Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Emotional Shopping

Today Garrett had two appointments in Boise, an hour drive from the homefront. Now for those of us living on the edge of the middle-of-nowhere (which is, in our opinion, the very best place to raise our kiddos and keep our sanity), a "trip to town" means we empty the wagon out, clean her up good, and plan to spend the day "in town" getting all the supplies needed so we don't have to make the trek again soon. We come home all tired-out, wagon pilled to the top with supplies, Christmas gifts, etc.

Both appointments went well. At physical therapy, also called voiding dysfunction therapy, Garrett was so funny! He was spooled-up really high and chattering non-stop. Mr. Kevin got him to work on some of his video games Garrett controls using his bum and pelvic floor muscles. We then decided that the big day of truth will be new year's eve. Since Garrett almost always has a bowel movement at night, Kevin figures bringing him in as late as he can be at work would be our best shot. We want to get the electrode sticker things onto his bum and get him on the potty AND get him to poop. We believe he has the ability now, but needs a success to get him really understanding. So new year's eve at 6  in the evening, we will be partying.....and hopefully pooping in Boise. Wild time, I tell ya!!

Next, we took Garrett to the pediatric orthopaedic specialist. Garrett's physical therapist and I thought there was a pretty decent sized leg length difference on my boy, but he couldn't see it . It was weird. So that's that!

RaeAnn and Sammy the service dog went with Garrett and me. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Boise Co-op. Then Garrett asked to go to Toys R Us to show RaeAnn the store and wanted  to play with the train display and the wind-up little toy display. We browsed the Legos, Toy Story items and also the Playmobil. I found one last little Christmas gift for Garrett, a tiny R2D2 character with a button that makes lights and noises happen. He saw it and seemed to like it but has no idea I bought it. I am happy we found it!

But there was something else tonight. It has happened before; I have felt it before, but never been able to put it into words. I will try tonight, for the first time. Bear with me:
Tonight we were in toy heaven. Toys everywhere, but my son doesn't really pick one usually. He looks at them, then finds the train table and plays, then flits off to the wind-up toy demo area for a moment, then if he finds the monster trucks and toys that have cars with buttons and lights and noises, he hangs there for about five minutes. And then he is pretty much done. We can make the rounds again, but it doesn't change much the next time. I stared at the Toy Story toys the longest tonight. I know some of our family members have purchased some of the characters for Garrett, and I know he will be happy when he opens them. But there was something more I felt besides a little knowing that he liked a certain thing this year. It was an emptyness. I believe I have been shopping for everything from clothes to diapers to doctors to toys for years now, thinking that anything I select or purchase will somehow be "the thing" that will somehow change something. But it isn't, hasn't been and won't be true, ever.  For my two girls, I can talk to them about what they want, and then totally surprise them and knock the ball out of the park since we can communicate, I can fake off any probing questions, and then I can give them a surprise. Selfish, but fun! But even if I purchased every single toy Garrett saw, it wouldn't work that way. I can never be assured I will pick out something he will like the moment he opens it. Maybe that isn't completely true. I can select gifts that he will like when he opens, but I cannot know that it will be something he will stick to or want to play with more than a few minutes.

With this shopping experience and aforementioned emotions came a wave of anxiety tonight, a feeling of complete frenzy, confusion, and disappointment. I could get him nothing or I could get him everything. I could stop therapy; I could stop meds. I could stop trying so hard.....and it seems nothing will change. Tomorrow will once again be Groundhog Day in our world with Garrett. The two appointments were dis-appointments. Nothing to discuss to help anything. Nothing we can do today change anything to make life easier or more understandable or predictable. Sort of like the shopping for the toys. We are there shopping, but it doesn't change things if we buy something. I am impatient.

Maybe the toy store is a metaphor I just need to tuck away. The girls are outgrowing many toys now. They are more into music, books, movies, things like that. And my boy......my little guy doesn't even understand how to throw a "WHY WON'T YOU BUY ME THAT" fit. And while when my girls did that, I wanted to get mad at them, I would almost pay to have Garrett act like a normal little kiddo and freak out over wanting everything in the store. At least then I could put the whole store on a credit card and walk out knowing I did something he would love.

Just my ponderings for the night!!


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