Saturday, March 27, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
“My thoughts…I’ve always thought that I’m a better person as a result of having Clark and Philip as my brothers. They have definitely taught me to be patient. They have taught me to be more loving. Phil has taught me the true meaning of a good sense of humor. Clark has taught me to be responsible…
Having brothers with special needs has taught me to be nicer to people in general. They’ve influenced both myself and many of my friends to be kinder to and protect those that need help. I’m sure that Du (a good friend) is a better person for knowing Clark and Philip.
The negative—which really isn’t a negative—are the ‘what if?’ thoughts I’ve had through life. I remember being 13 and wondering what it would be like if Clark wasn’t mentally retarded and would instead be a high school senior with a drivers license…would he have been willing to pick me up from school or take me to the mall? Most likely. And what about Philip, would he have taken half of Adam’s time in my life or would the three of us just have hung out all the time. What if Clark was normal and married with a couple of munchkins?
I don’t feel a lot of sadness when doing this…instead I think it’s kind of fun.
More and more I think of what my relationship might be like after I die—will Clark and I go off and play golf together just as normal brothers do? Will he thank me for being understanding of him and for being good to him? Will he tell me I could have been nicer? Done more? It’s a bit of a motivator to treat him as good as I would treat Adam or one of my best friends.
Sorry for running on—I guess as you get older and move away from home, you give more thought to your relationship with your family.
Talk to you soon Mama!”
Friday, March 19, 2010
“You’re it.” and a slap.
“I’m not playing.” Slap. Slap.
“Stop it.” Slap. Slap.
“You’re gel lease (jealous).” Slap. Slap.
Now it was my turn.....to intervene. “Both of you stop. Phil does not want to play tag.” They stopped. We dropped Paul off for his weekly racquetball game and I took “the boys” to the free-standing clinic. Phil’s anxiety kicked in while we were standing in line waiting to check in. One minute he was in line with me and the next minute he was gone. I turned around and saw his laughing face on the other side of the glass entry door. "This is great" I thought "he is out of control." Clark stayed by me but was looking for interaction with the receptionist “I can run. Right, Mom?!” “Sh, Clark, just sign the form.” Phil reappeared at my side in time to sign his form. We didn’t even have time to sit down when both were called at the same time. Clark would give blood out of both arms; he has no fear. Phil, on the other hand, cannot stand needles or blood. Clark went one direction and I went with Phil and got permission to stand by his side. He had asked me earlier if I would hold his hand. I did. As the phlebotomist started to clean the needle area Phil jumped. She took notice that he was anxious and after that explained before she did anything. “I need to put this band around your upper arm. Over your pushed-up coat sleeve is fine. And now… (in went the needle) we’re almost done. That’s it. We’re all done.” She was cheerful, understanding and very fast and I was proud of Phil. We celebrated a successful morning by going to The Dollar Tree where both bought a lint roller and socks for Sunday.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
1. Do not require a lot of instruction and
2. Do not require constant supervision
If conditions 1 and 2 are not met the chores become ours and, frankly, we are not looking for additional chores for ourselves at this time.
This list still in progress is posted so that when Paul and I become aware that the TV has been on far too long we can scan the chores and give Clark and Phil an alternative activity. Phil will jump to it and Clark will continue to sit on the couch even though the TV is now off.
So here is our list which does not require a lot of instruction nor constant supervision. Even if the job does not measure up to our standard
1. It doesn’t matter because it will be cleaner (or better) than it was and
2. Over time it will eventually get thoroughly cleaned and
3. They will increase their performance abilities.
Clean window sills throughout the house
Sweep kitchen floor
Clean inside doors
Blow off porch
Clean grout in showers
Clean gutters on the street
Clean dust off tops of books with portable vacuum
Clean shelves in fridge
Clean fridge doors (outside)
Clean dishwasher, oven doors
Clean top of fridge
Clean bottom cupboards in kitchen
Clean garage doors
Clean front door
When I have time (and even when I don’t), I like to read, but in their defense, Clark and Phil can only read a few words so the TV becomes not only their relaxation but something they enjoy.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
After much discussion and explaining that they must have a mailbox, I finally convinced him to take the card to the mailbox.
Monday, March 8, 2010
“Clark, why have you dressed and shaved so early?” I found out later in the day from Cherlyn that he had gotten up at 4:30 (he does not have a good concept of time) to shower and get dressed.
“Because your cousin is coming today.”
He was right. Ann, my first cousin who lives two hours away and who Clark and Phil met for the first time in December, had called me the day before to tell me that she would be dropping a box of pictures by our house. Clark had overheard the conversation.
She seemed so comfortable around Clark and Phil when we met her at the nursing home where my aunt (her mother) had just moved. Phil is always interested in cars and so one of the first questions he asked Ann was what kind of car she had. Instead of just telling him she asked him if he would like to see it and then took him out to the parking lot. I must admit I am always amazed when someone seems so immediately comfortable around Clark and Phil. How would I be if I didn’t have children with mental retardation? Would I be uncomfortable and not know what to say or do because it was outside my realm of experience? Probably. I have watched family members, friends and acquaintances through the years and have noticed their different reactions. I think I am more amazed at those who are friendly and include them in conversation and activities. When they were young and I could sense someone was excluding them or making unkind comments, I was hurt. But with the passing of years I have come to understand better that most people don’t want to be cruel; they just don’t understand. Some people change, become friendlier and more comfortable, as they get to know them. And that is a good thing.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Here is a note I received from Phil after the explosion. Interpreted it means--Mom, Clark called me a nosey (none) boy (boys) and then he signed it Phlip (even the bank accepts that spelling).