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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Pool

I should be walking, but considering I am going to be gardening all day in the heat, I decided to blog instead.
Memorial Day weekend is always jam packed. On Saturday we cleaned up the patio and did other various jobs. Sunday started out well, we didn't get to church again, but we did work on opening the pool. The day before Teale, our special needs daughter, had sat inside all day watching TV and youtube videos, while Mark and I worked outside. It had been a beautiful day, but we couldn't entice her to come outside, so we were determined to get her pool opened. She was given the pool a few years ago by The Dream Factory, an organization that fulfills dreams for critically and chronically ill children.  http://www.dreamfactoryincroc.org/, http://www.dreamfactoryinc.org/.  The organization is great and is always looking for volunteers and for dreams to fill.
Anyway, as I said, Mark and I were determined to get Teale out of the house, so opening her pool was the priority. We started working early and got a lot of it done without too much of a hitch. Mark is coaching Beau's baseball team, so at about 11 AM he needed to work on getting ready for that. Normally we wouldn't take on such a huge endeavor, coaching that is, because our life is just too unpredictable and there are too many times I need Mark to help me. Teale's meltdowns can overpower me and I have the bruises to prove it. Sometimes the only way to get her back is to hold her until she calms and or to medicate her, but that can take two people. Because of this, we try to stay out of situations that we don't have flexibility in, coaching a team doesn't have flexibility. The kids count on you and you must be there when you are scheduled. Calling a whole team or two teams and saying, "Hey sorry guys, but my daughter isn't in a good place right now and my wife can't be alone with her." just isn't possible. Mark used to coach Beau's teams a lot, but between the possibility of Teale having a bad day or a bad moment and the fact that it makes it doubly difficult for me to go to games and watch Beau, well, you get it. The problem was, no one was coming forward to volunteer and without a coach, the kids couldn't play. I agreed to this, hoping it would all work out. But admittedly, I was nervous and skeptical and so far, rightfully so. The first two games I missed because Teale was in a bad place, this one I was hoping to get to. I had help set up to be with me and Teale was excited, so off we went. Walking toward the game she was edgy, she was trying to process it and I knew the fact that she couldn't bug her Dad was a huge factor in her edgy behavior.  She LOVES her Daddy and to not be the center of his attention was going to be very difficult for Teale. As we walked past the other parents to find a secluded place in the shade she let out a couple of her now famous screams. They are ear piercing and LOUD! I got her to an area where the rest of the spectators were somewhat out of sight and decided that  not engaging with her was going to be my best option, hopefully she would calm. Mark and Beau both looked over, I could see their nerves rising as she was still shouting at me. Others looked also and that self conscious part of me worried about what they were thinking. Luckily Teale was able to calm herself, intermittent explosive disorder is an interesting thing to live with. One moment fine, the next "exploding!" At this point I was already trying to think out my escape at the end of the game. Teale would want to talk to her Dad, Mark would need time with the team. I also knew the gathering of parents talking and kids running around might throw her again. Then there was the walking back past the staring spectators, she was sure to think they were all looking at her if we walked by early. So I talked it out with the girl I had working with me and we left early, walking all the way around the outfield to avoid the crowd. Back home safe and sound I thanked God. My days are often filled with over thinking situations and over thinking how to answer Teale's bombarding questions. She has taught me that I need to try to stay one step ahead of her always, but it is not always that easy. The pool kinda got opened on Sunday and my polar bears went swimming. Teale did somersaults in the pool over and over again. She loves the sensory feeling of spinning. She can hold her breath and do five in a row, all with only her left hand and her feet working to help her. The pool settles her, it gives her peace and freedom. I will be forever grateful for the Rochester Dream Factory for this amazing gift.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful picture of Teale! I'm so glad your day at the game worked out well. That self-conscious little voice can be very annoying, wondering how others are judging us. It does NOT help the situation, but it rears it's little head anyway, making us edgy when we need to be calm.

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