Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lu does face-plant at school

Lu's one-on-one aide in preschool went out of town yesterday and we don't have a sub for her at the moment, so I went to school with Lu today. Stew took Myffy on a Ranch business trip to Prescott so I wouldn't need a baby sitter. So after a really good morning in therapy and a great lunch during which Lu ate a delicious honey crisp apple and a whole yogurt without coercion or complaint, we set off for school together and she seemed really pleased when I told her I'd be staying with her. However, only minutes after I hung her back pack in her cubby and stopped a moment to talk to the teacher, Lu came running across the circle-time carpet holding a box of toys, tripped on nothing more than the toe of her shoe, and did an almighty face-plant without putting her hands out to break her fall. It looks bad. All below and to the left of her left eye the skin is grazed (rug-burned) and really red. It starts to swell. We apply a wet paper towel and someone goes to the nurse for ice. Lu tolerates the towel, but not the ice pack. Eventually she stops crying and the rest of class is pretty good with one totally stellar moment when a very sweet little boy named Logan tries to hug Lu while they are in line waiting to wash their hands after recess and before snack. Normally Lu is not at all interested in contact not initiated by her, but Logan holds out his arms, she looks up, looks him right in the face and then reaches out and gives him a really big hug. Cutest thing I've ever seen. Other than her only cousin and her little sister, I've never seen her hug another kid. Especially without any adult prompting. It was awesome.

After school we go get Myffy from my Mom's where Stew dropped her off so we can eat a quick dinner before Music Together Class at 5pm. Lu was pretty tired by 5pm. I think she expended a lot of energy crying after hurting her face. She wanted to bring Jesse, Bullseye and Rex from Toy Story all in with her to the class. Normally we don't let her take any of her toys into class with her, but it had been a rough day, so I let her take Jesse. Melt down in the parking lot over not getting Bullseye. We go into the classroom and I see several unfamiliar faces who must be doing make-up classes from one of the other sections. I'm struggling with the diaper bag and Lu (still unhappy) and Myffy clinging onto my knee, trying to get all of our shoes off when Lu lunges forward, I'm trying to hold onto her but she goes down with her hands out in front of her and me holding onto her middle. I hear one of the moms I've never seen before loudly say "No wonder she's all scratched up." I look up into a face that clearly thinks I am a child abuser. I'd like to defend myself, but the class is starting and I'm still juggling everything trying to get shoes off and sit down in the circle. I let the comment go, but seethe inside. I'm well aware she has no idea what my life is like everyday. Part of me wants to tell her, but who has the time or the energy? And what good would it do anyway? I'd look crazy and defensive and would probably just further cement her already poor opinion of me.

Usually both Myffy and Lu love music class. Usually they both dance around, act goofy, sometimes even interact with the other kids (mostly Myffy), but today it just wasn't happening. Both wanted to be no where but on my lap for most of it, and after a few songs Lu fell solidly asleep. Again I see the suspicious mom eyeing me warily. My daughter with the swollen and bruised eye has passed out on my lap. Even some of the other parents are looking at me strangely. The music is blaring. Kids are banging on drums and shaking maracas and Lu is sleeping through it all. They probably think she has head trauma or something. Am I being paranoid? Am I just imagining it? Part of me just wants to get up and leave, but Myffy is finally enjoying herself, and she gets so little social time that I hate to take her away. I'm also exhausted and just want to sit there cradling Lu in my arms for a few minutes more. As the 'Goodbye, so long, farewell my friend' song comes on I rouse myself to get all our shoes back on to make a quick get away. I suppose I could have stayed and tried to loudly explain to the new parents that Tallulah is autistic and had an accident at school, but honestly, do I really care what they think? Ok, yes I do. Obviously I do. None of this would bother me if I didn't care, right? Of course I want people to think I'm a good parent, trying hard and doing my best. I guess the real question is do I have the energy to expend on this? No, I do not.

So we pack up and leave, feeling a bit beaten down, tail between my legs, defeated. The car next to me parked too close for me to get Myffy into her car seat. I hate it when people do that. Maybe they don't have kids and don't think about it. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. At least Lu is happy to finally have all of her Toy Story toys back. I start the car. Put on NPR. Start to relax.

The kids have been bathed and are very sweetly asleep now. It's rare I can get them both down so easily and so close to the same time. I should probably go get some sleep myself now. I just felt a bit keyed up and needed to write it out. So there it is. Poor Lu. Her face must have hurt quite a bit all day. Hopefully it will be better in the morning. I think I'll make that my mantra for now. Hopefully it will be better in the morning.

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