I'm thinking of that cliché "It takes a village to raise a child," and I'm making up my own: "It takes a circus to help a child with special needs."
I felt like the ringmaster today.
Well OK, it is not that bad. But if you ask my sister or niece who were visiting today, they would tell you it was crazy. Thank goodness they were here. This morning they helped me run around the house and clean it up to make it look like no one really lives here. Then after dressing the kids and breakfast (and I actually got a shower because they watched the kids!) the doorbell started ringing. One therapist. Then another therapist. Then the new nurse who is still learning the ropes so that I can eventually leave Lilli with her for an hour or two. Then a home visit from 3 teachers from Chloe's new school. A few hours later they all left. (We are still on a shortened, introductory schedule with the therapist.)
I had one hour in-between people coming. I took my sister to the airport and on the way I whipped into the grocery store. She sat in the car with the three kids while I literally ran in and grabbed as much as I could in ten minutes flat. I know I could win on Supermarket Sweep. (Is that show even still around?) I dropped her off at the airport and cried halfway home. Then as I pulled in the driveway at precisely 3:15 with five bags of groceries to unload along with three shoeless kids, the homebound teacher was already at my house waiting. Lilli was a trooper and worked with the (also new) homebound teacher for two hours while I put away groceries, fed the other two kids, and ate a sandwich for my late lunch.
Said goodbye and thank you to the homebound teacher at 5:15. By the time my husband came home I was ready to run. I probably should have literally taken a run around the block. I grabbed the keys and told my husband I needed to get out of the house for a little while. I tried to think of some good place to go and regroup, to get rejuvenated. But instead I went to CVS and looked at ridiculously expensive sunglasses that I did not buy, then went to the library and checked out two more books that I will not read. I actually felt refreshed after that. So I decided to go back home. I said to my husband who had thankfully fed all three kids and started baths, "I don't know how I'm going to do this all year long." This is hard! If anyone reading this is confused as to what is so hard about it, I guess you'd just have to experience it for a day and you would know. Well, really you would only need to sit on my couch for a few hours and watch.
It will get easier. I have spent a lot of time getting everyone acquainted with Lilli. I have done a lot of explaining and demonstrating. I have also done a lot of apologizing for my dirty, cluttery house. They will get used to Lilli. They will get used to the dirt and clutter too I guess. And I will get used to this new "public" life hopefully in a few weeks. There are definitely pros to having people come in your house all the time. It makes you clean! After watching three people try to shove their lunches and drinks into my deplorable fridge today, I cleaned it out.
Even though I am thoroughly enjoying my alone time at almost midnight with everyone asleep but me, I'd better get to bed. Soon it will be time to start the circus all over again.