Note to my sponsors: all of yesterday’s meals were brought to you by the DRIVE THRU.
When on the road, racing to appointments, & out-numbered by 3 kids who can’t walk (just 1 of me, 3 of them), I SO appreciate that mechanical voice that says “Welcome to blah, blah. blah, how can I help you.”
Thank you drive thru people, you have no idea what great public service you perform. God bless you and your starched brown uniforms.
No, I don’t want fries with that;)
Lest you think my family eats nothing but fast food garbage, I must assure you we do not. I also blog over at veggiemama raving about cheap & easy vegetarian meals. I regularly bake from scratch and our dinners are usually hearty chillis, casseroles, soups, or stews. I take pride in feeding my family inexpensive vegetarian food that doesn’t need tonnes of hands-on time (so I can spend more time with the kids).
But busy has put a crimp into home-cooked meals. This happens to the best of us when our schedules get out of whack and we drop our routines to juggle new demands. Busy is a state of being for us. Now it’s busier than before. Two things have been happening to our family – I’m starting some intense part time work and Mr. Sensitive’s leg cramps have increased to a debilitating capacity. Now we face a cluster of medical appointments – for us they seem to come in cycles. We have a few appointments in a week or two, then nothing for a month or more.
I love our time without appointments. We can be a ‘normal’ family. I can cook. We can eat meals together. We can go to work, school, the park and community programs. We can enjoy life and each other. When we have appointments my mantra is, “Hurry up, we’re late!” We race around the city eating snacks I’ve managed to throw into a lunch bag or speed through drive thrus.
We push Mr. Sensitive through ridiculous transitions (which he DOES NOT do well). Mr. Sensitive becomes anxious, hubby and I get stressed, we all start fighting. There is never enough time. I am actually getting stressed just writing about this. We spend the day in the car, driving from one stop to another, too busy to get out of the car and enjoy life.
So on our last appointment day I drove hubby to work and the three kids and I went to an OEYC (community program for preschoolers). I parked in accessible parking and carried in the kids one at a time and plunked them on the entrance-way floor where staff could visit/watch them for a minute while I went to get another kid. After playing and singing songs all morning, it was time for lunch. (My snack bag was empty.) Back into the car, I load them up one kid at a time. Off to our local drive thru. Two kids meals later, we drive to a nearby park to enjoy the view while they eat.
As I’m sorting our meals and making fast food Prader-Willi Syndrome-friendly, Mr. Sensitive asks if we can go over to a hill and sit under some trees. It’s April. It’s sunny and warm. The grass is green, the flowers blooming.
I look at the clock. “Sorry honey, we only have 10 minutes until we need to go get daddy and then go to our appointment. Can you just eat your lunch in your car seat with the windows open?”
What is the point of us going to endless appointments to help us with life if we are not living it ourselves? Is an occupational therapy or physiotherapy appointment so important that we miss out on actually using our bodies outdoors on a warm spring day? Really, we’d be moving on uneven grassy surfaces, bending and picking up rocks or flowers. We’d feel the warm sun and spring breeze on our skin. We’d be living.
I respect the professional schedule – our appointment is booked for such and such a time, so we cannot be late. The medical professional’s time is valuable. We could even be charged a fee for missed appointments. They have many people to see, tests to order, treatments to discuss, charts to review.
But what about a child’s time? They have many worlds to explore, songs to sing, dreams to dream. Isn’t that valuable? Who pays for that?