What is convenient for us parents.

So this kiddo started in-class learning. Like most parents out there, we went back and forth, debating whether he should keep up with virtual or attend class. We decided that in class learning was best for him. But this decision did not come lightly.

It comes with its own set of issues. First of all is showering. He hates to shower. Showering has become a torture for this kid. So we’ve decided to shower Sundays and Wednesday nights. We realized Sundays and Wednesdays will be torture, but at least it will only be two days. And the other days we will simply use perineal spray along with waterless shampoo for his hair.

The other issue is clothes. He gets fascinated by a particular piece of clothing and we struggle with it. So what we’ve been doing is at night when he’s asleep, we’ll take it off to wash it. However a few times, we didn’t get up in the middle of the night to dry. He then wakes up upset that he doesn’t have the pants that he wants.

When we want him to wear something different, I will change him in the middle of the night. I will completely dress him with shoes and socks and all. And in the morning, I hope and pray that he doesn’t notice. I’m trying to brush his teeth and get his lunch and tell him to get his backpack, all of this in hopes too distract him so that he doesn’t realize what clothes he’s wearing.

A friend of mine was able to find a few extra pants in Walmart on the far east side of the city. Thank goodness that at least we have a few extra pairs of the same type of pants. I’m thinking this may do the trick.

But the biggest issue is masks. How do you make a kid that has sensory processing disorder to wear a mask?

We bought different types of masks hoping that it would work. We’ve practiced with him constantly. We used social stories to teach him the concept of wearing a mask. We have PECs (picture exchange communication) so that he understands what’s expected of him. All of this in hopes that he does not struggle.

But of course the first day of class he hated it. It is the school’s policy to wear a mask at all times and yet we haven’t been able to succeed in that part.

One of the paraprofessionals bought a different kind of mask. It’s a different texture and it seemed to work better with him. So of course we found out where she bought it and we bought five more. I’m really not sure how this is going to work.

Adding to all of these issues, he has also regressed. He’s regressed in many things. One of them is diapers. I was talking to my husband and I don’t remember how on Earth we regressed on diapers. He was doing so well. But the truth of the matter is that that these last 10 months that we’ve been doing virtual learning, and working from home, and my husband’s new job, and my daughter’s college classes, all of that bundled in one household, our only goal has been to survive. That’s it. Just to survive.

Diapers and all. 💔

He has also regressed in actual class assignments. During his virtual classes, I sit next to him while he does his class work. The problem is that I have my laptop next to me and I’m working. What the monkey started doing is coloring during class time. He listens, while he’s coloring. And he does his work. He even would show his to his teacher through his ipad. And I was fine with it. He was paying attention, he’s sitting down, and he’s letting me work.

The problem is that going to school, he’s not allowed to be coloring. He’s supposed to be paying attention ALL the time. And he’s not. Because all these past months, I’ve let him color.

He’s also regressed another things. Like writing his name, or math. Whereas before things that were easier on him, they are not any more.

When I heard his teacher’s notes how about how bad he was doing in class, I was devastated.

However, I just don’t think that other people understand the amount of work that we have to go through just to get him on the bus. I don’t think that other people understand the amount of work that we have to go through to get him to brush his teeth, to get him to put on his shoes, to get him to bed on time so that he can sleep. Typical things for most other households are not typical to us. They take time, they take planning, they take coaching, they take all of us to help, they take patience.

Getting him to class on that first day of school was a win for us. ❤️

But then we saw the teacher notes. And of course it broke my heart. I contemplated all night on changing our decision and move out of in-class learning. But I realized that if I did this, I was going to completely pull him out of class entirely.

The reason is that I feel as if I am helping this kid halfway, while I’m doing my job also halfway.

I am half-assing everything. I am very stressed. I feel overworked.

But above all, I don’t think I am a good mom throughout all of this.

I do feel that wearing a masks will probably be the norm for a year or so. Which means we have to deal with the issue, and we got to teach this kid that this is expected of him.

I have always felt that being a parent is very difficult. Being a parent to a special needs kiddo adds to that. And being a parent during this pandemic, just sometimes feels impossible.

But after a lot of soul searching, I’ve realize that I cannot give up on the monkey. He needs me to be his voice. And in all honesty, with all the regressions, he needs to be in class. He needs structure, he needs hands on learning, he needs consistency.

I will be his voice. I will be his advocate. And we will figure this out, mask and all.

Because I’ve learned that what is most convenient for me, is not always what is best for him.

I got you my monkey. I got you. ❤️🙏

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