If you are a parent of at least one child on the spectrum or with SPD or motor delays, you will no doubt relate to this story. When I see other children outside playing in their yards or close to home I get jealous sometimes. I admit it would be nice to just tell my kids (much like my own parents did) to “go outside and play until it’s dark”. Alas, this is the world I live in now and that is not my reality. But when you have a nice, 60° cloudless day in the middle of November, you get the itch to take advantage of it. No matter how many times you’ve been battered by the “getting ready monster”, it is easy to forget on such a lovely day.
So as I finished a call to Granny and Pappy, Katie asked me in her cute little voice, “go for a walk?” how could I turn that down?
“Go get your socks and shoes Katie”
“OK” and she starts running around to find her socks and shoes that were discarded earlier in the day.
Five minutes later, we have 2 socks and one shoe. I get up and start searching and finally find the lone shoe on the shelf in the coat closet.
“Katie give me your foot.” (she offers the foot and retracts it just as quickly. This goes on for about 20 seconds before I finally grab the foot and hold it tightly with one hand while I try to wrestle the sock on her foot).
This time I just grab the foot and hang on for dear life as she plays a “Hoakie Pokie” type of dance with me.
Two minutes later, finally both socks are on. I’m sweating at this point.
No problems with this one. On in record time with it tied in a double knot. We’re making progress!
No such luck. I get the shoe on and then the “Hoakie Pokie” leg starts again while I try to tie the shoe.
Five minutes later and Katie finally has both shoes on.
Now I have an even brighter idea! “Andy, do you want to go for a walk?”
“Go get your socks out of the bathroom.” He runs to the bathroom and grabs his socks. Coming into the living room, he drops them on the floor and continues to play with his balloons.
At this point, Katie pipes up, “Take your shoes off?” and proceeds to take shoe #1 off.
I tell her, “if you take it off again, we won’t go anywhere!” I’m contemplating putting Andy’s shoes on first before trying to fix hers, but I do it anyway.
Ok, Katie has both shoes on.
“Go get your coat.” I say to her. At this point I put both of Andy’s socks on and his shoes as Katie is running around getting her coat and dancing to the music we are playing.
After 5 minutes of tugging and pulling, pushing and tieing, Andy’s shoes are on and he is back to his balloons.
Now for coats.
Katie picks up her coat and says, “need help please”. I help her into her coat and then proceed to wrestle with her zipper as she leans back, pretending the coat is a swing for her to launch herself away from me. Zipper in (it’s not locking), zipper out. Try again. Zipper in, this time stuck on mismatched teeth. Zipper out. Finally turning her around with her back to me, I successfully get the zipper locked and pulled up.
Is anybody else feeling like this is an aerobic activity just to read the post?
Ok. Finally! After about 20 minutes, all three of us have shoes and coats on and we went for our little walk around the block.
For the most part, it was a nice walk. The kids held onto my hands and I even let Andy walk independently a couple of times. But the walk wasn’t without it’s own comic relief. Several times, Andy decided he was done walking so he just fell out. Just sat down on the ground and refused to move. Oh, for the love of God. You have to laugh so you don’t cry. And to cap it all off, the end of the 25 minute walk, we were “attacked” by a swarm of gnats. Not the best thing for a sensory kiddo like Katie who freaks out about anything that even remotely looks like a fly. Screaming and crying and begging to be picked up ensued.
Was it worth it? You bet! I got in (according to my Fitbit) 23 minutes of physical activity, some much-needed vitamin D, and some quality time with my kids.
Tell me about your own stories with getting your kids ready. I know I’m not alone.