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Ashe Background

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Oh, I'm just walking my daughter.

Yup.  That look that you just gave the screen after reading the title is the exact look that I will be getting soon enough.  Fan-freaking-tastic!

We bought a leash.  Yes, it's for children and has a backpack on it that would fit a mouse, but it's still a leash.  I'm that parent. You know the one that you have to look at twice because you could've sworn that at first glance, they were holding a leash that was attached to a child.  I get it.  I've been that parent that questions it, but look at me now.  Embracing the leash as what it is.  A way to ensure my child's safety and keep my sanity intact.

Lexie isn't having it anymore with the stroller.  She is done.  Like so done that she will scream at the top of her lungs done. I'm talking about tears, snot coming out of the nose, people staring at us until I run out of there done.  It's starting to affect everything.  However, once I let her out of the stroller the chick bolts.   She wants to run up to every person and give them a hug, which ends up with them either picking her up and her landing a very inappropriate kiss on their lips or them trying to politely run away.  I'm not comfortable with her being picked up by strange people or for her to come off as the bubonic plague.  It's a sticky situation.

During the week of Spring Break, I surprised the kids with lunch at Chucky Cheese.  Going in I knew that it was going to be tough with Lexie, but I was determined to make it work for the sake of Ethan and Gracie.   Within 5 minutes of sitting at our table, I knew I had made a mistake which lead me to make a few more mistakes.   Lexie was irate that she had to sit down at the booth and didn't want to eat.  I tried to get her to go in the play area that is gated, but she wasn't having it either. She wanted freedom and freedom to her is roaming the restaurant. So I rushed the kids through lunch, so I could push Eli in the stroller behind Lexie who was exploring the restaurant.   She was happy to walk around for a little while, but then started to get a little too comfortable.  She tried to sit down at another family's table and reached for their pizza, she ran into the kitchen before I could catch her, but  thankfully an employee escorted her back out while giving me the "control your spawn" look.  She walked up to random men and asked to be picked up which in my opinion screams " I'm that easy target you're looking for, buddy" and then proceeded to yell anytime I tried to put her back into her stroller. Of course, the entire time people are staring.  I rushed Ethan and Gracie through the entire visit and after about 1 hour, we were walking out of there. Ethan and Gracie were bummed and starving,  Eli was hanging in there despite the fact that he didn't get to eat since I was too busy with Lexie to feed him, Lexie was screaming her head off because she's stuck in the stroller and doesn't want to leave and I'm looking and feeling like a defeated maniac.  As I sat in the car after strapping everyone in, I scolded myself because I knew what I should've done.  This day was primarily for Ethan and Gracie, so I should've hired a sitter to ensure that they got to enjoy it.  However, is that how it has to be??

I hate to think that the only way we could enjoy these outings if Lexie isn't with us.  She is apart of our family so we accept the good and the bad, but at what point will Ethan and Gracie start to feel that they are getting cheated?  Ethan and Gracie adore their brother and sister, but is there a point when they may develop animosity towards them?  They aren't hateful children, but they're still children.   We, as their parents, don't feel like we sacrificed anything to become parents of special needs children because we made the decision to do just that. However, they didn't get to make a decision to become siblings to a special needs child.  They were thrown in and told to adjust to it.  They went in willingly and lovingly, but at what point will they just flat out say that they didn't want this.  The movies, trips to the ballpark and many other places are off limits for our family and that may start to take a toll.  Having special needs siblings altered their childhood and their lives.  While they will grow into amazing people who have an appreciation for every person regardless of their need, there will be some turbulent times until we get to that point.

The leash. That stupid leash is my feeble attempt at making sure those turbulent times are few and far between.  I'm going to try to curb Lexie's behavior, so that we can bring her with us wherever we may go while making sure everyone else feels comfortable and happy.  Its a far reach, but I'm running out of options.  I like having a sitter to rely on, but there's a point when I feel like it turns into isolation.

So if you see me walking my child, just wave and say, "I see she hasn't figured out how to go limp yet!" and that will make me smile and curse you at the same time for reminding how it can all go wrong.

But, you and I will both know that despite it's weirdness, it's needed for the safety of Lexie and the ebb and flow of our family's dynamics.  So pleeease don't stare.


Anonymous said...

I'm a big believer in "the leash". My mother used one, I used one and now my daughter does as well. It is quite clearly a safety issue. It keeps little ones from running off or darting into traffic. I've found it's especially handy in airports, shopping, etc. when your hands are full. Don't give a thought to what other people think!

I've been reading your blog for several years now. I found it when I Googled San Antonio and hydrocephalus. (My 3 year old grandson lives in San Antonio and has hydrocephalus.) You have a beautiful family.

Ashe's said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Stacy!!

I wish I had known about your grandson while we were living in San Antonio. I would've loved to meet him!

Thank you so much for sharing!

Kayla Brown said...

First and foremost, you're hilarious! That thing about her learning to go limp had me rolling! Secondly, I commend you on the decision to try the leash/tether. I used it with both of my kids and applaud parents who use it. It gives the child an opportunity to explore what they want but within the safety of arm's reach. That's the way I've always seen it, if people were to question it, it merely deserves a response like, "I can release her and she'll be on your lap throwing your pizza in your face, would you prefer that?" I get it, people think we should "control" our children, but lets be real here, they're CHILDREN, which means they're learning boundaries and everything that comes with it...

Anonymous said...

We have a leash, and we are proud. Xoxo