We know what it’s like

We know what it’s like. If anyone can do it, we can.

While the rest of the world shouts and panics about this new regime they are being forced to comply with, for most of us it is not new territory.

Unlike the majority, we have endured many similar situations throughout our children’s lives and can draw our strength for the next few months ahead.

We already know what it’s like to be banished to our homes because our children would not cope with what the world might throw at them.

We know what it’s like to have to be inventive, creative, resourceful and industrious.

We know what it’s like to watch the world through Facebook / Instagram and feel like The Outsiders.

We know what it’s like to totally re-evaluate friendships and relationships, when life throws a huge curve ball at you.

We know what it’s like to run around at midnight on an emergency hunt for medicines.

We know what it’s like for our children to be absent from school for weeks.

We know what it’s like for our children to ask questions to which we don’t have the answers.

We know what it’s like to have to lie and say ‘I’m ok’ when we are a long way from being ok.

We know what it’s like to feel incredibly vulnerable and susceptible, and to have the overwhelming urge to cocoon our children in a watertight environment.

We know what it’s like to have the opportunity to totally rethink our priorities in life.

We know what it’s like to need to make huge sacrifices and difficult decisions.

We know what it’s like to really appreciate our true friends, let go of the others, and show gratitude for the little things that mean so much.

We know what it’s like to have to deny our kids the world outside our own front door, because we know it’s for the best.

We know what it’s like to miss out on a whole summer of fun because of our child’s health issues.

We know what it’s like to have to distance ourselves from social situations.

We know what it’s like to have to isolate our family to keep them safe and healthy.

We know what it’s like to really learn the value in things when they are taken away from you.

We know what it’s like to stand alone for weeks, months, but still feel an overwhelming sense of togetherness.

We know we have come out the other side before, and we will do it again.

Fairy Gardens and Family Self-Isolation

As the weather begins to warm and we rake away the leaves, to see the tiny green buds reaching for the sun, we revel in the opportunity to spend time outside.  It’s been almost two weeks since school was forced closed and March Break Camps canceled due to the request to stay home and ‘flatten the curve’ during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Everything is still grey, though the sun does try to make an appearance every now and then.

I remind the kids that rain will make the flowers grow and the dirt will become green and alive with flowers returning from the year before. Daffodils. Crocuses. Lady bells.

I recently sprained my ankle so getting out and about has been challenging. While I can’t take the kids for a walk around the block with Seb’s service dog, Ewok, I can lean on a rake and pull the leaves into great big piles, left sitting until a yard bag can be procured. Not an easy task while all non-essential businesses are closed and we hunker down in our home to keep the most vulnerable, like our son, safe from the disease. While Sebastian prefers a roll around the hood with his dog; his sister, Tallula, is happy to dig out the fairies and gnomes hiding in the garden shed from the summer previous. Since I can’t carry the big wooden crate with all of the painted rocks and tiny figurines, there’s even a Smurfette among them, she makes several trips between the back and front gardens.

Sebastian likes to be doing something most of the time. But he needs help to do everything.

While watching his sister build the fairy garden isn’t his favourite thing to do, as people walk by, moving to the middle of the street to keep their distance, they say hello and that brightens all of our moods. We feel a little less alone in all of this. Ewok settles in next to Seb in our walkway, and I take to decorating the rocks with sidewalk chalk to add a little more colour.

Sometimes it’s hard; I feel guilty with Sebastian just watching while we move about and build a fairy garden. But I have to be ok with it. Because it’s also for his sister, (and I also have a sprained ankle and am not Wonder Woman). Giving Tallula the space and time to create something, whether or not her brother can be directly involved, is important.  Because sometimes it’s about her. It has to be.

Sleep or lack there of

Sleep. Oh, how I miss you.

Sleep. How I wish I could have you back.

It’s expected when having a baby, you will lose sleep. When you have twins, you expect to just not sleep. They prepare you to reach out for help and they prepare you to nap as much as possible. I wasn’t prepared for 4 years later to only sleep through the night once a week on average.

Sawyer is on a pulse ox at night due to his epilepsy. He also struggles anytime he has a cold causing his pulse ox to go off all night.

My daughter has been waking up every night for a year. She runs in our room and wants us to put her back to bed. This started when we switched her out of a crib, but we aren’t sure why this caused such a problem.

When we took her to the sleep doctor, I listed off everything we have tried and he said “it’s sounds like you’ve done everything”. Let’s try changing around her schedule with sleep regression and change her bedtime to 9:30. 9:30?!?!?!?! Is he insane?

I already feel like I’m dragging through the day with zero time to myself, now I am losing that blissful hour before bed to read or go to bed early? Well, we tried it and meticulously logged her sleep patterns and times she woke up. Nothing worked and almost a year later she is still waking up at night. His final suggestion was anxiety medicine.

We decided to forgo the anxiety meds and deal with the lack of sleep.

Although sleep is lacking in this house, we know it isn’t permanent. At least that is what we are telling ourselves. HAHA! When our daughter wakes us up, we take the time to tell her we love her and give her a kiss. We smile and act as though it isn’t a big deal because some day, in the near future, she will be kicking us out of her room so she can talk to boys.

Sawyer will likely always be on a pulse ox, but he won’t always be so willing to snuggle in the middle of the night. My new motto, especially in times like this is

“Embrace it. It won’t last forever.”