lambeth imagine this issue will be resolved. May will be three years old then, and heavy. She is completely disabled. She can’t even throw an arm over my shoulders. How long before it is completely unfeasible for a small woman such as myself to carry her down the road? Do we have to be completely housebound before someone in Lambeth or the government see this is an irresponsible way to manage disabled parking?

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There is nothing I like more than hugging my May. She is the softest, sweetest smelling child in all the world. She never tires of cuddles in the way that babies, and certainly toddlers, are meant to. She will snuggle with me for all of eternity if I want, and sometimes I do.

So, why, why, why would I leave her behind and travel such a distance that an entire ocean separates us?

Necessity.

Though May is two years old, because of her brain damage, she is completely dependent on me. And, because she is two, she is heavy. To bring her on a transatlantic flight to visit my family in the States, by myself, along with her newborn brother, I saw as a near impossibility. Not to mention, how I would take care of both of them in tandem for the 10 days of my stay.

Here is what I envisaged for the plane ride alone: My arm thrust across the seat next to me to support my heavy child, who can’t sit, who is crying because she has a wet diaper. Meanwhile, in my lap, her brother is curled up against my other arm, also crying because he is hungry. How? Who? By what means?

Now, multiply that by 10 days.

Maybe, I should have found a way. Or, maybe sometimes, a mama’s got to do what a mama’s got to do. So, I said “goodbye” to my darling cuddle bug. It’s just Ieuan and I here in Detroit.

Oh, but my May-May. My sweet May-May. I miss you.

Want to read more from Stacie? Check out her posts on BabyCenter’s Momformation!

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Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby has a new home now. Come visit us at mamalewis.com.

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When I wrote my 100,000 hits post, it was only February of this year. It took almost a year and a half to get there, and now a third of the time to get here.

But, that’s not what I really what I find amazing. 200,000 hits is small potatoes compared to everything else that happened in that short amount of time.

May discovered her mouth. She enjoys making clicking and humming sounds. She spits like a champ. She sings along with us. Her laugh is infectious. I defy anyone to not giggle along with her. What a joy she is!

May’s seizures disappeared. We go weeks without seeing one now. Let me repeat that for those of you new to my blog. We go weeks after almost two years of frequent seizures, at their height over 100/day. To rid herself of these, May had to endure medicine trials. That’s how she learned to spit like a champ.

May learned to sleep through the night. We should win a medal for that.

May moved on to chunky food and put on the pounds! Finally! (And, from this, I learned that my instincts are right. Two fingers to so-called experts who doubt and patronize thoughtful, reflective and informed parents.)

May became more independent. She mastered the Bumbo seat. Which means, she can sit – be it aided. That is an amazing step forward. Not to mention, she LOVES her Bumbo. She also loves her bouncer. In both of these, she will happily play on her own for 20 – 30 minutes at a time.

And, just in time – because she needs to be more independent after the major event of the year. A healthy, baby brother for May!

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Perhaps you think this blog is to inform you, the reader, of special needs issues, or May’s issues in particular.

OR… maybe my blog should be endless slideshows of my adorable children.

You decide.

In the meantime, enjoy! I call this installment: A face only a mother could love?

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Want to read more from Stacie? Check out her posts on BabyCenter’s Momformation!

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I’m borrowing heavily today, some might call it stealing, from Ellen Seidman’s Love That Max blog. Her post Why dads of kids with special needs rock is a winner!  I give it a virtual headbang and two-divided-fingers thrust in the air – last seen by me circa 1989!

Too often, the fathers of special needs kids are not acknowledged for their role. We’ve definitely experienced many meetings, almost all of them actually (true – I’m afraid to say), where every question is addressed to me and I have to turn to my husband and include him myself. Sometimes, he is ignored completely even in his own home.

That’s why I loved her post which includes contributions from lots of special needs fathers where they explain their “awesomeness” as she puts it.

So I put it to my husband. His response? “I sing well to her in the bath. To an audience of one. That’s it, I think.”

WRONG. That’s not it.

Who was the one I saw singing to her in the hospital? The moment that made me realize that we would be okay?

You Gareth.

Who was the one who sat through all those heart-wrenching meetings with me? Who kidnapped me from the hospital to take me for ice cream in the park?

Who spends a Saturday afternoon in daddy/toddler bliss, snuggled on the sofa together? Who shares his ice cream and doesn’t care a bit when it comes back up all over his new shirt?

There are so many moments, I will bore people senseless if I continue.

But, if that isn’t enough – if you need further evidence that May’s daddy is the most awesome of all the awesome dads out there, watch this. In this video, taken this morning, May is doubled over with laughter, not losing her balance while bouncing – in case you couldn’t tell.

(Apologies to all Canadians – it will be clear why in a moment…)

What makes your child’s father AWESOME? Sappy sentimental mush welcome!

Read more from me about Father’s Day and my pregnancy on BabyCenter or via Twitter @MamaLewis1!

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Sob. Sniffle.

That’s not May crying. That’s her mama.

My little monkey May is officially not a baby. She has shrugged off the confines of her crib and is now stretched luxuriously across a massive, big girl bed.

It was always going to happen. We’ve been waiting for this moment.

Um, actually – when I say waiting, I mean, waiting for IKEA to delivery our new sofa so we could move the futon into May’s room and May into it. The sofa arrived. The futon moved. May moved into it.

Here is why we moved May out of her crib. It wasn’t that she was too big for it. It was because in the middle of the night, she would turn herself sidewise and get wedged in. Every night, sometimes two or three times a night, haul ourselves out of bed to move her back and usually, fingers crossed, she falls back asleep. But, one out of every ten times or so, she doesn’t. And, when that happens, we turn into sleep-deprived zombie parents.

It was Nana’s masterplan, really. The last time we stayed in Wales, she moved May from her crib, into a double bed. May slept like a little angel. That Nana is one smart lady.

We immediately made plans to purchase a sofa and move May into the futon. A futon is actually a pretty good choice if you think about it. When open, it rests very low to the ground and it is certainly wide enough that she will never get wedged anywhere.

Couple that with a genius moment from Mama, when I attached May’s cherished mobile to a chair to hang over her like normal, and what you have is a recipe for sleep.

Sob. She is just such a big girl…

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