Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Rachael Ray is in the Loo

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rachael Ray is in the Loo

I can't believe it's Friday already. I have not felt well all week, and I honestly don't know where the last four days have gone. I am thinking they have gone to that mythical place where all of the retainers we lost in junior high school and missing mates to athletic socks lying lonely in drawers reside in another dimension. Seriously, I feel like I am in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode where I am the only one in a slow motion black hole and the rest of the world has passed me by.

Upon seeing my parents in my living room this week, Erik realized he had a ticket out of this place with his favorite people in the world and clearly stated, "Buh bye" over and over, clear as a bell. He might be settled into a plateau but is honing the skills he has attained with his language. I have been warned by more seasoned WS parents that once he starts talking, he won't stop, and I am really looking forward to that. This house is too quiet, anyway.

Wednesday Erik walked right past me with a bottle of olive oil from the kitchen cabinet. I had my head down in some old photos at the kitchen table and heard him playing happily practically next to me, so I continued my project. When I looked up, the oil was merrily glug-glugging out of the bottle, which was on its side in a glistening, yellow oil slick, and Erik was slapping the palm of his hand into it. It was like the heart-healthy version of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill. Sadly, it was about that size. I calmly assessed the situation (I was screaming NOOOOOO in my head), put Erik in his chair with some cookies, and began the cleanup mission. He is into everything there isn't a lock on these days. Despite the tongue lashing I gave Parent Magazine in my previous post, I have to be fair and state that their toilet paper locks are the best thing ever invented!

Erik and I looked at each other yesterday morning while he was playing, and I almost didn't recognize him for a moment. My heart skipped a beat, as I realized how big he is getting and that through all of his infancy I probably didn't enjoy it as much as most moms because of how hard it was on both of us. I mourn because it took months to bond with him, as he was largely unresponsive, and rejoice in the fact that there is an unbreakable bond and an endless supply of smiles between us now. He is an animated, growing, laughing boy, and I looked back in time to how things were when we brought him home that first day and he wouldn't stop crying. I wish I could tell myself back then that everything would be okay and that Erik would "wake up" and grow into such a wonderful child. I remember trying to imagine what he would be like as he got older. Of course, I remember trying to imagine him doing all of the things most parents dream of their kids doing as they grow - driving a car, going to the prom, being taller than me, and doing all of the stupid little things in high school I thought were so wonderful and hoped he would, too. Back then in the darkness, I had so much trouble visualizing him growing at all. I guess now all my expectations and dreams are up in the air and I am back to not being able to imagine what he will be doing as a young adult. However, now I have the comfort of knowing my child loves me and looks for me when he needs me, and when I am blue about what lies ahead, I can ask for a hug. My fear and the pain dissolve when I look into his face and smell that wonderful baby scent he still has.

Erik's cardiologist is leaving the clinic that will no longer accept our insurance, and that makes me extremely happy. I signed a release this week to have all of his records transferred. He has his 2-year-old well child check with his pediatrician in October, and I am looking forward to touching base with his doctor. We haven't seen a therapist or doctor in a few weeks, and I am actually missing them because they provide a sense of security and a feeling that we are not on our own in this. I know I can pick up the phone and ask questions, but I'm afraid I don't know what to ask in the first place and like them to look at Erik in case I am missing something. In reality, we are on our own deciding when to take him in, what is best for him, and how to handle situations regarding Erik's health, safety, and well-being. After all, I am the one who first mentioned the WS diagnosis. However, it is just comforting knowing other people can give us guidance and advice. Sometimes I wonder if I'm capable of being this kind of mother, but so far, so good. My house plants began to die after I brought Erik home from the hospital, and these days they are perking up and looking cared for. The cat lost some weight for a while but is on the upswing as well. I think I am finding some balance!

I am feeling a little better today and am going to try to get out once for an hour or so for lunch with my neighbor. I have worked very hard for the last couple afternoons, which is good, but I need some fun. Yesterday on the way home with Erik I scored a couple extra avocados from my mother, and I decided to make some guacamole to eat while we all watched the Oregon State game last night. This involved taking my ingredients behind two closed doors and firing up the food processor on the bathroom counter in the far corner because of Erik's acute hearing. When I do this, I can't help but laugh. I did my jacked up version of the Mexican hat dance when I realized Erik wasn't crying in the other room. My gut tells me that this noise is too over the top to expose Erik to yet. There are a lot of noises he just shakes when he hears, and we slowly and firmly expose him to those, but this one is just pure torture to him, and making him that upset provides no benefit at all to any of us. Hey, at least I don't make guacamole in the garage anymore. I think we are making progress here.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Gramma said...

Now I can come out publicly as a closet food processor user! I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to crank up the old bassoon and he'll be fine with it. People are closet bassoonists for a variety of reasons so I know I'm not alone. Nature of the beast, I guess. Erik's progression right now is mostly subtle-- but his dance twirl is spectacular!

Love, Mom

8:05 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Toilet paper lock hu? I have already worried about the TP we will have strung all around the house from Daven's spinning obsession. This may be an answer to my prayers. HA!

And as for closet users...I have manually shredded cheese for 19 months now because turning on the electric grader leaves Daven in a pure panic. Sigh. Who knows, maybe this will help my biceps grow to professional weight lifter size.

Give him an extra kiss from me. I just love him dearly!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

It's amazing, Nance, how different you sounded in this post than your work earlier on. I think you have found your spot of solace.

I can't imagine cleaning up OLIVE OIL... but after the fact it was very funny!! :) Sorry!

3:49 PM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

Maybe girls are different but we pretty much got away with no locks and gates with Emma. Now Tatum may be a different story, who knows. When does the noise stuff start? I really have made no changes in the noise level in our house,then again I have never ever used a food processor. Any guacamole I serve most likely came from Sams Club hehehe...

Sad to say I have never once opened a parent mag but maybe I should seems like they have all sorts of stuff.

Look out world it Erik is growing up. WOW what a cutie!!!

"Buh bye" ;)

9:19 PM  

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