If I Had a Usual Child
Sometimes I think to myself: If I had a “usual” child what would my daily schedule be? I would wake him up in the morning and rush him to brush his teeth and get ready for school. I would ask him what he wants for lunch and if he took his books, notebooks, pencil box. And then, I would send him, wishing him a good day.
When he would come back from school, I would ask him how his day was. He probably would answer me with a short “OK.” I would then tell him to do his homework and later, I would take him for an after school activity like soccer or basketball. Sometimes he would have a play date at our home or at his friend’s and they would play games together.
In the evening I would tell him to put everything in his backpack, take a shower and go to sleep.
Throughout the day, I would probably fuss why his room is such a mess or he throws all his clothes on the floor. I might argue about the time he spends on the computer or watching TV, or some other minor issues.
BUT I DON’T HAVE A USUAL CHILD and my daily schedule is so different. No one can really understand.
I wake my son up in the morning, take him to the bathroom, help him wash his face, brush his teeth, help him get dressed, and fix his backpack. Only, he doesn’t have books or notebooks or pencils in his backpack. He has just snacks, lunch, a change of clothes, and colored straws.
I never ask him what he wants for lunch because he won’t answer. And I can only hope he will eat whatever I give him. I take him to school, and walk him all the way to his class. I then “hand him over” to one of the staff, and say “Bye”.
When school is over, I take him back home. I don’t ask him how his day was. He doesn’t respond. I don’t tell him to do his homework. He doesn’t have any. I don’t take him to after school activities. He doesn’t want to participate in them. And he doesn’t meet friends. I try from time to time to have play dates with similar kids, but they barely react to each other. He doesn’t play with any of his toys even though he has many. Instead, he prefers to wander around in the backyard picking leaves.
Every afternoon there are therapists that come to work with him. They teach him stuff like playing, drawing, and even brushing his teeth. Oh, and they mustn’t forget to take him to the bathroom every hour. Otherwise “accidents” happen.
At night I help him take a shower and then I take him to bed and stay in his room until he falls asleep.
I don’t argue with him, because you can’t do it. Sometimes I get mad at him even though I know it is useless. That’s just how it is – I don’t have a “usual” child.
So apparently you get used to many things. You get used to taking a 10 year old boy to the bathroom. You get used to washing few pairs of underwear every day. You get used to the strange voices he makes. You get used to people staring. You get used to him grabbing food or snacks from others. You get used to apologizing on behalf of him. You get used to not leaving him alone for a moment. You get used to always be ready, if he suddenly starts running in any direction. You get used to not having a “usual” child.